Plugins are pieces of Python code that tell Snapcraft how to build the content of a snap’s parts. There are a variety of plugins already included with snapcraft. You can find the current list from
$ snapcraft list-plugins, and you should find plugins covering Python 2 and 3, Go, Java, cmake- and autotools-based projects, and more. These supplied plugins will usually be adequate for building most snaps.
See the Plugins reference for the full list of implemented ones.
Snapcraft plugins implement a lifecycle over the following steps:
pull: retrieve the source for the part from the specified location
build: drive the build system determined by the choice of plugin
stage: consolidate desireable files from all the parts in one tree
prime: distill down to only the files which will go into the snap
snap: compress the prime tree into the installable snap file
These steps correspond to snapcraft commands. So when you initiate a
snapcraft pull you will invoke the respective plugin for each part in the snap, in sequence, to handle the source pull. Each part will then have a fully populated
parts/<part-name/>/src/ directory. Similarly, if you then say
snapcraft build you will invoke the plugin responsible for each part in turn, to build the part.
Adding custom plugins
Snapcraft also allows you to add your own plugins written in Python.
To illustrate how a plugin is created, let’s consider adding support for a custom build-tool named “Crafty”. The goal of this plugin is to pass a configurable target to the
crafty sometarget command inside the
src/crafty source directory.
Relative to the directory of
options: source: required: true source-type: source-tag: source-branch: crafty-target: required: true
import snapcraft class XCraftyPlugin(snapcraft.BasePlugin): def build(self): return self.run([‘crafty’, self.options.crafty_target]) def pull(self): return self.handle_source_options()
Note that to avoid collisions with official part plugins, the names are prefixed with “x”:
This part plugin is then used in
parts: crafted-bits: plugin: x-crafty source: src/crafty crafty-target: sometarget
New part plugins are placed in the snap’s source directory along
snapcraft.yaml as they mature, then submitted as patches to the Snapcraft project for everyone to use.
If you would like to explore plugins further, here are a couple of plugin examples and basic building details:
autotools, make: the standard “configure, make, make install” plugins
Get more info from:
$ snapcraft help autotools $ snapcraft help make
go: the Golang plugin
Get more info from:
$ snapcraft help go