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Version: 1.3

Plugin development


If you develop plugins, please join the Plugin developer announcement chat channel.

Hydra plugins must be registered before they can be used. There are two ways to register a plugin:

  • via the automatic plugin discovery process, which discovers plugins located in the hydra_plugins namespace package
  • by calling the register method on Hydra's Plugins singleton class

Automatic Plugin discovery process​

If you create a Plugin and want it to be discovered automatically by Hydra, keep the following things in mind:

  • Hydra plugins can be either a standalone Python package, or a part of your existing Python package. In both cases - They should be in the namespace module hydra_plugins (This is a top level module, Your plugin will NOT be discovered if you place it in mylib.hydra_plugins).
  • Do NOT place an file in hydra_plugins (doing so may break other installed Hydra plugins).

The plugin discovery process runs whenever Hydra starts. During plugin discovery, Hydra scans for plugins in all the submodules of hydra_plugins. Hydra will import each module and look for plugins defined in that module. Any module under hydra_plugins that is slow to import will slow down the startup of ALL Hydra applications. Plugins with expensive imports can exclude individual files from Hydra's plugin discovery process by prefixing them with _ (but not __). For example, the file would not be imported and scanned, while would be.

Plugin registration via the Plugins.register method​

Plugins can be manually registered by calling the register method on the instance of Hydra's Plugins singleton class.

from hydra.core.plugins import Plugins
from hydra.plugins.plugin import Plugin

class MyPlugin(Plugin):

def register_my_plugin() -> None:
"""Hydra users should call this function before invoking @hydra.main"""

Getting started​

The best way to get started developing a Hydra plugin is to base your new plugin on one of the example plugins:

  • Copy the subtree of the relevant example plugin into a standalone project.
  • Edit, rename the plugin module, for example from hydra_plugins.example_xyz_plugin to hydra_plugins.my_xyz_plugin.
  • Install the new plugin (Run this in the plugin directory: pip install -e .)
  • Run the included example app and make sure that the plugin is discovered:
$ python example/ --info plugins
Installed Hydra Plugins
  • Run the example application to see that that your plugin is doing something.
  • [Optional] If you want the plugin be embedded in your existing application/library, move the hydra_plugins directory and make sure that it's included as a namespace module in your final Python package. See the file included with the example plugin for hints (typically this involves using find_namespace_packages(include=["hydra_plugins.*"])).
  • Hack on your plugin, Ensure that the recommended tests and any tests you want to add are passing.