Manifest files

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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 Description
type component
This attribute describes the type of the extension for the installer. Based on this type further requirements to sub-tags apply.
version 1.6 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
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
Applicable for modules The client allows to specify for which application client the new module is available.
group <free name> Applicable for 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 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.

Back-end files

Files to copy to the back-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. See Front-end files for further rules.


The <config> element, a child of the root, describes the configuration options for the extension. If applicable, the options will be shown by the appropriate Manager (Plugin Manager, Module Manager or Template Manager). Configuration options can also be defined in a separate file named config.xml. Its root element should be <config>.

<translate> Joomla! Joomla 2.5 and newer supply the JForm class to conveniently and flexibly create forms with a large amount of form fields. JForm can create forms from XML form definitions. These can be standalone files or sections of other files, notably manifest files.</translate>

<translate>== Syntax == </translate>

<translate> The root element for JForm definitions is usually <config>. <onlyinclude>Under the <config> element, one or more <fieldset> elements may appear, each representing a HTML <fieldset>, a group of form fields visually grouped together. The optional name attribute can be used on the <fieldset> to define the name of the fieldset, as in <fieldset name="params">.</translate>

<translate> Each fieldset must contain one or more <field> elements, each representing a single form field with a label. See Standard form field types for a list of allowed form field types and example XML form field definitions.</translate>


See the manifest of the Banner component in version 1.6.3.