Binary Plugins

Binary Plugins for the Jenkins X CLI

This guide shows you how to write plugins for the jx CLI. Plugins extend the jx CLI with new sub-commands allowing for new features not included in Jenkins X. jx plugins can be managed by Jenkins X meaning neither the plugin developer nor the plugin user has to worry about how to install the plugin onto the user’s computer.

You might want to write a plugin for the jx CLI if you developed some new functionality for Jenkins X and wanted to provide a way for the user to easily interact with it via the jx CLI rather than make them install a new CLI. This could be particularly useful inside a pipeline step.

Before you begin

You need to have a working jx binary installed, one newer than around v1.3.600. You need to have Go installed.

Writing Jenkins X CLI plugins

You can write a plugin in any programming language or script that allows you to write command-line commands.

There is no plugin installation or pre-loading required. Plugin executables receive the inherited environment from the jx binary.

Example plugin

Here is a simple plugin that simply outputs a log statement.

package main

import (

func main() {
	fmt.Println("Have some tasty brie.")

We strongly recommend using Go and the Cobra CLI framework. This allows you to easily build a well structured plugin with subcommands and argument handling.

We plan to build a quickstart and build pack that allows you to quickly create a new Cobra based plugin.

Using the plugin

  1. Build a binary
go build -o jx-brie brie.go
  1. Add it to your path
sudo mv ./jx-brie /usr/local/bin
  1. You can now use the plugin
$ jx brie
Have some tasty brie

Plugin Management

Whilst being able to run a plugin is useful you’ll normally want to make it available to everyone who uses your Jenkins X cluster.

Jenkins X provides binary plugin management via the plugin custom resource.


Distributing your plugin using Apps

Now that you’ve written your plugin you’ll want to distribute it.