Linux Development with several Kodi versions and userdata directories
Now that Kodi Matrix alpha is close to be released, I would like to port my addons from Python 2 to Python 3. The purpose of this thread is to know your opinion about how development of an addon in Linux can be done, having both Kodi Leia and Kodi Matrix installed.

I want to create separate branches for my addons, one for Python 2 and Leia and a new branch for Pyhton 3 and Matrix onward. Currently, Kodi on Linux uses ~/.kodi/ as the user writable directory and there is no way to change this. On Windows, users can use the -p parameter to tell Kodi to run in portable mode, however this feature is not available on Linux.

Currently, I use my compilation scripts to compile the Kodi version I want, including all Retroplayer binary addons, and installing them on the regular user account in directory /home/kodi/bin-kodi/. This is fine and it uses ~/.kodi/ for user writable directory (includes the user installed addons directory, the temp directory, the userdata directory, etc.). I can modify my compilation scripts to compile Matrix Alpha and place in directory /home/kodi/bin-kodi-matrix/, for example, while keeping Kodi Leia installed.

The main problem I see is that if I run Kodi Matrix then it will overwrite the user writable storage /home/kodi/.kodi/. In some other thread I cannot locate now, @wsnipex suggested to create several user writable directories, for example, ~/.kodi-leia/ and ~/.kodi-matrix/ and then create a symlink ~/.kodi/ pointing to the corresponding directory. However, this may lead to errors if you accidentally execute the wrong version of Kodi when the link points to the incorrect userdata folder. Note that I use Kodi Leia not only for development but also as IPTV, in other words, it is not a test installation but rather a "production" installation I do not want to destroy for development.

Other users/developers that may have this or a similar problem, what is your approach to solve this?

As a feature request, does it make sense to add a command line parameter in Linux, for example -uwd ~/.kodi-matrix/, to override the default user writable directory ~/.kodi/?

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Development with several Kodi versions and userdata directories - by Wintermute0110 - 2020-07-31, 07:59

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