ManageIQ Plugin Development

Plugin layout

Plugins in ManageIQ are developed as Rails Engines. All models, controllers etc. are loaded during boot time of ManageIQ and are just available as you would expect.

Cloning plugins

Before anything, you have to create a fork of the plugin on Github.

It does not really matter where you clone your plugins. Both approaches have their advantages.

Side by side

Having the plugins and the core repository side by side, i.e. at the same directory level, is straight forward and lets you separate checkouts cleanly.

git clone
git clone
git clone

Inside the core ManageIQ checkout

The plugins/ directory inside the core repository is ignored by .gitignore. This means you can clone plugins into this directory. The benefit is, e.g. when working with a project oriented IDE, you have all code under one directory. This way you can easily search across the core and plugin code base.

You still have to change into the plugin root directory to run the tests - running rspec from the ManageIQ root will not pickup your plugin code, but the core code. This is a drawback which can lead to some confusion.

cd /path/to/manageiq ; mkdir plugins
git clone plugins/manageiq-providers-amazon
git clone plugins/manageiq-content
git clone plugins/manageiq-ui-classic

Setting the correct remotes

Inside your checkout you will have the default remote origin pointing to your fork. Now add an upstream remote which points to the upstream repository. To keep your fork up to date, you will have to merge changes from upstream into your fork.

cd manageiq-ui-classic
git remote -v
# origin (fetch)
# origin (push)
git remote add upstream
git fetch upstream
# merge upstream into your fork
git checkout master
git pull upstream master
git push origin master

Running tests

To run the tests for a plugin, we need an application context. Usually Rails expects a dummy Rails app. But because our plugins are only for ManageIQ, we run the tests inside the ManageIQ app. Therefore we need a checkout of ManageIQ at spec/manageiq. The database used for tests is the same as for the core app. Keep that in mind when developing a feature that requires database migrations.

cd manageiq-providers-amazon
# == Cloning manageiq sample app ==
# Cloning into 'spec/manageiq'...
bundle install
bundle exec rake spec:setup
# ** Preparing database
# Dropped database 'vmdb_test'
# Created database 'vmdb_test'
bundle exec rake

Updating the sample app is handled by bin/update:

# == Updating manageiq sample app ==

Cross repository dependencies

Sometimes you need to develop your feature against a branch of ManageIQ that is not yet merged into master. This creates cross repository dependencies, which can be handled from the plugin side or from the core side.

Creating a symlink from spec/manageiq to your current checkout of ManageIQ will run the tests inside whatever branch you checked out in the core repo.

# remove current sample app
rm -rf spec/manageiq 
# create a symlink
ln -s /path/to/manageiq spec/manageiq

Dependency on a local gem

Inside ManageIQ core, you can override gem dependencies with override_gem. This is a small helper to be used inside Use it to point the dependency to a local version of your plugin.

override_gem 'manageiq-providers-amazon', :path => File.expand_path("/path/to/manageiq-providers-amazon")

Rails console

Unfortunately Rails Engines don’t support running rails console from the root of the plugin. To test your code you will have to change the dependency of ManageIQ to point to your local plugin. See above.

Migrating a PR from ManageIQ

If you have an open PR on ManageIQ that has not been merged before the split, you can cherry-pick all commits from the feature branch into a new branch in the plugin repository.

# get all commit shas that are not yet in master - or just look at<id>
cd /path/to/manageiq
git checkout feature_branch
git log $(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD) --not refs/heads/master

# add ManageIQ as a remote in your plugin
cd /path/to/manageiq-providers-amazon
git remote add miq /path/to/manageiq
git fetch miq

# create a new branch in the plugin and cherry-pick commits
git checkout -b feature_branch
git cherry-pick <sha from above>
# should be a clean cherry-pick if it only changes files that are in the new plugin, if not:
# git checkout master -- path/to/file # will discard your changes to file
# git rm path/to/file # will drop the file from the cherry-pick in progress
# git cherry-pick --continue # will continue the cherry-pick
# git cherry-pick --abort # will abort

If your PR has a lot of commits or you have a lot of PRs, this script automates it. It needs jq to parse the github API output - brew install jq or dnf install jq or apt install jq. Optionally uses hub to create the pull request.

COMMITS=`wget -qO-$PR/commits | jq -r .[].sha`
TITLE=`wget -qO-$PR | jq -r .title`
DESCRIPTION=`wget -qO-$PR | jq -r .body`

cd manageiq-ui-classic/

git remote add tmp

git fetch tmp pull/$PR/head
git checkout -b miq_pr_$PR

echo "Running cherry-pick - if there's a conflict, resolve it, commit, and do git cherry-pick --continue"
git cherry-pick -x $COMMITS

git push -u origin miq_pr_$PR
[ -x "`which hub`" ] && hub pull-request -m "$TITLE


(converted from ManageIQ/manageiq#$PR)" || echo "hub not found, not creating PR"

git remote rm tmp