Plugin Core

Minimal Plugin

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

__plugin_name__ = "Demo"
__author__ = "Mr.tao <>"
__version__ = "0.1.1"

def register():
    return {}

However, this plugin doesn’t make any sense, it just means a valid plugin content, whether it’s a local plugin or a third-party plugin, the core part is the same.

The mini plugin above, which starts and ends with __, is called metadata, which is the most important information for getting plugins.

The register function is used to return the extension point. Let’s explain it one by one.

Plugin Structure

The most minimal plugin needs to have at least it’s own directory. The directory must contain the file, otherwise it is not considered a plugin!

The core code of the plugin can be written in other modules of the package, then returned in using the register function, and this file contains the metadata required to register the plugin.

In, you can write your plugin code all in. Of course, the recommended way is to create a module with another name under the plugin package. Write your functions, class, variable, and so on, then import the module in and use register to return the extension point.

The project structure of a complete plugin web application is probably like this:

├── libs
│   └──
├── plugins
│   ├──
│   └── local_plugin_demo    # A local plugin
│       ├──
│       ├──
│       ├── license.txt
│       ├── readme.txt
│       ├── static
│       │   └── demo.css
│       ├── template
│       │   └── demo
│       │       └── demo.html
│       └──
├── requirements.txt
├── utils
│   └──
└── views


Below are all supported metadata configuration items, please note that the first three are required:

  • __plugin_name__

    Your plugin name is not strictly required to be consistent with the plugin directory name.

  • __author__

    Plugin Author

  • __version__

    Plugin Version, compliance with Semantic Version 2.0 Rules.

  • __description__

    What is the use of plugin description information.

  • __url__

    Plugin Homepage

  • __license__

    Plugin LICENSE

  • __license_file__

    The plugin LICENSE detail file. Your plugin directory should have a LICENSE file.

  • __readme_file__

    The plugin profile should have a README description file in your plugin directory.

  • __state__

    The plugin Status, enabled (default) or disabled.


This function is also required, it should be defined or imported in Flask-PluginKit will call this function when loading, return data is dict, contains various types of extension points, such as:

def register():
    return dict(

For the extension points returned, please see the following sections.

Enabling and Disabling Plugins

This extension, uses a different approach for handling plugins.

Anyway, local plugins (a subdirectory located in the application, such as plugins, is a package) or third-party plugins (which can be pypi or from git, svn, etc.), should be installed in the local environment.

Plugins are enabled by default, and there are two ways to enable or disable a plugin.

The first method is to set the metadata __state__ value to enabled or disabled.

The second method is to add the ENABLED or DISABLED file in the plugin’s root directory, without changing the source code. This can either be done by hand or with the method provided by disable_plugin() or enable_plugin().


The second method has a higher priority than the first one, and the DISABLED file has a higher priority than the ENABLED file.

The directory structure of a disabled plugin is shown below.

|-- DISABLED    # Just add a empty file named "DISABLED"


The server needs to be restarted or reloaded to disable the plugin. This is a limitation of Flask. However, it is possible, to restart the application by sending a HUP signal to the application server.

The following code snippets, are showing how this can be done with the WSGI server gunicorn. Gunicorn has be to started in daemon (--daemon) mode in order for this to work.

You can use the command to manually reload:

$ kill -HUP Your_APP_Gunicorn_master_pid

or direct restart (kill, then start).

In web applications, according to previous tests, it should use os.getppid() instead of os.getpid() to get the master pid of gunicorn, and send SIGHUP signal to master pid.

For security, the process name should be verified!

def reload():
    os.kill(os.getppid(), signal.SIGHUP)

This feature is implemented in v3.3.0, reference document Web Manager