Build Metadata Reference

Information used by fdroid update to compile the public index comes from several sources:

These metadata files are simple, easy to edit text files, always named as the “package name” with file type appended. There are a wide range of available fields for adding information to describe packages and/or apps. For all of the fields like AuthorName that apply to all releases of a package/app, the fields use CamelCase starting with an upper case letter. All other fields use camelCase starting with a lower case letter, including per-build fields, localized fields, etc.

Note that although the metadata files are designed to be easily read and writable by humans, they are also processed and written by various scripts. They can be automatically cleaned up when necessary. The structure and comments will be preserved correctly, although the order of fields will be standardised. (In the event that the original file was in a different order, comments are considered as being attached to the field following them). In fact, you can standardise all packages in a repository using a single command, without changing the functional content, by running:

fdroid rewritemeta

Or just run it on a specific app:

fdroid rewritemeta org.adaway

Markup and Data Format

F-Droid metadata files are written in YAML and have a file extension .yml. The top-most data structure is a “map” or “dictionary”, made up of key/value pairs. All keys are strings. There are some internal data types used for values:

  • TYPE_BOOL - Either true or false.
  • TYPE_BUILD - A list of build entries, which are maps of key/value pairs.
  • TYPE_INT - An integer in decimal format.
  • TYPE_LIST - A list of strings.
  • TYPE_MULTILINE - A block of text with multiple lines.
  • TYPE_SCRIPT - A string or list of strings to be executed as a bash script.
  • TYPE_STRING - A string.
  • TYPE_STRINGMAP - A map of maps, the inner keys are BCP 47 locales and the values are human-readable text.

The canonical format is YAML 1.2. The process of reading metadata files is more tolerant, and will do some automatic type conversions when that can provide a reliable transformation. fdroid rewritemeta will output YAML 1.2, so it will not preserve the original values as written, if they have been converted.


The following sections describe the fields recognised within the file.


Any number of categories for the application to be placed in. There is no fixed list of categories - both the client and the web site will automatically show any categories that exist in any applications. However, if your metadata is intended for the main F-Droid repository, you should use one of the existing categories (Connectivity,Development, Games,Graphics,Internet,Money,Multimedia,Navigation,Phone & SMS, Reading,Science & Education,Security,Sports & Health,System,Theming, Time,Writing), or discuss the proposal to add a new one. Categories must be a list of items, even if there is just one.

This is converted to (<categories>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The name of the author, either full, abbreviated or pseudonym. If present, it should represent the name(s) as published by upstream, e.g. in their copyright or authors file. This can be omitted (or left blank).

Warning: this overrides all AuthorName entries set in the app’s source code.

This is converted to (<author>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The e-mail address of the author(s). This can be omitted (or left blank).

Warning: this overrides all AuthorEmail entries set in the app’s source code.

This is converted to (<email>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The website url of the author(s). This can be omitted (or left blank).

Warning: this overrides all AuthorWebSite entries set in the app’s source code.


The overall license for the application in terms of the binary that the user can install. Values should correspond to short identifiers of the SPDX license list. There can only be one license listed here. If there are multiple licenses that apply to the source code, then this field should contain the least restrictive license that the whole app can be used under. When multiple licenses are combined, that usually means the most restrictive wins.

This field cannot represent the complexity of licenses that apply to parts of the app, or apps that have the entire thing released under more than one license.

This is converted to (<license>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The name of the application as can best be retrieved from the source code. This is done so that fdroid checkupdates can put a familiar name in the description of commits created when a new update of the application is found. The AutoName entry is generated automatically when fdroid checkupdates is run, and is only used for the commit messages generated by fdroid checkupdates.


The title of the application, with optional descriptive phrase. This field will override all other sources of the application name, including scraped from the APK and from localized metadata. Setting Name is usually not needed, since the application’s correct name is retrieved from the APK file. However, in a situation where an APK contains a bad or missing application name, it can be overridden using this. Note that this only overrides the name in the list of apps presented in the client; it doesn’t change the name or application label in the source code.

50 character limit

Warning: this overrides all Name/title entries set in the app’s source code.

This is converted to (<name>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The URL for the application’s web site. If there is no relevant web site, this can be omitted (or left blank).

This is converted to (<web>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The URL to view or obtain the application’s source code. This should be something human-friendly. Machine-readable source-code is covered in the Repo field.

This is converted to (<source>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The URL for the application’s issue tracker. Optional, since not all applications have one.

This is converted to (<tracker>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The URL for the application’s translation portal or at least a guide. Optional, since not all applications have one.

This is converted to (translation) in the JSON file (index.json).


The URL for the application’s changelog. Optional, since not all applications have one.

This is converted to (<changelog>) in the XML file (index.xml).

The URL to donate to the project. This should be the project’s donate page if it has one.

It is possible to use a direct PayPal link here, if that is all that is available. However, bear in mind that the developer may not be aware of that direct link, and if they later changed to a different PayPal account, or the PayPal link format changed, things could go wrong. It is always best to use a link that the developer explicitly makes public, rather than something that is auto-generated ‘button code’.

This is converted to (<donate>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The project’s Flattr ( ID, if it has one. This should be a numeric ID, such that (for example) leads directly to the page to donate to the project.

This is converted to (<flattr>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The project’s Liberapay ( user or group name, if it has one. This should be an alphanumeric name, such that (for example) which redirects to your account page. This used to be LiberapayID, which was a numeric ID fetched from Liberapay’s site by adding /public.json behind your team page.

This is converted to (<liberapay>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The project’s OpenCollective ( user or group name, if it has one. This should be an alphanumeric name, such that (for example) redirects to your account page.


A bitcoin address for donating to the project.

This is converted to (<bitcoin>) in the XML file (index.xml).


A litecoin address for donating to the project.

This is converted to (<litecoin>) in the XML file (index.xml).


A brief summary of what the application is. The Summary is used in the app list and tile views of the F-Droid client, and as a sub-headline in some other views.

80 character limit

Warning: this overrides all Summary aka “short description” entries set in the app’s source code.

This is converted to (<summary>) in the XML file (index.xml).


A full description of the application, relevant to the latest version. This can span multiple lines (which should be kept to a maximum of 80 characters), and is terminated by a line containing a single ‘.’.

The description formatting follows the established conventions that work across many app stores:

  • Basic HTML formatting can be used.
  • Newlines will be preserved.
  • Links to other packages on will show up as clickable on the website, other links will show up as plain text.

It can be helpful to note information pertaining to updating from an earlier version; whether the app contains any prebuilts built by the upstream developers or whether Non-Free elements were removed; whether the app is in rapid development or whether the latest version lags behind the current version; whether the app supports multiple architectures or whether there is a maximum SDK specified (such info not being recorded in the index).

4000 character limit

Warning: this overrides all Description aka “full description” entries set in the app’s source code.

This is converted to (<desc>) in the XML file (index.xml).


This is a multi-line field using the same rules and syntax as the description. It’s used to record notes for F-Droid maintainers to assist in maintaining and updating the application in the repository.

This information is also published to the wiki.


The type of repository - for automatic building from source. If this is not specified, automatic building is disabled for this application. Possible values are:

  • ‘git’
  • ‘svn’
  • ‘git-svn’
  • ‘hg’
  • ‘bzr’
  • ‘srclib’


The repository location. Usually a git: or svn: URL, for example.

The git-svn option connects to an SVN repository, and you specify the URL in exactly the same way, but git is used as a back-end. This is preferable for performance reasons, and also because a local copy of the entire history is available in case the upstream repository disappears. (It happens!). In order to use Tags as UpdateCheckMode for this VCS type, the URL must have the tags= special argument set. Likewise, if you intend to use the RepoManifest/branch scheme, you would want to specify branches= as well. Finally, trunk= can also be added. All these special arguments will be passed to “git svn” in order, and their values must be relative paths to the svn repo root dir. Here’s an example of a complex git-svn Repo URL:;trunk=trunk;tags=tags;branches=branches

If the RepoType is srclib, then you must specify the name of the according srclib .yml file. For example if srclibs/FooBar.yml exist and you want to use this srclib, then you have to set Repo to FooBar.


The location of binaries used in verification process.

If specified, F-Droid will verify the output APK file of a build against the one specified. You can use %v and %c to point to the version name and version code of the current build. To verify the F-Droid client itself you could use: Binaries:

F-Droid will use upstream binaries if the verification succeeded.


Any number of sub-entries can be present, each specifying a version to automatically build from source. For example:

  - versionName: '1.2'
    versionCode: 12
    commit: v1.2

  - versionName: '1.3'
    versionCode: 13
    commit: v1.3-fdroid

versionName: xxx

versionCode: yyy

Specifies to build version xxx, which has a version code of yyy.

commit: xxx

The commit parameter specifies the tag, commit or revision number from which to build it in the source repository.

In addition to the three, always required, parameters described above, further parameters can be added (in name: value format) to apply further configuration to the build. These are (roughly in order of application):

disable: <message>

Disables this build, giving a reason why. (For backwards compatibility, this can also be achieved by starting the commit ID with ‘!’)

The purpose of this feature is to allow non-buildable releases (e.g. the source is not published) to be flagged, so the scripts don’t generate repeated messages about them. (And also to record the information for review later). If an APK has already been built, disabling causes it to be deleted once fdroid update is run; this is the procedure if ever a version has to be replaced.

subdir: <path>

Specifies to build from a subdirectory of the checked out source code. This is the directory where the build scripts are run.

submodules: true

Use if the project (git only) has submodules - causes git submodule update --init --recursive to be executed after the source is cloned. Submodules are reset and cleaned like the main app repository itself before each build.

sudo: xxxx

Specifies a script to be run using sudo bash -x -c "xxxx" in the buildserver VM guest. This script is run with full root privileges, but the state will be reset after each build. The vast majority of apps build using the standard Debian/stable base environment. This is useful for setting up the buildserver for complex builds that need very specific things that are not appropriate to install for all builds, or for things that would conflict with other builds.

timeout: <seconds>

Time limit for this build (in seconds). After time is up, buildserver VM is forcefully terminated. The default is 7200 (2 hours); 0 means no limit.

Limitation is applied only in server mode, i.e. when fdroid build is invoked with the --server option.

init: xxxx

Like ‘prebuild’, but runs on the source code BEFORE any other processing takes place.

You can use $$SDK$$ and $$NDK$$ to substitute the paths to the Android SDK and NDK directories respectively. The following per-build variables are available likewise: $$VERSION$$, $$VERCODE$$ and $$COMMIT$$.

This runs in subdir: if set.

oldsdkloc: true

The sdk location in the repo is in an old format, or the build.xml is expecting such. The ‘new’ format is sdk.dir while the VERY OLD format is sdk-location. Typically, if you get a message along the lines of: “ cannot be found” when trying to build, then try enabling this option.

target: <target>

Specifies a particular SDK target for compilation, overriding the value defined in the code by upstream. This has different effects depending on what build system used — this flag currently affects Ant, Maven and Gradle projects only. Note that this does not change the target SDK in the AndroidManifest.xml, which determines the level of features that can be included in the build.

In the case of an Ant project, it modifies of the app and possibly sub-projects. This is likely to cause the whole build.xml to be rewritten, which is fine if it’s a ‘standard’ Android file or doesn’t already exist, but not a good idea if it’s heavily customised.

androidupdate: <auto/dirs>

By default, ‘android update’ is used in Ant builds to generate or update the project and all its referenced projects. Specifying androidupdate: no bypasses that. Note that this is useless in builds that don’t use Ant.

Default value is ‘auto’, which recursively uses the paths in to find all the subprojects to update.

Otherwise, the value can be a comma-separated list of directories in which to run ‘android update’ relative to the application directory.

encoding: xxxx

Adds a java.encoding property to with the given value. Generally the value will be ‘utf-8’. This is picked up by the SDK’s ant rules, and forces the Java compiler to interpret source files with this encoding. If you receive warnings during the compile about character encodings, you probably need this.

forceversion: true

If specified, the package version in AndroidManifest.xml is replaced with the version name for the build as specified in the metadata.

This is useful for cases when upstream repo failed to update it for specific tag; to build an arbitrary revision; to make it apparent that the version differs significantly from upstream; or to make it apparent which architecture or platform the APK is designed to run on.

forcevercode: true

If specified, the package version code in the AndroidManifest.xml is replaced with the version code for the build. See also forceversion.

binary: URL

The location of a binary used in verification process for this build.

If specified, F-Droid will verify the output APK file of a build against the one specified. You can use %v and %c to point to the version name and version code of the current build. To verify the F-Droid client itself you could use: binary:

F-Droid will use the upstream binary if the verification succeeded.

rm: <path1>[,<path2>,...]

Specifies the relative paths of files or directories to delete before the build is started. The paths are relative to the base of the build directory - i.e. the root of the directory structure checked out from the source respository - not necessarily the directory that contains AndroidManifest.xml.

Multiple files/directories can be specified by separating them with ‘,’. Directories will be recursively deleted.

extlibs: <lib1>[,<lib2>,...]

Comma-separated list of external libraries (jar files) from the build/extlib library, which will be placed in the libs directory of the project.

srclibs: [n:]a@r,[n:]b@r1,...

Comma-separated list of source libraries or Android projects. Each item is of the form name@rev where name is the predefined source library name and rev is the revision or tag to use in the respective source control.

For Ant projects, you can optionally append a number with a colon at the beginning of a srclib item to automatically place it in as a library under the specified number. For example, if you specify 1:somelib@1.0, F-Droid will automatically do the equivalent of the legacy practice prebuild: echo "android.library.reference.1=$$somelib$$" >>

Each srclib has a metadata file under srclibs/ in the repository directory, and the source code is stored in build/srclib/. RepoType and Repo are specified in the same way as for apps; Subdir: can be a comma separated list, for when directories are renamed by upstream; Update Project: updates the projects in the working directory and one level down; Prepare: can be used for any kind of preparation: in particular if you need to update the project with a particular target. You can then also use $$name$$ in the init/prebuild/build command to substitute the absolute path to the library directory.

Currently srclibs are used when upstream uses jar files or pulls dependencies from non-trusted repositories. Because srclibs can’t be updated automatically, git submodule is a better choice.

patch: x

Apply patch(es). ‘x’ names one (or more - comma-seperated) files within a directory below the metadata, with the same name as the metadata file but without the extension. Each of these patches is applied to the code in turn.

prebuild: xxxx

Specifies a shell command (or commands - chain with &&) to run before the build takes place. Backslash can be used as an escape character to insert literal commas, or as the last character on a line to join that line with the next. It has no special meaning in other contexts; in particular, literal backslashes should not be escaped.

The command runs using bash.

Note that nothing should be built during this prebuild phase - scanning of the code and building of the source tarball, for example, take place after this. For custom actions that actually build things or produce binaries, use ‘build’ instead.

You can use $$name$$ to substitute the path to a referenced srclib - see the srclib directory for details of this.

You can use $$SDK$$ and $$NDK$$ to substitute the paths to the Android SDK and NDK directories respectively e.g. for when you need to run android update project explicitly. The following per-build variables are available likewise: $$VERSION$$, $$VERCODE$$ and $$COMMIT$$.

This runs in subdir: if set.

scanignore: <path1>[,<path2>,...]

Enables one or more files/paths to be excluded from the scan process. This should only be used where there is a very good reason, and probably accompanied by a comment explaining why it is necessary.

When scanning the source tree for problems, matching files whose relative paths start with any of the paths given here are ignored.

scandelete: <path1>[,<path2>,...]

When running the scan process, any files that trigger errors - like binaries - will be removed. It acts just like scanignore, but instead of ignoring the files, it removes them.

Useful when a source code repository includes binaries or other unwanted files which are not needed for the build. Instead of removing them manually via rm, using scandelete is easier.

build: xxxx

As for ‘prebuild’, but runs during the actual build phase (but before the main Ant/Maven build). Use this only for actions that do actual building. Any preparation of the source code should be done using ‘init’ or ‘prebuild’.

Any building that takes place before build will be ignored, as either Ant, mvn or gradle will be executed to clean the build environment right before build (or the final build) is run.

You can use $$SDK$$ and $$NDK$$ to substitute the paths to the Android SDK and NDK directories respectively. The following per-build variables are available likewise: $$VERSION$$, $$VERCODE$$ and $$COMMIT$$.

This runs in subdir: if set.

buildjni: [yes|no|<dir list>]

Enables building of native code via the ndk-build script before doing the main Ant build. The value may be a list of directories relative to the main application directory in which to run ndk-build, or ‘yes’ which corresponds to ‘.’ . Using explicit list may be useful to build multi-component projects.

The build and scan processes will complain (refuse to build) if this parameter is not defined, but there is a jni directory present. If the native code is being built by other means like a Gradle task, you can specify no here to avoid that. However, if the native code is actually not required or used, remove the directory instead (using rm: jni for example). Using buildjni: no when the jni code isn’t used nor built will result in an error saying that native libraries were expected in the resulting package.

ndk: <version>

Version of the NDK to use in this build. The value is the NDK version as a string in either of the two official version schemes, e.g. r21e or 21.4.7075529. NDK r10e or later is supported. This can also be a list of version strings, and all listed versions will be installed. The ANDROID_SDK_ROOT environment variable will be set to the first version in the list.

gradle: <flavour1>[,<flavour2>,...]

Build with Gradle instead of Ant, specifying what flavours to use. Flavours are case sensitive since the path to the output APK is as well.

If only one flavour is given and it is ‘yes’, no flavour will be used. Note that for projects with flavours, you must specify at least one valid flavour since ‘yes’ will build all of them separately.

maven: yes[@<dir>]

Build with Maven instead of Ant. An extra @<dir> tells F-Droid to run Maven inside that relative subdirectory. Sometimes it is needed to use @.. so that builds happen correctly.

preassemble: <task1>[,<task2>,...]

List of Gradle tasks to be run before the assemble task in a Gradle project build.

gradleprops: <prop1>[,<prop2>,...]

List of Gradle properties to pass via the command line to Gradle. A property can be of the form foo or of the form key=value.

For example: gradleprops=enableFoo,someSetting=bar will result in gradle -PenableFoo -PsomeSetting=bar.

antcommands: <target1>[,<target2>,...]

Specify an alternate set of Ant commands (target) instead of the default ‘release’. It can’t be given any flags, such as the path to a build.xml.

output: glob/to/output.apk

Specify a glob path where the resulting unsigned release APK from the build should be. This can be used in combination with build methods like gradle: yes or maven: yes, but if no build method is specified, the build is manual. You should run your build commands, such as make, in build.

This runs in subdir: if set.

postbuild: xxxx

As for ‘prebuild’, but runs after the actual build phase (the main Ant/Maven build). Use this only for actions that perform some post-processing on the build outputs.

You can use $$name$$ to substitute the path to a referenced srclib - see the srclib directory for details of this.

You can use $$SDK$$ and $$NDK$$ to substitute the paths to the Android SDK and NDK directories respectively. The following per-build variables are available likewise: $$VERSION$$, $$VERCODE$$ and $$COMMIT$$.

The path to the output APK is available with $$OUT$$.

This runs in subdir: if set.

novcheck: true

Don’t check that the version name and code in the resulting APK are correct by looking at the build output - assume the metadata is correct. This takes away a useful level of sanity checking, and should only be used if the values can’t be extracted.

antifeatures: <antifeature1>[,<antifeature2>,...]

List of Anti-Features for this specific build. They are described in AntiFeatures.


When making automated binary repositories with fdroid update, it is generally easy to find out the expected signing key for the APKs that are gathered. AllowedAPKSigningKeys lets the repo operator set the expected signing keys, then fdroid update will check that the APKs are signed by one of those keys. If not, the mismatched APKs will not be included in the repo. If fdroid update --delete-unknown is specified, the mismatched APKs will be deleted. Then an automated process can be used to download newer APKs to the repo, and they will only be included if they have a known good signature. The value is a lowercase hex value of the SHA-256 fingerprint of the signing certificate. This can be fetched using:

apksigner verify --print-certs example.apk | grep SHA-256


This is optional - if present, it contains a comma-separated list of any of the following values, describing an anti-feature the application has. It is a good idea to mention the reasons for the anti-feature(s) in the description:

  • ‘Ads’ - the application contains advertising.
  • ‘Tracking’ - user or activity data is tracked or leaks, by default. True if the app or a feature can not be used without collecting and sharing such data, or doing requests to a data collecting network service (regard- less if the service is based on free software, or not). For example, activity-based down-loading of weather data, maps, avatars etc. (data hosting and delivery services), or uploading of crash logs etc.
  • ‘NonFreeNet’ - the application contains a feature that promotes or depends on a Non-Free network service which is impossible, or not easy to replace. Replacement requires changes to the app or service. This antifeature would not apply, if there is a simple configuration option that allows pointing the app to a running instance of an alternative, publicly available, self-hostable, free software server solution.
  • ‘NonFreeAdd’ - the application promotes Non-Free add-ons, such that the app is effectively an advert for other Non-Free Software.
  • ‘NonFreeDep’ - the application depends on a Non-Free application (e.g. Google Maps) - i.e. it requires it to be installed on the device, but does not include it.
  • ‘NSFW’ - the app contains content that the user may not want to be publicized or visible everywhere, comes from “Not Safe For Work”.
  • ‘UpstreamNonFree’ - the application is or depends on Non-Free software. This does not mean that Non-Free Software is included with the app: Most likely, it has been patched in some way to remove the Non-Free code. However, functionality may be missing.
  • ‘NonFreeAssets’ - the application contains and makes use of Non-Free assets. The most common case is apps using artwork - images, sounds, music, etc. - under a license that restricts commercial usage or making derivative works (for example, any Creative Commons license with a “Non-Commercial” (NC) or “No Derivatives” (ND) restriction).
  • ‘KnownVuln’ - the application has known security vulnerabilities.
  • ‘ApplicationDebuggable’ - APK file is compiled for debugging (application-debuggable), which normally makes it unsuitable for regular users and use cases.
  • ‘NoSourceSince’ - Upstream source for this app is no longer available. Either the app went commercial, the repo was dropped, or it has moved to a location currently unknown to us. This usually means there won’t be further updates unless the source reappears.

This is converted to (<antifeatures>) in the XML file (index.xml).


If this field is present, the application does not get put into the public index. This allows metadata to be retained while an application is temporarily disabled from being published. The value should be a description of why the application is disabled. No APKs or source code archives are deleted: to purge an APK see the Build Version section or delete manually for developer builds. The field is therefore used when an app has outlived it’s usefulness, because the source tarball is retained.


Set this optional field to true if the application requires root privileges to be usable. This lets the client filter it out if the user so desires. Whether root is required or not, it is good to give a paragraph in the description to the conditions on which root may be asked for and the reason for it.

This is converted to (<requirements>) in the XML file (index.xml).


This determines the policy for moving old versions of an app to the archive repo, if one is configured. The configuration sets a default maximum number of versions kept in the main repo, after which older ones are moved to the archive. This app-specific policy setting can override that.

The version specified via CurrentVersionCode is always considered the newest version when deciding which versions to put into the archive. This means that when ArchivePolicy is set to 1 only the APK corresponding to CVC is kept, which is not necessarily the one with the highest version code.

Currently the only supported format is n, where n is the number of versions to keep. Defaults to 3. For apps with a list of VercodeOperation the default is calculated as 3 x number of operations, eg. for an app with two operations, for two ABIs, 6 versions will be kept.


This determines the method using for determining when new releases are available - in other words, the updating of the CurrentVersion and CurrentVersionCode fields in the metadata by the fdroid checkupdates process.

Valid modes are:

  • None - No checking is done because there’s no appropriate automated way of doing so. Updates should be checked for manually. Use this, for example, when deploying unstable or patched versions; when builds are done in a directory different to where the AndroidManifest.xml is; if the developers use the Gradle build system and store version info in a separate file; if the developers make a new branch for each release and don’t make tags; or if you’ve changed the package name or version code logic.
  • Static - No checking is done - either development has ceased or new versions are not desired. This method is also used when there is no other checking method available and the upstream developer keeps us posted on new versions.
  • RepoManifest - At the most recent commit, the AndroidManifest.xml and build.gradle files are looked for in the directory where they were found in the the most recent build. The appropriateness of this method depends on the development process used by the application’s developers. You should not specify this method unless you’re sure it’s appropriate. For example, some developers bump the version when commencing development instead of when publishing. It will return an error if the AndroidManifest.xml has moved to a different directory or if the package name has changed. The current version that it gives may not be accurate, since not all versions are fit to be published. Therefore, before building, it is often necessary to check if the current version has been published somewhere by the upstream developers, either by checking for APKs that they distribute or for tags in the source code repository.

    It currently works for every repository type to different extents, except the srclib repo type. For git, git-svn and hg repo types, you may use “RepoManifest/yourbranch” as UpdateCheckMode so that “yourbranch” would be the branch used in place of the default one. The default values are “master” for git, “default” for hg and none for git-svn (it stays in the same branch). On the other hand, branch support hasn’t been implemented yet in bzr and svn, but RepoManifest may still be used without it.

  • Tags - The AndroidManifest.xml and build.gradle files in all tagged revisions in the source repository are checked, looking for the highest version code. The appropriateness of this method depends on the development process used by the application’s developers. You should not specify this method unless you’re sure it’s appropriate. It shouldn’t be used if the developers like to tag unstable versions or are known to forget to tag releases. Like RepoManifest, it will not return the correct value if the directory containing the AndroidManifest.xml has moved. Despite these caveats, it is the often the favourite UpdateCheckMode.

    It currently only works for git, hg, bzr and git-svn repositories. In the case of the latter, the repo URL must contain the path to the trunk and tags or else no tags will be found.

    Optionally append a regex pattern at the end - separated with a space - to only check the tags matching said pattern. Useful when apps tag non-release versions such as X.X-alpha, so you can filter them out with something like .*[0-9]$ which requires tag names to end with a digit. Example: UpdateCheckMode: Tags .*[0-9]$

    Optionally UpdateCheckData can be specified to extract version code and name from repository files you specify (instead of relying on the defaults used to match against otherwise, which in most cases is build.gradle or AndroidManifest.xml).

  • HTTP - HTTP requests are used to determine the current version code and version name. This is controlled by the UpdateCheckData field, which is of the form urlcode|excode|urlver|exver.

    Firstly, if urlcode is non-empty, the document from that URL is retrieved, and matched against the regular expression excode, with the first group becoming the version code.

    Secondly, if urlver is non-empty, the document from that URL is retrieved, and matched against the regular expression exver, with the first group becoming the version name. The urlver field can be set to simply ‘.’ which says to use the same document returned for the version code again, rather than retrieving a different one.


Operation to be applied to the vercode obtained by the defined UpdateCheckMode. %c will be replaced by the actual vercode, and the whole string will be passed to python’s eval function.

Especially useful with apps that we want to compile for different ABIs, but whose vercodes don’t always have trailing zeros. For example, with multiple VercodeOperation we can track updates and build up to four different versions of every upstream version, say for 4 architectures:

  - 100 * %c + 1
  - 100 * %c + 2
  - 100 * %c + 3
  - 100 * %c + 4

So 4 build blocks are copied from above and added as an update with their vercode calculated by doing each math operation.


When checking for updates (via UpdateCheckMode) this can be used to specify a regex which, if matched against the version name, causes that version to be ignored. For example, ‘beta’ could be specified to ignore version names that include that text.

Only Available with UpdateCheckMode HTTP.


When checking for updates (via UpdateCheckMode) this can be used to specify the package name to search for. Useful when apps have a static package name but change it programmatically in some app flavors, by e.g. appending “.open” or “.free” at the end of the package name.

You can also use Ignore to ignore package name searching. This should only be used in some specific cases, for example if the app’s build.gradle file does not contain the package name.


Used in conjunction with UpdateCheckMode Tags or HTTP.

UpdateCheckData: <vercode-location>|<RegEx-for-versionCode>|<versionName-location>|<RegEx-for-versionName>
  • vercode-location - URL (with UpdateCheckMode: HTTP) or path/file relative to repo root, leave empty to check the tag name instead (with UpdateCheckMode: Tags).
  • RegEx-for-versionCode - RegEx to match versionCode.
  • versionName-location - Same as vercode-location just for versionName. A . means to take vercode-location, leave empty to check the tag name instead (only with UpdateCheckMode: Tags).
  • RegEx-for-versionName - Similar to RegEx-for-versionCode, just for versionName.
  • RegEx pipe operators are not supported at this time.

Examples for UpdateCheckMode: Tags:

  • Flutter app with the pubspec.yaml in the repo root: pubspec.yaml|version:\s.+\+(\d+)|.|version:\s(.+)\+
  • Use the git tag as version name: app/build.gradle|versionCode\s(\d+)||
  • Optionally a regex to extract the version name from the tag can be specified: app/build.gradle|versionCode\s(\d+)||Android-([\d.]+)
  • If no file for the version code was specified, code and name can be extracted from the tag: '|\+(\d+)||Android-([\d.]+)'
  • Note: Be sure to use single quotes around the entire value if you leave vercode-location empty: UpdateCheckData: '|\+(\d+)||Android-([\d.]+)'

Examples for UpdateCheckMode: HTTP:

  • https://foo/version.json|"version_code":.*"(.*)"|.|"version_name":.*\"(.*)\",
  • https://foo/version_fdroid.txt|versionCode=(.*)|.|versionName=(.*)


This determines the method used for auto-generating new builds when new releases are available - in other words, adding a new Build Version line to the metadata. This happens in conjunction with the UpdateCheckMode functionality - i.e. when an update is detected by that, it is also processed by this.

Valid modes are:

  • None - Auto-updating is disabled
  • Version - Auto-updating is enabled.

    If UpdateCheckMode is set to Tags, this should be set to Version without any pattern. The checked tag is used directly.

    If UpdateCheckMode is set to HTTP, a pattern should be added after the Version. The pattern is used to generate a value (tag name) used for the commit: property of new build blocks. It is simply text in which %v and %c are replaced with the required version name and version code respectively. The resulting string must match an existing tag in the app’s repo, which then will be used by F-Droid to build the corresponding version.

    For example, if an app always has a tag 2.7.2 corresponding to version 2.7.2, you would simply specify Version %v. If an app always has a tag ver_1234 for a version with version code 1234, you would specify Version ver_%c.

    Continuing the first example above, you would specify that as Version +-fdroid %v - -fdroid is the suffix F-Droid will then append to the versionName specified in e.g. build.gradle when building the APK.

    Additionally, a suffix can be added to the version name at this stage, to differentiate F-Droid’s build from the original. Continuing the first example above, you would specify that as Version +-fdroid %v - -fdroid is the suffix.

For apps with a list of VercodeOperation the number of builds is equal to the number of items in the list.


The name of the version that is the recommended release. There may be newer versions of the application than this (e.g. unstable versions), and there will almost certainly be older ones. This should be the one that is recommended for general use. In the event that there is no source code for the current version, or that Non-Free libraries are being used, this would ideally be the latest version that is still free, though it may still be expedient to retain the automatic update check — see No Source Since.

This field is normally automatically updated - see UpdateCheckMode.

This is converted to (<marketversion>) in the XML file (index.xml).


The version code corresponding to the CurrentVersion field. Both these fields must be correct and matching although it’s the current version code that’s used by Android to determine version order and by F-Droid client to determine which version should be recommended.

This field is normally automatically updated - see UpdateCheckMode.

If not set, clients will recommend the highest version they can, as if the CurrentVersionCode was infinite.

This is converted to (<marketvercode>) in the XML file (index.xml).


In case we are missing the source code for the CurrentVersion reported by Upstream, or that Non-Free elements have been introduced, this defines the first version that began to miss source code. Apps that are missing source code for just one or a few versions, but provide source code for newer ones are not to be considered here - this field is intended to illustrate which apps do not currently distribute source code, and since when have they been doing so.

Deprecated or Removed Fields


Comma-separated list of application IDs that this app provides. This field was only ever a stub and was never used for anything. It was never supported in index-v1.json nor .yml metadata files.

This is converted to (<provides>) in the XML file (index.xml).