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Installing a Plugin

Plugins can either be loaded from paths in the InvenTree install directory or as a plugin installed via pip. We recommend installation via pip as this enables hassle-free upgrades.

Common Issues

Installing plugins can be complex! Some common issues are outlined below:

Enable Plugin Support

To enable custom plugins, plugin support must be activated in the server configuration. This step must be performed by a system administrator before the InvenTree server is started.

Restart Server

Plugins are discovered and loaded only when the server is started. When new plugins are installed (and activated), both the web server and background worker must be restarted.

Container Environments

In certain container environments (such as docker), plugins are installed into an ephemeral virtual environment which persists only for the lifetime of the container. To allow for this, InvenTree provides a configurable setting which can automatically install plugins whenever the container is loaded.

Check Plugins on Startup

Ensure the Check Plugins on Startup option is enabled, when running InvenTree in a container environment!

Check plugins on startup Check plugins on startup

Installation Methods

Builtin Plugins

Builtin plugins ship in src/InvenTree/plugin/builtin. To achieve full unit-testing for all mixins there are some sample implementations in src/InvenTree/plugin/samples.

Builtin Plugins

Builtin plugins are always enabled, as they are required for core InvenTree functionality

Debug Only

The sample plugins are not loaded in production mode.

Plugin Installation File (PIP)

Plugins installation can be simplified by providing a list of plugins in a plugin configuration file. This file (by default, plugins.txt in the same directory as the server configuration file) contains a list of required plugin packages.

Plugins can be then installed from this file by simply running the command invoke plugins.

Installation via PIP (using the plugins.txt file) provides a number of advantages:

  • Any required secondary packages are installed automatically
  • You can update plugins simply by specifying version numbers in plugins.txt
  • Migrating plugins between systems is simplified
  • You can install plugins via any source supported by PIP

Auto Update

When the server installation is updated via the invoke update command, the plugins (as specified in plugins.txt) will also be updated automatically.

Plugin File Location

The location of your plugin configuration file will depend on your server configuration

Web Interface

Admin users can install plugins directly from the web interface, via the "Plugin Settings" view:

Install via web interface Install via web interface

Plugin File

A plugin installed via the web interface is added to the plugins.txt plugin file.

Local Directory

Custom plugins can be placed in the src/InvenTree/plugins/ directory, where they will be automatically discovered. This can be useful for developing and testing plugins, but can prove more difficult in production (e.g. when using Docker).

Git Tracking

The src/InvenTree/plugins/ directory is excluded from Git version tracking - any plugin files here will be hidden from Git

Not Recommended For Production

Loading plugins via the local plugins directory is not recommended for production. If you cannot use PIP installation (above), specify a custom plugin directory (below) or use a VCS as a plugin install source.

Custom Directory

If you wish to install plugins from local source, rather than PIP, it is better to place your plugins in a directory outside the InvenTree source directory.

To achieve this, set the INVENTREE_PLUGIN_DIR environment variable to the directory where locally sourced plugins are located. Refer to the configuration options for further information.


When running InvenTree in docker, a plugins directory is automatically created in the mounted data volume. Any plugins can be placed there, and will be automatically loaded when the server is started.