There are currently two ways to develop plugins:

  1. Java plugin development: Develop Java code that is distributed within a Jar file.
  2. Script Plugin Development: Write shell/system scripts that implement your desired behavior and put them in a zip file with some metadata.
  3. Groovy Plugin Development: Write groovy scripts to implement Notification and Logging plugins.

Either way, the resultant plugin archive file, either a .jar java archive, or a .zip file archive, will be placed in the plugin directory (Launcher: $RDECK_BASE/libext, RPM,DEB: /var/lib/rundeck/libext).

Java Plugin Development

Java plugins are distributed as .jar files containing the necessary classes for one or more service provider, as well as any other java jar dependency files.

Each classname listed must be a valid "Provider Class" as defined below, and must have a @Plugin annotation to define it's service type and provider name.

The .jar file you distribute must have this metadata within the main Manifest for the jar file to be correctly loaded by the system:

  • Rundeck-Plugin-Version: 1.2
  • Rundeck-Plugin-Archive: true
  • Rundeck-Plugin-Classnames: classname,..
  • Rundeck-Plugin-Libs: lib/something.jar ... (optional)
  • Rundeck-Plugin-Author: Author name (optional)
  • Rundeck-Plugin-URL: Website URL (optional)
  • Rundeck-Plugin-Date: Publication date (optional) in ISO8601 format

Additionally, you should include a manifest entry to indicate the plugin file's version:

  • Rundeck-Plugin-File-Version: 1.x

This version number will be used to load only the newest plugin file, if more than one provider of the same name and type is defined.

Plugin Version

Rundeck-Plugin-Version indicates the plugin mechanism version

Build dependencies

Rundeck's core jar is published to the central Maven repository, so you can simply specify a dependency in your build file.

For gradle, use:

compile(group:'org.rundeck', name: 'rundeck-core', version: '2.7.3')

For maven use:

  • Rundeck's core jar is published to the central Maven repository, so you can now declare a build dependency more easily.

If your Java classes require external libraries that are not included with the Rundeck runtime, you can include them in your .jar archive. (Look in $RDECK_BASE/tools/lib to see the set of third-party jars that are available for your classes by default at runtime).

Specify the Rundeck-Plugin-Libs attribute in the Main attributes of the Manifest for the jar, set the value to a space-separated list of jar file names as you have included them in the jar.


Rundeck-Plugin-Libs: lib/somejar-1.2.jar lib/anotherjar-1.3.jar

Then include the jar files in the Plugin's jar contents:


Available Services

The Rundeck core makes use of several different "Services" that provide functionality for executing steps, getting information about Nodes or sending notifications.

Plugins can contain one or more Service Provider implementations. Each plugin file could contain multiple Providers for different types of services, however typically each plugin file would contain only providers related in some fashion.

Node Execution services:

  • NodeExecutor - executes a command on a node javadoc.
  • FileCopier - copies a file to a node javadoc.

Resource model services:

  • ResourceModelSource - produces a set of Node definitions for a project javadoc.
  • ResourceFormatParser - parses a document into a set of Node resources javadoc.
  • ResourceFormatGenerator - generates a document from a set of Node resources javadoc.

Workflow Step services (described in Workflow Step Plugin):

  • WorkflowStep - runs a single step in a workflow.
  • WorkflowNodeStep - runs a single step for each node in a workflow.
  • RemoteScriptNodeStep - generates a script or command to execute remotely for each node in a workflow.

Notification services (described in Notification Plugin):

  • Notification - performs an action after a Job state trigger.

Storage services:

Logging services:


Provider Classes

A "Provider Class" is a java class that implements a particular interface and declares itself as a provider for a particular Rundeck "Service".

Each plugin also defines a "Name" that identifies it for use in Rundeck. The Name of a plugin is also referred to as a "Provider Name", as the plugin class is a provider of a particular service.

You should choose a unique but simple name for your provider.

Each plugin class must have the Plugin annotation applied to it.

@Plugin(name="myprovider", service="NodeExecutor")
public class MyProvider implements NodeExecutor {

Your provider class must have at least a zero-argument constructor, and optionally can have a single-argument constructor with a com.dtolabs.rundeck.core.common.Framework parameter, in which case your class will be constructed with this constructor and passed the Framework instance.

You may log messages to the ExecutionListener available via ExecutionContext#getExecutionListener() method.

You can also send output to System.err and System.out and it will be captured as output of the execution.

Provider Lifecycle

Provider classes are instantiated when needed by the Framework object, and the instance is retained within the Service for future reuse. The Framework object may exist across multiple executions, and the provider instance may be reused.

Provider instances may also be used by multiple threads.

Your provider class should not use any instance fields and should be careful not to use un-threadsafe operations.

Plugin failure results

Some plugin methods return a "Result" interface which indicates the result status of the call to the plugin class. If there is an error, some plugins allow an Exception to be thrown or for the error to be included in the Result class. In both cases, there is a "FailureReason" that must be specified.
See the javadoc: FailureReason.

This can be any implementation of the FailureReason interface, and this object's toString() method will be used to return the reason value (for example, it is passed to Error Handler steps in a Workflow as the "result.reason" string). The mechanism used internally is to provide an Enum implementation of the FailureReason interface, and to enumerate the possible reasons for failure within the enum.

You are encouraged to re-use existing FailureReasons as much as possible as they provide some basic failure causes. Existing classes:

Plugin Descriptions

To define a plugin that presents custom GUI configuration properties and/or uses Project/Framework level configuration, you need to provide a Description of your plugin. The Description defines metadata about the plugin, such as the display name and descriptive text, as well as the list of all configuration Properties that it supports.

There are several ways to declare your plugin's Description:

Collaborator interface

Implement the DescriptionBuilder.Collaborator interface in your plugin class, and it will be given an opportunity to perform actions on the Builder object before it finally constructs a Description.

Describable interface

If you want to build the Description object yourself, you can do so by implementing the Describable interface. Return a Description instance. You can construct one by using the DescriptionBuilder builder class.

Description Annotations

Newer plugin types support using java annotations to create a Description object. See Plugin Annotations.

Description Properties

Within a Description object you can define a set of Property objects, which represent the input properties for the plugin.

Some plugin types support using Java Annotations to define properties, see Plugin Annotations.

For the remaining plugin types, the Properties must be defined using the other interfaces described above, typically with the use of a PropertyBuilder.

Rendering Options

You can specify "rendering options" to affect the property being rendered in the Rundeck GUI. These affect Property type String only:

  • Textarea: renders the input as a multi-line text area.
  • Password: renders the input as a password input.

For more information see the options under Property Rendering options.

A set of constants for the supported rendering option keys and some values are provided in the StringRenderingConstants.

Internationalization/Localization for Jar files

Since Rundeck 2.6.10, Plugins support Internationalization ("i18n") using Java properties files.

Include a resources/i18n directory in your jar file, with localized versions of your Plugin messages.

See Plugin Localization.

Script Plugin Development

Script plugins can provide the same services as Java plugins, but they do so with a script that is invoked in an external system processes by the JVM.

These Services support Script Plugins:

Note, the ResourceFormatParser and ResourceFormatGenerator services do not support the Script Plugin type.

Script plugin zip structure

You must create a zip file with the following structure:

\- [name]-plugin/ -- root directory of zip contents, same name as zip file
   |- plugin.yaml -- plugin metadata file
   \- contents/
      |- ...      -- script or resource files
      \- ...

Here is an example:

$ unzip -l 
  Length     Date   Time    Name
 --------    ----   ----    ----
        0  04-12-11 11:31   example-1.0-plugin/
        0  04-11-11 15:31   example-1.0-plugin/contents/
     2142  04-11-11 15:31   example-1.0-plugin/contents/
     1591  04-11-11 13:10   example-1.0-plugin/contents/
      576  04-12-11 10:58   example-1.0-plugin/plugin.yaml
 --------                   -------
     4309                   5 files

The filename of the plugin zip must end with "" to be recognized as a plugin archive. The zip must contain a top-level directory with the same base name as the zip file (sans ".zip").

The file plugin.yaml must have this structure:

# yaml plugin metadata
name: plugin name
version: plugin version
rundeckPluginVersion: 1.2
author: author name
date: release date (ISO8601)
url: website URL
    - name: provider
      service: service name
      plugin-type: script
      script-interpreter: [interpreter]
      script-file: [script file name]
      script-args: [script file args]

The main metadata that is required:

  • name - name for the plugin
  • version - version number of the plugin
  • rundeckPluginVersion - Rundeck Plugin type version, currently "1.2"
  • providers - list of provider metadata maps

These are optional:

  • author - optional author info
  • date - optional release date info in ISO8601 format
  • url - optional website URL

This provides the necessary metadata about the plugin, including one or more entries in the providers list to declare those providers defined in the plugin.

Plugin version changes

The value of rundeckPluginVersion defines some features of the loaded plugin.

  • 1.2
  • 1.1
    • uses a default of true for mergeEnvironment (see below)
  • 1.0 first release
    • uses a default of false for mergeEnvironment (see below)

Provider metadata

Required provider entries:

  • name - provider name
  • service - service name, one of these valid services:
    • NodeExecutor
    • FileCopier
    • ResourceModelSource
    • WorkflowNodeStep
    • RemoteScriptNodeStep
  • plugin-type - must be "script" currently.
  • script-file - must be the name of a file relative to the contents directory

For ResourceModelSource service, this additional entry is required:

Optional entries:

  • script-interpreter - A system command that should be used to execute the script. This can be a single binary path, e.g. /bin/bash, or include any args to the command, such as /bin/bash -c.
  • script-args - the arguments to use when executing the script file.
  • interpreter-args-quoted - true/false - (default false). If true, the execution will be done by passing the file and args as a single argument to the interpreter: ${interpreter} "${file} ${arg1} ${arg2}...". If false, the execution will be done by passing the file and args as separate arguments: ${interpreter} ${file} ${arg1} ${arg2}...

  • use-original-extension: (true/false, default true), whether to force the remotely copied script to have the same file extension as the original specified by script-file. (Available for RemoteScriptNodeStep only.)
  • script-file-extension: A file extension to use for the remotely copied script. (Available for RemoteScriptNodeStep only.)
  • mergeEnvironment - boolean, if true (default for rundeckPluginVersion: 1.1+), when the script is executed the Environment variables from the Rundeck server will be merged with the context environment variables provided to the script. If false (default for rundeckPluginVersion: 1.0), then only the context environment variables will be provided.
  • config - a Map defining custom plugin properties (see below.)

Plugin properties

Custom plugin properties are supported in script-based plugins for these plugin types:

  • ResourceModelSource
  • NodeExecutor
  • FileCopier
  • WorkflowNodeStep
  • RemoteScriptNodeStep

You can use the metadata entries to declare properties about your plugin.

Create a config entry in each provider definition, containing a sequence of map entries for each configuration property you want to define. In the map entry include:

  • type - The type of property. Must be one of:
    • String
    • Boolean value must be "true" or "false"
    • Integer
    • Long
    • Select must be on of a set of values
    • FreeSelect may be one of a set of values
  • name - Name to identify the property
  • title - Title to display in the GUI (optional)
  • description - Description to display in the GUI (optional)
  • required - (true/false) if true, require a non-empty value (optional)
  • default - A default value to use (optional)
  • values - A comma-separated list of values to use for Select or FreeSelect. Required for Select/FreeSelect.
  • scope - Resolution scope for the property. Default: "Instance".
  • renderingOptions - A Map containing a definition of rendering option keys/values. (See Property Rendering Options below.)

When your script is invoked, each configuration property defined for the plugin will be set as RD_CONFIG_[PROPERTY] variables passed to your script (see below). "PROPERTY" refers to your plugin property name in uppercase. A plugin property named "foo" will translate to the shell variable RD_CONFIG_FOO.

See Property Scopes below.

Example script plugin property

Here is an example:

# yaml plugin metadata
name: plugin name
version: plugin version
rundeckPluginVersion: 1.0
author: author name
date: release date
    - name: provider
      service: service name
      plugin-type: script
      script-interpreter: [interpreter]
      script-file: [script file name]
      script-args: [script file args]
        - name: myprop
          title: My Property
          type: String
          required: false
          description: "A custom property"
          scope: Instance
            instance-scope-node-attribute: "my-prop"
        - name: myprop2
          title: Another Property
          type: Integer
          required: true
          description: "Must be present"
          default: '123'
          scope: Framework

How script plugin providers are invoked

When the provider is used for node execution or file copying, the script file, interpreter, and args are combined into a commandline executed by the system in this pattern:

[interpreter] [filename] [args...]

If the interpreter is not specified, then the script file is executed directly, and that means it must be acceptable by the system to be executed directly (include any necessary #! line, etc).

script-args can contain data-context properties such as ${}. Additionally, the specific Service will provide some additional context properties that can be used:

  • NodeExecutor will define ${exec.command} containing the command to be executed
  • FileCopier will define ${file-copy.file} containing the local path to the file that needs to be copied, and ${file-copy.destination} containing the remote destination path that is requested, if available.
  • ResourceModelSource will define ${config.KEY} for each configuration property KEY that is defined.

All script-plugins will also be provided with these context entries:

  • rundeck.base - base directory of the Rundeck installation
  • rundeck.project - project name
  • plugin.base - base directory of the expanded 'contents' dir of the plugin
  • plugin.file - the plugin file itself
  • plugin.scriptfile - the path to the script file being executed for the plugin
  • plugin.vardir - var dir the plugin can use for caching data, local to the project
  • plugin.tmpdir - temp dir the plugin can use

In addition, all of the data-context properties that are available in the script-args are provided as environment variables to the script or interpreter when it is executed.

Environment variables are generated in all-caps with this format:


The KEY and NAME are the same as ${}. Any characters in the key or name that are not valid Bash shell variable characters are replaced with underscore '_'.


  • ${} becomes $RD_NODE_NAME
  • ${node.some-attribute} becomes $RD_NODE_SOME_ATTRIBUTE
  • ${exec.command} becomes $RD_EXEC_COMMAND
  • ${file-copy.file} becomes $RD_FILE_COPY_FILE

Script provider requirements

The specific service has expectations about the way your provider script behaves.

Exit code

  • Exit code of 0 indicates success
  • Any other exit code indicates failure


For NodeExecutor

All output to STDOUT/STDERR will be captured for the job's output.

For FileCopier

The first line of output of STDOUT MUST be the filepath of the file copied to the target node. Other output is ignored. All output to STDERR will be captured for the job's output.

For ResourceModelSource

All output on STDOUT will be captured and passed to a ResourceFormatParser for the specified resource-format to create the Node definitions.

Internationalization/Localization for Zip files

Since Rundeck 2.6.10, Plugins support Internationalization ("i18n") using Java properties files.

Include a resources/i18n directory in your zip file, with localized versions of your Plugin messages.

See Plugin Localization.

Property scopes

The scope determines how the value of the property is resolved.

These are the available scopes and how the property values can be resolved:

  • Framework - Only framework properties
  • ProjectOnly - Only Project properties
  • Project - Project and Framework properties
  • InstanceOnly - Only instance properties
  • Instance - Instance and all earlier levels

When resolving a property in a Project or Framework scope, the following properties will be searched:

  • Framework scope
    • file: $RDECK_BASE/etc/
    • property: framework.plugin.[ServiceName].[providerName].[propertyname]
  • Project scope
    • file: $RDECK_BASE/projects/[ProjectName]/etc/
    • property: project.plugin.[ServiceName].[providerName].[propertyname]

Instance scope refers to the configuration for a plugin "instance". For different plugin types, due to the differences between how they are configured, this scope is resolved in different ways.

For ResourceModelSource:

Resolved for each indexed source via the configuration in the file.

For NodeExecutor, and FileCopier:

Custom properties are only supported in Script-based plugins. The instance scoped-property values are only loaded via Node attributes at execution time, based on the mapping provided in the renderingOptions. See Node services instance scope.

For Workflow Step services:

Resolved from the step configuration defined in the workflow.

For Notification:

Resolved from the notification trigger configuration defined in the workflow.

Node services instance scope

For script-based NodeExecutor and FileCopier plugins, Instance-scope properties can be defined to retrieve values from the Node's attributes at execution time.

Define the renderingOptions property entry, and add a instance-scope-node-attribute key:

        - name: myprop
          title: My Property
          type: String
          required: false
          description: "A custom property"
          scope: Instance
            instance-scope-node-attribute: "my-prop"

When resolving the property value at execution time the node attribute "my-prop" will be used for the value (if present), before resolving other allowed scopes.

Property Rendering Options

Rendering options define special attributes of a property, which can be used to declare how it is shown in the GUI, or how the value is loaded at resolution time.

Available rendering option keys:

  • displayType, values:
    • SINGLE_LINE - display input as a single text field.
    • MULTI_LINE - display input as a multi-line text area.
    • CODE - display input as a multi-line text area with syntax highlighting
    • PASSWORD - display input as a password field
    • STATIC_TEXT - display static text without an input field, using the default value as the text
  • instance-scope-node-attribute
    • Value is the name of a Node attribute to use for instance-scoped properties for Node Services plugins NodeExecutor and FileCopier only.
  • selectionAccessor, values:
    • STORAGE_PATH - display an additional input to select a Storage Path string from Rundeck's Key Storage Facility.
  • storage-path-root
    • Value is a Storage Path indicating the root to use if the selectionAccessor is STORAGE_PATH.
  • storage-file-meta-filter
    • Value is a Storage metadata filter string, indicating the types of Storage Files to select from if selectionAccessor is STORAGE_PATH. Filt string format: metadatakey=value, e.g. Rundeck-key-type=private.
  • valueConversion defines a way to convert a the value of the resolved property. Allowed values:
    • STORAGE_PATH_AUTOMATIC_READ - automatically loads the storage contents from the given Storage Path, replacing the path with the loaded file contents as a String. E.g. can be used to load a Password file contents.
    • PRIVATE_DATA_CONTEXT - automatically read a value from the Private data context, which contains Secure Authentication Job Option values. E.g. With this conversion enabled, a config value of "option.mypassword" would be replaced with the value of a secure authentication job option named "mypassword".
  • valueConversionFailure can be used to indicate that if the Private data context, or Storage path data is not present, then the config data key should be removed. Allowed values:
    • remove - remove the original config property value if the conversion is not successful
  • staticTextContentType if displayType is STATIC_TEXT, the content type for the defaultValue text. values:
    • text/html render as sanitized HTML
    • text/x-markdown convert markdown text to sanitized HTML
    • any other value or if not specified: render text directly
  • groupName specifies a group that the input field belongs to. If not specified the field will be in the primary, unnamed group. If specified, all fields with the same groupName value will be displayed in a common area under the group name.
  • grouping allowed value: secondary, indicates that the specified groupName should be shown in a collapsed state if no input values in that group have been set. If no groupName is set, then the field will be displayed under a group with a heading of "More".
  • codeSyntaxMode - if displayType is CODE, name of a ACE editor mode supported by Rundeck. One of: batchfile, diff, dockerfile, golang, groovy, html, java, javscript, json, markdown, perl, php, powershell, properties, python, ruby, sh, sql, xml, yaml.
  • codeSyntaxSelectable - if displayType is CODE, true/false: if true, show a select box for choosing from the available syntax highlighting modes.

Plugin Localization

Since Rundeck Plugin Version 1.2 (Rundeck 2.6.10), Plugins support Internationalization ("i18n") using Java properties files.

Specify rundeckPluginVersion: 1.2 in your plugin.yaml (script plugins) or Rundeck-Plugin-Version: 1.2 in your jar Manifest (jar plugins) to enable Localization support.

Include a resources/i18n directory in your jar/zip file, with localized versions of your Plugin messages.

Resolving Localization Message Files

The mechanism for looking up the appropriate localization messages file is similar to the Spring Java library mechanism.

  • resources/i18n/ The default messages for the plugin provider(s). This file will be loaded if no other more specific messages file is found.

When loading messages for a locale/language, this search order will be used,:

  1. resources/i18n/ for requested Locale
  2. resources/i18n/ for requested Locale
  3. resources/i18n/ for Default Locale for the JVM
  4. resources/i18n/ for Default Locale for the JVM
  5. resources/i18n/ as fallback

In addition, specific messages files can be created for each Provider defined in your plugin file.

  1. resources/i18n/ for requested Plugin Service and Provider names.
  2. resources/i18n/ for requested Provider name.
  3. resources/i18n/ for requested Service name.
  4. resources/i18n/ as fallback

If you have multiple Providers in your plugin file, can use separate messages files for each provider.

You can combine the Locale and Service/Provider:

  • resources/i18n/

Here is an example:


Defining Plugin Localization Messages

When displaying a plugin in the GUI, Rundeck will look for localized versions of text for the plugin, using the localization messages if they are found. If they are not found, it will use the text versions defined in the Plugin Description (Java annotations or plugin.yaml file).

The file is a Java Properties Format in UTF-8 encoding.

The following message Codes will be used:

  • plugin.title Plugin Title
  • plugin.description Plugin Description
  • property.NAME.title Title for configuration property named "NAME"
  • property.NAME.description Description for configuration property named "NAME"

(Note: SCM Plugins have additional message codes. See: SCM Plugins - Localization).

Additionally, if a property has a Property Rendering Option marking it as STATIC_TEXT normally the defaultValue of the property is used to render it as text or HTML. This value can be localized as well:

  • plugin.NAME.defaultValue Static text/html for a STATIC_TEXT property named "NAME"

The message code will be resolved using the following search pattern using the Service and Provider names:

  4. CODE

Where CODE is one of the messages codes mentioned above.

So for example you could define the titles of two different providers using this file:

provider1.plugin.title=My Provider 1
provider2.plugin.title=My Provider 2

Plugin Icons

Since Rundeck Plugin Version 1.2 (Rundeck 2.6.10), Custom Icons can now be defined for your plugin.

Specify rundeckPluginVersion: 1.2 in your plugin.yaml (script plugins) or Rundeck-Plugin-Version: 1.2 in your jar Manifest (jar plugins) to enable custom icon support.

Include a resources/ directory in your jar/zip file with your icon file. The icon is resolved by looking for a file in the resources directory using the following search pattern:

  1. resources/SERVICE.PROVIDER.icon.png
  2. resources/PROVIDER.icon.png
  3. resources/SERVICE.icon.png
  4. resources/icon.png

You can define a custom icon for each Provider in your plugin file, or a single icon for all providers.