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Index.js aka the plugin's core

The index.js file of every plugin is where the magic goes on. It has some predefined and mandatory functions and a standardized layout. Depending on you'r plugin's category, this structure needs to change accordingly. We'll start by detailing a generic plugin structure.

Generic structure

The first part is about module dependencies, we'll need to list all the node modules our plugin depends on (example taken from Spotify plugin).

'use strict';

var libQ = require('kew');
var libNet = require('net');
var libFast = require('fast.js');
var fs=require('fs-extra');
var config = new (require('v-conf'))();
var exec = require('child_process').exec;
var SpotifyWebApi = require('spotify-web-api-node');
var nodetools = require('nodetools');


  • Node modules allow you to develop faster, by relying on already-written code to overcome the majority of tasks, to look for them search here
  • The 'use strict'; declaration at the beginning will ensure no obvious coding mispractices will happen, more info on the matter
  • Use the minimum amount of modules needed, and try to avoid modules that need compilation (you will spot those because they'll take longer on npm install), so you will avoid maintaining two separate versions for x86 and arm architectures.
  • Use only the modules you ABSOLUTELY need. Less modules, the better.

Then we will define the plugin class and reference to other core Volumio's internals:

module.exports = ControllerSpop;
function ControllerSpop(context) {
// This fixed variable will let us refer to 'this' object at deeper scopes
var self = this;

this.context = context;
this.commandRouter = this.context.coreCommand;
this.logger = this.context.logger;
this.configManager = this.context.configManager;



  • Substitute ControllerSpop with something that resembles your plugin name. For example ControllerGPIO or ControllerSoundcloud
  • We'll start every prototype (see later) with this Controller naming

Then we add all the required functions for a generic plugin:

On Volumio Start

This is the code that gets executed when Volumio starts and triggers the plugin start. Typically, what you do is load the plugin configuration. Your onStart function shall not look very different from the example below.

ControllerSpop.prototype.onVolumioStart = function()
var configFile=this.commandRouter.pluginManager.getConfigurationFile(this.context,'config.json');
this.config = new (require('v-conf'))();
return libQ.resolve();

On Start

This function is called when the Plugin starts. It's different from On Volumio Start since this function is triggered only if the plugin is enabled.

In this case we're starting the spop daemon (responsible for Spotify Playback).

ControllerSpop.prototype.onStart = function() {
var self = this;

var defer=libQ.defer();

setTimeout(function () {"Connecting to daemon");
}, 5000);
defer.reject(new Error());
this.commandRouter.sharedVars.registerCallback('alsa.outputdevice', this.rebuildSPOPDAndRestartDaemon.bind(this));

return defer.promise;


  • You'll notice that we use promises here. That's why Volumio needs to know when the plugin has actually started, or if it failed. So what we're doing is returning the promise on successful start, and rejecting it if it doesn't start properly.
  • The strange function this.commandRouter.sharedVars.registerCallback('alsa.outputdevice', this.rebuildSPOPDAndRestartDaemon.bind(this)); does one important thing. It binds to a shared system value (alsa.outputdevice, which is the output device) and when it changes it triggers the function rebuildSPOPDAndRestartDaemon that rewrites spop config file and restarts it.

One of the main reasons for plugin rejection in the Plugin Submission Checklist is a wrong use of the onStart. ALL plugins effects shall be performed ONLY via the onStart function (and reverted in the onStop function). This is to ensure that the effects of the plugins are available ONLY when the plugin is started, and not if the plugin is just installed.


If your plugin relies on a daemon to perform its functions, please refer to the section Using a Daemon

On stop

When a plugin is stopped, this function gets executed. What we're doing here is killing the spop daemon. We must resolve the promise to signal everything was ok

ControllerSpop.prototype.onStop = function() {
var self = this;"Killing SpopD daemon");
exec("/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/killall spopd", function (error, stdout, stderr) {
if(error){'Cannot kill spop Daemon')

return libQ.resolve();

Make sure that ALL plugins effects are removed if the onStop is called. See examples below.

If your plugin is a music source, and adds a new source, make sure you remove it in the onStop function with.

ControllerSpop.prototype.removeToBrowseSources = function () {



  • If your plugin establishes a connection via, make sure you disable it on plugin stop.
  • If your plugin launches a daemon (in the onStart function) make sure you disable it on plugin stop.
  • If your plugin loads an overlay, make sure you unload them on plugin stop.

Get Configuration files

Very straightforward - we load the .json configuration file for this plugin.

ControllerSpop.prototype.getConfigurationFiles = function()
return ['config.json'];

Get UI configuration

This function is triggered when we want to access the plugin configuration. For a better understanding of the configuration pages see Configuration Pages

ControllerSpop.prototype.getUIConfig = function() {
var defer = libQ.defer();
var self = this;

var lang_code = this.commandRouter.sharedVars.get('language_code');

__dirname + '/UIConfig.json')

uiconf.sections[0].content[0].value = self.config.get('username');
uiconf.sections[0].content[1].value = self.config.get('password');
uiconf.sections[0].content[2].value = self.config.get('bitrate');

self.logger.error('Failed to parse UI Configuration page for plugin XXX: ' + error);
defer.reject(new Error());

return defer.promise;


  • With var lang_code = this.commandRouter.sharedVars.get('language_code'); we retrieve the current language code. If translation is provided under the /i18n/ folder, we'll translate the configuration page, if not we'll default to english.
  • We use promises here as well, since it will take some time to parse the UIConfig.json and translate it. Not using promises will result in configuration not working.
  • With uiconf.sections[0].content[0].value = self.config.get('username'); we're simply substituting the first element's value of the first section with the username value taken from the plugins configuration. That's how we can populate the UI Configuration Page with actual values.

Get configuration from other plugins

There are cases where we want to get configuration parameters from other plugins, for example to know if an i2s DAC has been enabled or not. We will then use the executeOnPlugin method which will allow us to execute any method on any plugin. For code clarity we wrapped it into the getAdditionalConf function, accepting three (3) parameters which are mandatory for the aforementioned executeOnPlugin:

  • TYPE (plugin category)
  • CONTROLLER (plugin name)
  • DATA (the configuration parameter we want to get)

Please note that the function to get config parameters is not always getConfigParam but could be also just getConf. Check the individual plugin to see which is the correct function.

ControllerAlsa.prototype.getAdditionalConf = function (type, controller, data) {
var self = this;
return self.commandRouter.executeOnPlugin(type, controller, 'getConfigParam', data);

Set configuration from other plugins

Same as above, also here setConfigParamcould be also setConf or setUiConfig. Check the individual plugin to see which is the correct function.

UpnpInterface.prototype.setAdditionalConf = function () {
var self = this;

return self.commandRouter.executeOnPlugin(type, controller, 'setConfigParam', data);


Sometimes it might be useful to have a function to restart the plugin. Here's an example for upnp interface in Volumio.

UpnpInterface.prototype.onRestart = function () {
var self = this;

exec('/usr/bin/sudo /usr/bin/killall upmpdcli', function (error, stdout, stderr) {
if (error) {
self.logger.error('Cannot kill upmpdcli '+error);
} self.startUpmpdcli();

Using daemons

Some plugins require launching some daemons to work, for example playback, equalizer or GUI daemons. DO NOT start them via exec or execSync functions, but rather via a systemd script.

A correct example is:

ControllerSpop.prototype.startSpopDaemon = function () {
var self = this;

var defer = libQ.defer();

exec("/usr/bin/sudo /bin/systemctl start spop.service", {uid: 1000, gid: 1000}, function (error, stdout, stderr) {
if (error !== null) {
self.commandRouter.pushConsoleMessage('The following error occurred while starting SPOPD: ' + error);
} else {
self.commandRouter.pushConsoleMessage('SpopD Daemon Started');

return defer.promise;

In this case:

  • Systemd will take care of starting the daemon
  • In case it fails, it will correclty reject the promise (notifying the user that the plugin failed to start)
  • In case it succeed, it will correclty resolve the promise (notifying the user that the plugin started successfully)

If you need to start the daemon with some command line parameters, you can compose a dynamic bash script under tmp with the command and the desired parameters, and reference that into the systemd script.


Under no circumstances a Plugin shall write or edit any file under /volumio and /myvolumio folder. This applies both to and index.js performed operations. So make sure the daemon configuration files, if they require to be written are placed under /tmp or /data (if you require them to be persistent). For more information, consult the Filesystem Architecture Section