Xentara v1.0
User Manual
Xentara Plugins

Plugin Functionality

Xentara supports plugins to add additional functionality. Plugins can implement I/O drivers and service providers.

I/O Drivers

An I/O driver implements an interface to a system component that can procude or consume data. I/O drivers provide I/O components, I/O points, and I/O batches.

Service Providers

A service provider provides microservices that contain packaged functionality.

Installing Plugins

Xentara plugins are installed using separate installers. The installer will install all the files necessary for Xentara to find and use the plugin.

Plugin Manifests

Each plugin comes with a plugin manifest. The plugin manifest is a JSON file containing the name of the plugin, as well as the location of the relevant files. Xentara uses the plugin manifest to find and load the plugin.

If a plugin has been installed correctly, Xentara will automatically find the plugin manifest. The strategy for finding plugins differs between Linux and Windows. Normally, you should not have to worry about the plugin manifest search strategy. If you do need to modify or debug the search path for some reason, it is described below.

Plugin Manifest Search Path


Under Linux, Xentara looks for plugin manifests in a number of default directories. The following directories are searched, in order:

  • ${HOME}/.local/share/xentara/plugins
  • /usr/local/share/xentara/plugins
  • /usr/share/xentara/plugins

You can override these directories as described in the XDG Base Directory Specification.


Under Windows, Xentara keeps a record of all installed plugins in the Windows Registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Xentara\Plugins and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Xentara\Plugins. These keys contain installer specific sub keys, each of which has a value named PluginManifestPath. This value contains the path or paths where the corresponding installer placed the manifests of any plugins it may have installed. Each PluginManifestPath value can contain multiple directory paths separated by semicolons (;).

Custom Search Paths

When running Xentara, you can specify additional search directories on the command line using the option --pluginPath=<path> under Linux, or -PluginDir <path> under Windows. <path> must be a the path of the additional directory to search.

You can also specify individual manifest files using the option --plugin=<path> under Linux, or -Plugin <path> under Windows. <path> must be a path to a single plugin manifest manifest file.

You can specify each of these options multiple times, to add multiple lists of directories or multiple manifest files.

Under Linux, the equal signs can be omitted from options to facilitate file name completion when using the bash shell. This means that you can write --pluginPath <path> and --plugin <path> instead of --pluginPath=<path> or --plugin=<path>.