Kodi 21.0 "Omega" RC1

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Can you feel the excitement building in the air? Well, you should, as we are ready for our first Release Candidate for Kodi 21.0 “Omega”!

This is a major release, so, as you’d expect, it comes with many new features. However, with a core change to FFmpeg 6.0, there is a very good chance that we’ll get some regressions As such, please be aware that installing this will most likely break things, and we’d really like your help at that point to identify the problems and get them fixed. Please raise Github issues with full debug logs to help us resolve any issues that you wonderful testers come across.

First, we’d like to make a few targeted announcements.

Android users

Many users may still be on the Kodi testing track for their Android devices. It’s far easier to leave the testing track from a ‘phone-based device, but be aware that if your device is on the testing track, we will be continuing to deploy Beta 3 releases over the next week or so. If you wish to opt out of the testing group, one way you can is by visiting the following link Google Play – Kodi testing track. From here, you can opt out for your Google Play account. This is the best (and possibly only) way to opt out on many Android TV devices (e.g. Nvidia Shields).

With that said, for those adventurous types who would like to help us with testing, you can use the same link to opt in for a Google Play account.

Xbox users

As we do not have a testing track available for Xbox users, we will continue our customary deployment of RC1+ of our major releases to the Microsoft App store. This means that Xbox users will start to see their Nexus deployments updated to Omega RC1.

If you do not wish to receive this update, the only option we are aware of is for you to disable auto updates for all apps/games on your Xbox.

  • You can disable auto updates to games and apps in the Microsoft Store through the Store’s settings.

    • Select the Start screen, then select Microsoft Store.
    • In Microsoft Store at the upper right, select the account menu (the three dots) and then select Settings.
    • Under App updates, set Update apps automatically to Off.

The UWP store deployment is scheduled to begin rolling out on the 16th March.

Skin Developers

An API bump has been made for Kodi 21’s testing cycle. See the following PRs for details:



This will require changes and submissions to the Omega branch for skins for those who submit to the Kodi Repository. Reach out on the forums if you have any questions/concerns.

Please note, https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23927 was merged shortly after Beta 2, and all skins will need to update the GUI version number to be available in Omega repos for any builds (including nightlies) after Beta 2.

The following forum thread has the skinning change info for Omega: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=372280&pid=3174566#pid3174566.

And now, for the list of changes for RC 1.


  • A consistency fix was made by @Hitcher to make OSD controls for some buttons to just be disabled, rather than hidden, so the buttons stay shown in a consistent manner.


  • A partial revert has been made that fixes some binary addons being unable to correctly parse some XML files.


  • @ksooo continues to clean up things related to the Video Version feature. This time he has fixed a media name label that would be blank under certain circumstances.
  • A first time contributor, @hagaygo, has made a fix to allow users to set a subtitle save path rather than using a temp location under some circumstances.
  • @CrystalP submitted two fixes that fix list locations after adding/removing versions/extras and their art related management.


  • audiobooks were showing their last chapter with no duration; this has been fixed by @the-black-eagle.

Platform Specifics

  • Android:

    • Cleanups to build/package files have been made by @joseluismarti. This helps get the codebase nice and clean for the newer Android SDKs leading into the future, meaning we can more easily backport to Omega when we are making changes for v22 “P” in the future.
    • @thexai has made a change that allows subtitles to be tonemapped to avoid extreme brightness for HDR playback.
  • Linux:

    • @fritsch, our resident audio expert, has submitted a change to allow Pipewire to properly identify HDMI for passthrough usage.
  • macOS:

    • @enen92 has implemented Hotkeycontroller for media keys on macOS. This allows Kodi to more accurately capture and handle media-related keys and allows us to play more nicely with other running apps on a system expecting to use the same media keys.
  • Windows:

    • @thexai has submitted some colour accuracy changes for 10bit SDR/HDR colour mapping.


  • A fix for icons not being correctly refreshed was made by @ksooo.


  • @popcornmix has tracked down a variable initialisation bug that helps to reduce video stalls under certain conditions.
  • A fix that stops incorrect refresh rate changes occurring for interlaced content in some circumstances was submitted by @CrystalP.

Known Issues

You can see open issues on our tracker at https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues. However, to call out a couple of specifics, please be aware of the following if you’re planning on upgrading:

  • There are seek issues with multi-part MP4 files on Android (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23673).
  • We’ve had reports that the new splash screen looks like an OpenGL corruption; we know, it’s not a problem, so don’t panic. We’d be happy to have your artwork contributions if you’d like to work on an alternative.
  • If remote sources are unavailable at startup, users are seeing significant delays while waiting (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23958).

We continue to march forward to what we hope will be a successful v21 “Omega” release.

If you love to live on the bleeding edge, you can get RC 1 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section. Again, though, please: expect some breakage, don’t use this as your daily installation unless you know how to get things working again, and please share your experiences back with us so we can really get going on those bugs.

There is always a great deal more changes/fixes/updates than we can highlight in these reports, so, as usual, you can see a fuller list of what has been merged between v21 and v20 here. For a more targeted look at the changes made since v21 Beta 3, you can see those changes here.

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