Plugin management

5 minute readAutomation

A plugin is a collection of one or more features that can be added to CloudBees CD/RO. A plugin:

  • Can provide one or more new pages for the UI, including a configuration page used to provide additional information needed to implement the plugin.

  • Has an associated project that can contain procedures and properties required by the implementation.

  • Is delivered as a JAR file containing the feature implementation.

When a plugin is installed, the CloudBees CD/RO server extracts the JAR contents into a configurable plugins directory.

The CloudBees CD/RO installation includes numerous bundled plugins. These plugins are created and supported by CloudBees. You can also create your own plugin as described in Creating a plugin.

The complete CloudBees CD/RO plugin catalog is available:

  • From the CloudBees documentation site: Plugin catalog

  • In-product: from the main CloudBees CD/RO menu, select DevOps Essentials Plugin ManagementPlugins catalog

Accessing plugin management

Plugin management is available from CloudBees CD/RO.

  1. From the CloudBees navigation, select CloudBees CD/RO.

  2. From the main menu, select DevOps Essentials Plugin Management. The Plugin management page displays.

Navigating the user interface

Use plugin management to:

  • See a list of installed plugins along with their promotion status.

  • Perform a variety of operations on plugins in the list, such as demoting, configuring, and uninstalling them.

  • Install plugins from the plugin catalog.

  • Create, modify, and export custom plugins.

The plugin management main page displays the following tabs and options for viewing the list of plugins. Several filtering options exist to optimize your view.

TabDescription

Installed plugins

Displays the list of currently installed plugins. Plugins that you create or install from other sources also appear on this page. See The installed plugins list for further details about this tab.

From this tab you can install a plugin.

  1. Select the download button in the upper right corner of the panel.

  2. Enter the plugin’s location: an external web server (using https://) or a file on the CloudBees CD/RO server host (using file://).

  3. Select Install to download the plugin and install a plugin from the plugins catalog site. If this option is not available, you might not have the access control permissions to install a plugin.

The server has a configurable maximum file upload size that defaults to 50 MB. Use the server Maximum upload size setting to adjust the default.

Configurations

Lists plugins for which configurations exist at your site.

If you are migrating to CloudBees CD/RO v10.3 or later from a pre-v10.3 version, you must migrate all existing configurations. Refer to Migrating plugin configurations for details.

Plugins catalog

Displays the entire CloudBees CD/RO public-facing plugin catalog, or if so configured, a custom catalog with these filters:

  • All categories: Select a category from drop-down list to filter the plugin list.

  • Ready for upgrade: Check this box to view only those plugins ready for upgrade.

Refer to Managing the plugin catalog for information on creating a custom catalog.

The Plugins catalog tab is not present if the CloudBees CD/RO server lacks internet access. In this case, plugin management displays the following : Catalog not found : Catalog URL is https://downloads.cloudbees.com/cloudbees-cd/plugins/catalog.xml.

The installed plugins list

The plugins list provides an inventory of plugins currently installed on the CloudBees CD/RO server. Columns in the list of installed plugins provide a variety of details about each plugin.

Column nameDescription

Name

The name of the plugin. Select the label of an installed plugin to see the list of procedures included with that plugin.

Supported by

The person or organization who created the plugin.

Version

The plugin version.

Promoted

Indicates the plugin version is the latest.

Category

The category in which the plugin resides. Use the categories filter to refine the list.

Actions

List of plugin tasks. Not all plugins have the same list of tasks. For example, some plugins might perform their own setup during installation and therefore do not need more configuration performed here.

  • Help: Displays plugin catalog information.

  • Demote: Makes the plugin inactive and removes any tabs associated with it. If you reinstall a previously demoted plugin, previous values from the demoted version are not copied to the new version that you install.

  • Promote: Upgrades the plugin to a new version. Old plugin values are copied to the promoted version.

  • Configure: Opens the configuration page for the plugin. Not supported by all plugins.

  • Properties: opens the properties page for the plugin. Not supported by all plugins.

  • Access control: Opens the Access Control from where you can set access privileges for the plugin.

  • Change history: Displays change history for the plugin.

  • Uninstall: Removes the plugin from your system.

If the action that you need is not in the Actions column, you might not have sufficient modify privileges in the plugins access control for that action.

About plugin versions

Plugin management uses the plugin version for the currently installed plugin to determine whether to install or autopromote a new plugin version. The following table uses examples to demonstrate the rules for installation and autopromotion of a new plugin version:

Existing versionNew versionResultRule used

1.2.3.300 (promoted)

1.2.8.1234

1.2.8.1234 (promoted)

The newer plugin is installed and promoted regardless of the promotion status of the existing plugin.

1.2.3.300 (promoted)

1.3.4.1235

1.3.4.1235 installed. 1.2.3.300 remains promoted.

The newer plugin is installed but not promoted, because it is a minor-version upgrade.

1.2.3.300 (promoted)

1.2.2.124

1.2.2.124 not installed unless forced by the ectool --force argument or by checking the Disable Plugin Version Check check box in the Install from File/URL plugin management tab.

The newer plugin is not installed if the existing plugin is a newer version than the plugin being installed.

Upgrading plugins

Plugin upgrades can be done manually or through the CloudBees CD/RO upgrade process.

The plugin upgrade process has two steps:

  1. Plugin download

  2. Plugin promotion

The system uses the new version of the plugin when the promotion logic is executed.

Plugin ACLs and configurations are migrated to the promoted version, but if you had created customized modifications to these plugins, these changes may be lost in the upgrade. If you make coding or structural modifications to a packaged plugin, then renaming the plugin is recommended to prevent this overwrite or loss of modifications when upgrading.

Managing plugins from the command line

Use the ectool command line interface to install a plugin from the command line. The ectool CLI contains a full set of commands to perform plugin tasks. For more information on available ectool plugin commands, refer to Plugin Management.

Configuring the plugins directory

For instructions on configuring the plugins directory for your CloudBees CD/RO server, remote agents, or remote web servers, refer to the following topics: