Using plugins

What is a plugin?

A plugin is an external component for Bazaar that is typically made by third parties. A plugin is capable of augmenting Bazaar by adding new functionality. A plugin can also change current Bazaar behavior by replacing current functionality. Sample applications of plugins are:

  • overriding commands
  • adding new commands
  • providing additional network transports
  • customizing log output.

The sky is the limit for the customization that can be done through plugins. In fact, plugins often work as a way for developers to test new features for Bazaar prior to inclusion in the official codebase. Plugins are helpful at feature retirement time as well, e.g. deprecated file formats may one day be removed from the Bazaar core and be made available as a plugin instead.

Plugins are good for users, good for external developers and good for Bazaar itself.

Where to find plugins

We keep our list of plugins on the http://bazaar-vcs.org/BzrPlugins page.

How to install a plugin

Installing a plugin is very easy! If not already created, create a plugins directory under your Bazaar configuration directory, ~/.bazaar/ on Linux and C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Bazaar\2.0\ on Windows. Within this directory (referred to as $BZR_HOME below), each plugin is placed in its own subdirectory.

Plugins work particularly well with Bazaar branches. For example, to install the bzrtools plugins for your main user account on Linux, one can perform the following:

bzr branch http://panoramicfeedback.com/opensource/bzr/bzrtools
~/.bazaar/plugins/bzrtools

When installing plugins, the directories that you install them in must be valid python identifiers. This means that they can only contain certain characters, notably they cannot contain hyphens (-). Rather than installing bzr-gtk to $BZR_HOME/plugins/bzr-gtk, install it to $BZR_HOME/plugins/gtk.

Alternative plugin locations

If you have the necessary permissions, plugins can also be installed on a system-wide basis. Two locations are currently checked for plugins:

  1. the system location - bzrlib/plugins
  2. the personal location - $BZR_HOME/plugins.

On a Linux installation, these locations are typically /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/bzrlib/plugins/ and $HOME/.bazaar/plugins/. On a Windows installation, the system location might be C:\\Program Files\\Bazaar\\plugins while the personal location might be C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Bazaar\2.0\plugins.

One can additionally override the personal plugins location by setting the environment variable BZR_PLUGIN_PATH to a directory that contains plugins.

Listing the installed plugins

To do this, use the plugins command like this:

bzr plugins

The name, location and version of each plugin installed will be displayed.

New commands added by plugins can be seen by running bzr help commands. The commands provided by a plugin are shown followed by the name of the plugin in brackets.

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