Developer data command line plugins

AiiDA can be extended by adding custom types of Data nodes and means of manipulating them. One of the means of use and integration of AiiDA with the variety of free and open-source software is the command line. In this chapter the ways to extend the AiiDA command line interface are described.

To make a class/function loaded automatically while issuing verdi shell, one has to register it in default_modules_list in

Adding a verdi command


Describe here

Framework for verdi data

Code for each of the verdi data <datatype> <action> [--format <plugin>] commands is placed in _<Datatype> class inside Standard actions, such as

  • list
  • show
  • import
  • export

are implemented in corresponding classes:

  • Listable
  • Visualizable
  • Importable
  • Exportable,

which are inherited by _<Datatype> classes (multiple inheritance is possible). Actions show, import and export can be extended with new format plugins simply by adding additional methods in _<Datatype> (these are automatically detected). Action list can be extended by overriding default methods of the Listable.

Adding plugins for show, import, export and like

A plugin to show, import or export the data node can be added by inserting a method to _<Datatype> class. Each new method is automatically detected, provided it starts with _<action>_ (that means _show_ for show, _import_ for import and _export_ for export). Node for each of such method is passed using a parameter.


plugins for show are passed a list of nodes, while plugins for import and export are passed a single node.

As the --format option is optional, the default plugin can be specified by setting the value for _default_<action>_plugin in the inheriting class, for example:

class _Parameter(VerdiCommandWithSubcommands,Visualizable):
    View and manipulate Parameter data classes.

    def __init__(self):
        A dictionary with valid commands and functions to be called.
        from import ParameterData
        self.dataclass = ParameterData
        self._default_show_format = 'json_date'
        self.valid_subcommands = {
            'show': (, self.complete_visualizers),

    def _show_json_date(self,exec_name,node_list):
        Show contents of ParameterData nodes.

If the default plugin is not defined and there are more than one plugin, an exception will be raised upon issuing verdi data <datatype> <action> to be caught and explained for the user.

Implementing list

As listing of data nodes can be extended with filters, controllable using command line parameters, the code of Listable is split into a few separate methods, that can be individually overridden:

  • list:

    the main method, parsing the command line arguments and printing the data node information to the standard output;

  • query:

    takes the parsed command line arguments and performs a query on the database, returns table of unformatted strings, representing the hits;

  • append_list_cmdline_arguments

    informs the command line argument parser about additional, user-defined parameters, used to control the query function;

  • get_column_names

    returns the names of columns to be printed by list method.