Difference between revisions of "Manifest files"

From Joomla! Documentation

(Improved the menu item creation with further information)
m (removing "major edit" tag after a month)
Line 1: Line 1:

Revision as of 20:20, 12 October 2011

Quill icon.png
Content is Incomplete

This article or section is incomplete, which means it may be lacking information. You are welcome to assist in its completion by editing it as well. If this article or section has not been edited in several days, please consider helping complete the content.
This article was last edited by Jlleblanc (talk| contribs) 2 years ago. (Purge)



Within Joomla there are manifest files for all of the extensions. These files include the general installation information as well as parameters for the configuration of the extension itself. Since Joomla! 1.6 Joomla 1.6, there are very few differences between the manifest file formats for the different types of extensions, allowing each type to access the full power of the Joomla! installer.

Naming conventions

The file must be named manifest.xml or <extension_name>.xml and located in the root directory of the installation package.


Root element

The primary tag of the installation file is:


This starting and closing tags are now valid for all extensions. The new tag <extension> replaces the old <install></install> from Joomla Joomla 1.5. The following attributes are allowed within the tag:

Attribute Values Applicable to Description
type component
All extensions This attribute describes the type of the extension for the installer. Based on this type further requirements to sub-tags apply.
version 1.6 All extensions String that identifies the version of Joomla for which this extension is developed. For Joomla 1.6 a version higher than 1.5 is required.
method new
All extensions The default value install will be also used if the method attribute is not used. In these cases the installer will gracefully stop if he finds any existing file/folder of the new extension
client site
Modules The client allows to specify for which application client the new module is available.
group string Plugins The group name specifies for which group of plugins the new plugin is available. The existing groups are the folder names within the directory /plugins. The installer will create new folder names for group names that do not exist yet.


The following elements can be used to insert metadata. None of these elements are required; if they are present, they must be a child of the root element.

  • <name> – raw component name (e.g. com_banners)
  • <author> – author's name (e.g. Joomla! Project)
  • <creationDate> – date of creation or release (e.g. April 2006)
  • <copyright> – a copyright statement (e.g. (C) 2005 - 2011 Open Source Matters. All rights reserved.)
  • <license> – a license statement (e.g. NU General Public License version 2 or later; see LICENSE.txt)
  • <authorEmail> – author's email address (e.g.
  • <authorUrl> – URL to the author's website (e.g.
  • <version> – the version number of the extension (e.g. 1.6.0)
  • <description> – the description of the component. This is a translatable field. (e.g. COM_BANNERS_XML_DESCRIPTION)

Front-end files

    <files folder="from-folder">

Files to copy to the front-end directory should be placed in the <files> element. You can use the optional folder attribute to specify a directory in the ZIP package to copy from. Each file to copy must be represented by a <filename> element. If you want to copy an entire folder at once, you can define it as a <folder>.

Administration section


The administration section is defined in the <administration> element. Since only components apply to both the site and the administrator, only component manifests can include this element.

Back-end files

Files to copy to the back-end directory should be placed in the <files> element under the <administration>. You can use the optional folder attribute to specify a directory in the ZIP package to copy from. See Front-end files for further rules.

Menu links and submenus

            <menu link="anoption=avalue">COM_EXAMPLE_ANOPTION</menu>

The text for the main menu item for the component is defined in the <menu> item, a child of <administration>. A <submenu> element may also be present (also a child of <administration>), which may contain more menu items defined by <menu>.

Additionally, each <menu> item can define the following attributes:

Attribute Description
link A link to send the user to when the menu item is clicked
view (optional) The name of the view to load. E.g. <menu view="cpanel">COM_EXAMPLE</menu> in com_example's XML manifest would cause the URL of the menu item to be index.php?option=com_example&view=cpanel
img The (relative) path to an image (16x16 pixels) to appear beside the menu item

The value inside the tag is the menu's label. Unlike Joomla! 1.5, you can not use a natural language string. For example, if you would enter "Example Component" instead of COM_EXAMPLE, it would result in your component name appearing as example-component in the menu and you would be unable to provide a translation. In order to provide a translation you need to create a file named en-GB.com_example.sys.ini in administrator/languages/en-GB (you can use the manifest's