Plugin system


This page explains how to contribute to the plugin system in aiida-core. For instrucions on how to develop plugins, see How to package plugins.

Design Principles

  1. Only restrict plugin developers when really necessary;

  2. Avoid database schema changes whenever reasonably possible;

  3. Finding and loading plugins must be as fast as the plugin allows, especially for command line interface (CLI) commands. In other words, directly importing a plugin class should not be noticeably faster than using the plugin loader/factory;

  4. Implement as a drop-in replacement, provide backwards compatibility to pre-0.9 plugin system;

  5. Plugin management should be as user friendly from the verdi shell as from the CLI.




A unique name identifying the plugin. Suggested naming scheme is

  • aiida-<plugin-name> for pypi distribution / source code repository

  • aiida_<plugin_name> for python package (import aiida_<plugin_name>; dashes replaced by underscores)

  • <plugin_name>.ep_name for entry points


A name given to each aspect of AiiDA that can be extended via plugins, such as calculations, schedulers, … (see output of verdi plugin list for a complete list).

Each category maps to an entry point group aiida.<category>.



The plugin loading functionality is defined in aiida.plugins.entry_point.

Registry Tools

See the API documentation in aiida.plugins.