GNU MediaGoblin supports plugins that allow you to augment MediaGoblin’s behavior.

This chapter covers discovering, installing, configuring and removing plugins.

Discovering plugins

MediaGoblin comes with core plugins. Core plugins are located in the mediagoblin.plugins module of the MediaGoblin code. Because they come with MediaGoblin, you don’t have to install them, but you do have to add them to your config file if you’re interested in using them.

You can also write your own plugins and additionally find plugins elsewhere on the Internet. Once you find a plugin you like, you need to first install it, then add it to your configuration.

Installing plugins

Core plugins

MediaGoblin core plugins don’t need to be installed because they come with MediaGoblin. Further, when you upgrade MediaGoblin, you will also get updates to the core plugins.

Other plugins

If the plugin is available on the Python Package Index, then you can install the plugin with pip:

pip install <plugin-name>

For example, if we wanted to install the plugin named “mediagoblin-licenses” (which allows you to customize the licenses you offer for your media), we would do:

pip install mediagoblin-licenses


If you’re using a virtual environment, make sure to activate the virtual environment before installing with pip. Otherwise the plugin may get installed in a different environment than the one MediaGoblin is installed in. Also make sure, you use e.g. pip-2.7 if your default python (and thus pip) is python 3 (e.g. in *buntu).

Once you’ve installed the plugin software, you need to tell MediaGoblin that this is a plugin you want MediaGoblin to use. To do that, you edit the mediagoblin.ini file and add the plugin as a subsection of the plugin section.

For example, say the “mediagoblin-licenses” plugin has the Python package path mediagoblin_licenses, then you would add mediagoblin_licenses to the plugins section as a subsection:


license_01=abbrev1, name1, http://url1
license_02=abbrev2, name1, http://url2

Configuring plugins

Configuration for a plugin goes in the subsection for that plugin. Core plugins are documented in the administration guide. Other plugins should come with documentation that tells you how to configure them.

Example 1: Core MediaGoblin plugin

If you wanted to use the core MediaGoblin flatpages plugin, the module for that is mediagoblin.plugins.flatpagesfile and you would add that to your .ini file like this:


# configuration for flatpagesfile plugin here!
about-view = '/about', about.html
terms-view = '/terms', terms.html

(Want to know more about the flatpagesfile plugin? See flatpagesfile plugin)

Example 2: Plugin that is not a core MediaGoblin plugin

If you installed a hypothetical restrictfive plugin which is in the module restrictfive, your .ini file might look like this (with comments making the bits clearer):


# configuration for restrictfive here!

Check the plugin’s documentation for what configuration options are available.

Once you’ve set up your plugin, you should be sure to update the database to accomodate the new plugins:

./bin/gmg dbupdate

Deactivating plugins

You should be aware that once you enable a plugin, deactivating it might be a bit tricky, for migrations reasons. In the future we may produce better tooling to accomodate this. In short, you will need to do a bit of database surgery by:

  • Removing all tables and indexes installed by the plugin
  • Removing the plugin’s migration head id from the alembic_version table. (You might be able to determine which to remove via examining the output of ./bin/gmg alembic heads)

Note that this is a VERY TRICKY process, and you should be sure to make a backup first. You’ve been warned!

Removing plugin packages

To remove an external plugin’s package, use pip uninstall. For example:

pip uninstall mediagoblin-licenses


If you’re using a virtual environment, make sure to activate the virtual environment before uninstalling with pip. Otherwise the plugin may get installed in a different environment.

Upgrading plugins

Core plugins

Core plugins get upgraded automatically when you upgrade MediaGoblin because they come with MediaGoblin.

Other plugins

For plugins that you install with pip, you can upgrade them with pip:

pip install -U <plugin-name>

The -U tells pip to upgrade the package.

Troubleshooting plugins

Sometimes plugins just don’t work right. When you’re having problems with plugins, think about the following:

  1. Check the log files.

    Some plugins will log errors to the log files and you can use that to diagnose the problem.

  2. Try running MediaGoblin without that plugin.

    It’s easy to disable a plugin from MediaGoblin. Add a - to the name in your config file.

    For example, change:




    That’ll prevent the mediagoblin.plugins.flatpagesfile plugin from loading.

  3. If it’s a core plugin that comes with MediaGoblin, ask us for help!

    If it’s a plugin you got from somewhere else, ask them for help!