Plugin management and versioning in Octobercms


I'm wondering how to version the plugin dependencies of a project in Octobercms.

When I use the command php artisan plugin:install PLUGIN, all plugin files are added to the plugins/ folder, not ignored by git.

Do I have to do this again each time I clone the repo ?

Isn't there a better solution (submodules, composer) ?




I'll answer my own question. There's an ongoingdiscussion as how an OctoberCMS projet should be deployed so it's a bit difficult to know what the best practices are.

Dependencies in Plugin definition

The core dev solution seems to add dependencies in your plugin as an Array :

* @var array Plugin dependencies
public $require = ['RainLab.Blog', 'RainLab.User', 'RainLab.Pages', 'Manogi.Mediathumb'];```

In my case though dependencies are not installed automatically and while I get a warning, my plugin is still loaded with errors.

Using composer

I realised that plugins from RainLab have a composer.json file with october-plugin as type (See RainLab.User plugin for example).

So you could simply require a plugin as any composer package, and they'll install in your plugin/ directory :

composer require rainlab/user-plugin

Not every plugin has this convention though, like the Manogi.Mediathumb plugin. I haven't tried to require it but I'm guessing it'll be installed in the vendor/ directory.

Example composer.json requirements :

"require": {
    "php": ">=5.5.9",
    "october/rain": "~1.0",
    "october/system": "~1.0",
    "october/backend": "~1.0",
    "october/cms": "~1.0",
    "laravel/framework": "5.1.*",
    "wikimedia/composer-merge-plugin": "dev-master",
    "vojtasvoboda/oc-twigextensions-plugin": "dev-master",
    "rainlab/blog-plugin": "dev-master",
    "rainlab/pages-plugin": "dev-master",
    "rainlab/user-plugin": "dev-master",

Ignore plugin folders in git

As for ignoring vendor plugins, you could add rules in your .gitignore file that ignores every plugin except for your namespace :


Disable update feature in CMS

Last step is to change the disableCoreUpdates variable in config/cms.php :

'disableCoreUpdates' => true,

As stated in a comment section in this file :

If using composer or git to download updates to the core files, set this value to 'true' to prevent the update gateway from trying to download these files again as part of the application update process. Plugins and themes will still be downloaded.

Update with composer

Now if you want to update the core packages and plugins, run

composer update

Create a project on October website

Suggested here. I'm not a fan on depending on a service for this kind of stuff though.


I guess the two first approaches are valid and depend on whether you'd like to update in CLI or directly in the CMS (also whether you'd like your client to be able to update I guess).

I'll test the first one again and see if I can make the CMS download the plugins automatically. If I succeed I'll go with this solution since I can update from the CMS and from the command line with php artisan october:update. Best of both worlds.