28.1. QGIS Plugins
QGIS has been designed with a plugin architecture. This allows many new features and functions to be easily added to the application. Some of the features in QGIS are actually implemented as plugins.
QGIS plugins are implemented either as Core Plugins or External Plugins.
Core Plugins are maintained by the QGIS Development Team and are automatically part of every QGIS distribution. They are written in one of two languages: C++ or Python.
Most of External Plugins are currently written in Python. They are stored either in the ‚Official‘ QGIS Repository at https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/ or in external repositories and are maintained by the individual authors. Detailed documentation about the usage, minimum QGIS version, home page, authors, and other important information are provided for the plugins in the Official repository. For other external repositories, documentation might be available with the external plugins themselves. External plugins documentation is not included in this manual.
To install or activate a plugin, go to .
Installed external python plugins are placed under the
folder of the active user profile path.
Paths to Custom C++ plugins libraries can also be added under.
Show also Experimental Plugins. QGIS will show you plugins in early stages of development, which are generally unsuitable for production use. For these plugins, you can install either the stable or the experimental version, and at any moment switch from one to the other.
Show also Deprecated Plugins. These plugins are usually unmaintained because they have replacement functions in QGIS, a lack of maintainers, they rely on functions that are no longer available in QGIS… They are generally unsuitable for production use and appear grayed in the plugins list.
By default, in the Plugin Repositories section, QGIS provides
you with its official plugin repository with the URL
<version> represents the exact QGIS version you are running).
To add external author repositories, click Add…
and fill in the Repository Details form with a name and the URL.
The URL can be of
file:// protocol type.
The default QGIS repository is an open repository and you don’t need any authentication to access it. You can however deploy your own plugin repository and require an authentication (basic authentication, PKI). You can get more information on QGIS authentication support in Authentication chapter.
The upper tabs in the Plugins dialog provide you with lists of plugins based on their install, creation or update status. Depending on the plugins settings, available tabs can be:
At the top of the tabs, a Search function helps you find any plugin using metadata information (author, name, description, tag,…).
Select a plugin and you will have some metadata displayed in the right panel:
information on whether the plugin is experimental or has an experimental version available (if Show also Experimental Plugins is checked)
summary and description
rating vote(s) (you can vote for your preferred plugin!)
some useful links to the home page, tracker and code repository
version(s) available with link to download page in the repository, or path to local folder for installed plugins
The Plugin Manager dialog allows you to interact with the latest version of the plugins. When enabled, the experimental version can be shown only if it is more recent than the latest stable version. Depending on the active tab, whether the selected plugin is installed, you will be given some of the following options:
Install: installs the latest stable version of the selected plugin
Install Experimental Plugin: installs the experimental version of the selected plugin
Reinstall Plugin: installs the same stable version of the plugin e.g. after it has failed to load
Reinstall Experimental Plugin: installs the same stable version of the plugin e.g. after it has failed to load
Upgrade Plugin: upgrades selected plugin to its latest stable version
Upgrade Experimental Plugin: upgrades selected plugin to its experimental version
Upgrade All: upgrades all installed plugins to their more recent stable or experimental version (depending on whether their previously installed version was stable or experimental).
Downgrade Plugin: moves from the experimental version of the plugin to its previous stable version
Downgrade Experimental Plugin: moves from an experimental version of the plugin to its latest published experimental version. This may occur when playing with a not yet published version.
Uninstall Plugin: removes the installed plugin from the user profile
Right-click on a plugin in the list and you will be able to sort the plugins list by various metadata. The new order applies to all the tabs. Sort options are:
Sort by Name
Sort by Downloads
Sort by Vote
Sort by Status
Sort by Date Created
Sort by Date Updated