doc_decisions_global_plugins_md(3) Global Plugins


  • Checker plugins see only part of the configuration and cannot check constraints between keys of different mountpoints
  • Notification does not happen once after final commit, but for every plugin
  • Some plugins are not implementable, e.g. global locks (that lock before any other plugin and unlock after any other), but also journal plugins that keep track of actions to be done and already done (latter is maybe out of scope for this decision)


  • Use arrays in configuration and allow arbitrary number of global plugins
  • Plugin interface should be the same. Many plugins, e.g. dbus, should work as global plugins w/o any significant change (e.g. only one more entry in contract)


  • Global plugins to not depend on specific applications nor specific mountpoints.
  • There is no plugin that works as global plugin but will not work as mounted plugin, too (to investigate: locker plugins can lead to deadlocks?)

Considered Alternatives

  • using different plugin interface (like hooks)


Configuration will be in arrays below the keys:


Plugins state in contract that they will work as global plugin, i.e. do not need to work on individual config files, when following contract is present:


The kdb-tool should have following list-like interface:

kdb global-plugin-add
kdb global-plugin-del
kdb global-plugin-list


Some nice features that will be implemented as global plugins.


Transformation keys which are read and transformed to be usable by the application:


(actually two plugins are involved: one that fetches transformation keys, the other that executes the transformation code)

  • preget: fetch all foreign keys (kdbGet)
  • postget: run transformation for all foreign keys

Global lock

simplifies threading and process locking by not having to think about recursive cases.

Shell plugins

Run shell code at end of all plugins, e.g. especially doing

git add
git commit

Inference plugins

The globbing would be more natural (derived from specification). Or even more advanced ways to copy information from specification to the keys, e.g. type inference

Journalling plugins

It should be possible to write plugins which need all file names of all resolver plugins. E.g. journalling, global mmap.


Default global plugins

Its useful to have some important global plugins, e.g. locking by default. Internal list to be used when no system/elektra/global_mountpoints/ exists.

State diagrams of plugins need to be redrawn to also include global plugin states.

Related decisions


Open Points

  • How to test global plugins?
  • locker plugins can lead to deadlocks? (must be avoided by contract?)

Implementation Hints

add Plugin *globalPlugins [NR_OF_PLUGINS] to _KDB
during kdbOpen, system/elektra/globalplugins/ is read and plugins are constructed and placed into globalPlugins.
In kdbGet and kdbSet hooks execute one of these plugins
by default
the plugins are all the same list plugins, and their subplugins are executed, when system/elektra/globalplugins/_ states they should be executed
a lock plugin that executes at begin and end of kdbGet and kdbSet, respective, i.e. postrollback preget postget preset postcommit
the lock plugin contains the code currently found in resolver