JFrog CLI Plugins Developer Guide


JFrog CLI Plugins allow enhancing the functionality of JFrog CLI to meet the specific user and organization needs. The source code of a plugin is maintained as an open source Go project on GitHub. All public plugins are registered in JFrog CLI's Plugins Registry. We encourage you, as developers, to create plugins and share them publicly with the rest of the community. When a plugin is included in the registry, it becomes publicly available and can be installed using JFrog CLI. Version 1.41.1 or above is required. Plugins can be installed using the following JFrog CLI command:
$ jf plugin install the-plugin-name
This article guides you through the process of creating and publishing your own JFrog CLI Plugin.

Creating your first plugin

Prepare your development machine

  • Make sure Go 1.17 or above is installed on your local machine and is included in your system PATH.
  • Make sure git is installed on your local machine and is included in your system PATH.

Build and run your first plugin

  1. 2.
    Press the Use this template button to create a new repository. You may name it as you like.
  2. 3.
    Clone your new repository to your local machine. For example:
$ git clone https://github.com/jfrog/jfrog-cli-plugin-template.git
  1. 4.
    Run the following commands, to build and run the template plugin.
$ cd jfrog-cli-plugin-template
$ go build -o hello-frog
$ ./hello-frog --help
$ ./hello-frog hello --help
$ ./hello-frog hello Yey!
  1. 5.
    Open the plugin code with your favorite IDE and start having fun.

What can plugins do?

Well, plugins can do almost anything. The sky is the limit.
  1. 1.
    You have access to most of the JFrog CLI code base. This is because your plugin code depends on the https://github.com/jfrog/jfrog-cli-core module. It is a dependency declared in your project's go.mod file. Feel free to explore the jfrog-cli-core code base, and use it as part of your plugin.
  2. 2.
    You can also add other Go packages to your go.mod and use them in your code.
  3. 3.
    You can package any external resources, such as executables or configuration files, and have them published alongside your plugin. Read more about this here

Including plugins in the official registry


To make a new plugin available for anyone to use, you need to register the plugin in the JFrog CLI Plugins Registry. The registry is hosted in https://github.com/jfrog/jfrog-cli-plugins-reg. The registry includes a descriptor file in YAML format for each registered plugin, inside the plugins directory. To include your plugin in the registry, create a pull request to add the plugin descriptor file for your plugin according to this file name format: your-plugin-name.yml.

Guidelines for developing and publishing plugins

To publish your plugin, you need to include it in JFrog CLI's Plugins Registry. Please make sure your plugin meets the following guidelines before publishing it.
  • Read the Developer Terms document. You'll be asked to accept it before your plugin becomes available.
  • Code structure. Make sure the plugin code is structured similarly to the jfrog-cli-plugin-template. Specifically, it should include a commands package, and a separate file for each command.
  • Tests. The plugin code should include a series of thorough tests. Use the jfrog-cli-plugin-template as a reference on how the tests should be included as part of the source code. The tests should be executed using the following Go command while inside the root directory of the plugin project. Note: The Registry verifies the plugin and tries to run your plugin tests using the following command. go vet -v ./... && go test -v ./...
  • Code formatting. To make sure the code formatted properly, run the following go command on your plugin sources, while inside the root of your project directory. go fmt ./...
  • Plugin name. The plugin name should include only lower-case characters, numbers and dashes. The name length should not exceed 30 characters. It is recommended to use a short name for the users' convenience, but also make sure that its name hints on its functionality.
  • Create a Readme. Make sure that your plugin code includes a README.md file and place it in the root of the repository. The README needs to be structured according to the jfrog-cli-plugin-template README. It needs to include all the information and relevant details for the relevant plugin users..
  • Consider create a tag for your plugin sources. Although this is not mandatory, we recommend creating a tag for your GitHub repository before publishing the plugin. You can then provide this tag to the Registry when publishing the plugin, to make sure the correct code is built.
  • Plugin version. Make sure that your built plugin has the correct version. The version is declared as part of the plugin sources. To check your plugin version, run the plugin executable with the -v option. For example: ./my-plugin -v. The plugin version should have a v prefix. For example v1.0.0 and it should follow the semantic versioning guidelines.

Important notes

  • Please make sure that the extension of your plugin descriptor file is yml and not yaml.
  • Please make sure your pull request includes only one or more plugin descriptors. Please do not add, edit or remove other files.

YAML format example

# Mandatory:
pluginName: hello-frog
version: v1.0.0
repository: https://github.com/my-org/my-amazing-plugin
- github-username1
- github-username2
# Optional:
relativePath: build-info-analyzer
# You may set either branch or tag, but noth both
branch: my-release-branch
tag: my-release-tag
  • pluginName - The name of the plugin. This name should match the plugin name set in the plugin's code.
  • version - The version of the plugin. This version should have a v prefix and match the version set in the plugin's code.
  • repository - The plugin's code GitHub repository URL.
  • maintainers - The GitHub usernames of the plugin maintainers.
  • relativePath - If the plugin's go.mod file is not located at the root of the GitHub repository, set the relative path to this file. This path should not include the go.mod file.
  • branch - Optionally set an existing branch in your plugin's GitHub repository.
  • tag - Optionally set an existing tag in your plugin's GitHub repository.

Publishing a new version of a published plugin

To publish a new version of your plugin, all you need to do is create a pull request, which updates the version inside your plugin descriptor file. If needed, your change can also include either the branch or tag.

Setting up a private plugins registry

In addition to the public official JFrog CLI Plugins Registry, JFrog CLI supports publishing and installing plugins to and from private JFrog CLI Plugins Registries. A private registry can be hosted on any Artifactory server. It uses a local generic Artifactory repository for storing the plugins.
To create your own private plugins registry, follow these steps.
  • On your Artifactory server, create a local generic repository named jfrog-cli-plugins.
  • Make sure your Artifactory server is included in JFrog CLI's configuration, by running the jf c show command.
  • If needed, configure your Artifactory instance using the jf c add command.
  • Set the ID of the configured server as the value of the JFROG_CLI_PLUGINS_SERVER environment variable.
  • If you wish the name of the plugins repository to be different from jfrog-cli-plugins, set this name as the value of the JFROG_CLI_PLUGINS_REPO environment variable.
  • The jf plugin install command will now install plugins stored in your private registry.
To publish a plugin to the private registry, run the following command, while inside the root of the plugin's sources directory. This command will build the sources of the plugin for all the supported operating systems. All binaries will be uploaded to the configured registry.
jf plugin publish the-plugin-name the-plugin-version

Testing your plugin before publishing it

When installing a plugin using the jf plugin install command, the plugin is downloaded into its own directory under the plugins directory, which is located under the JFrog CLI home directory. By default, you can find the plugins directory under ~/.jfrog/plugins/. So if for example you are developing a plugin named my-plugin, and you'd like to test it with JFrog CLI before publishing it, you'll need to place your plugin's executable, named my-plugin, under the following path -
If your plugin also uses external resources, you should place the resources under the following path -
Once the plugin's executable is there, you'll be able to see it is installed by just running jf.

Having your plugin use external resources


In some cases your plugin may need to use external resources. For example, the plugin code may need to run an executable or read from a configuration file. You would therefore want these resources to be packaged together with the plugin, so that when it is installed, these resources are also downloaded and become available for the plugin.

How can you add resources to your plugin?

The way to include resources for your plugin, is to simply place them inside a directory named resources at the root of the plugin's sources directory. You can create any directory structure inside resources. When publishing the plugin, the content of the resources directory is published alongside the plugin executable. When installing the plugin, the resources are also downloaded.

How can your plugin code access the resources?

When installing a plugin, the plugin's resources are downloaded the following directory under the JFrog CLI home -
This means that during development, you'll need to make sure the resources are placed there, so that your plugin code can access them. Here's how your plugin code can access the resources directory -
import (
dir, err := coreutils.GetJfrogPluginsResourcesDir("my-plugin-name")
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