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Last update: May 19, 2022

GoQuorum plugins

GoQuorum allows adding features as plugins to the core geth client, providing extensibility, flexibility, and isolation of GoQuorum features.

The benefits of plugins include:

  • Allowing the implementation of certain GoQuorum components to be changed at configuration time.
  • Supporting the GoQuorum community to improve the GoQuorum client with innovative plugin implementations in different languages.
  • Decoupling new GoQuorum-specific features from the core geth, simplifying the process of integrating changes from upstream geth, and isolating potential failures.

How it works

Each plugin exposes an implementation for a specific plugin interface. Plugins are executed as separate processes and communicate with the main geth process over a gRPC interface.

The plugin implementation must adhere to certain gRPC services defined in a .proto file corresponding to the plugin interface. Plugins can be written in different languages, as gRPC provides a mechanism to generate stub code from .proto files.

The high-level plugin library automatically handles the network communication and RPC.

Using plugins

The GoQuorum client reads the plugin configuration file to determine which plugins to load and searches for installed plugins (<name>-<version>.zip files) in the plugins directory baseDir (the default directory is <datadir>/plugins).

You can specify a plugin configuration file, develop plugins, and use an example HelloWorld plugin.

Plugin reloading

The Plugin Manager exposes an API admin_reloadPlugin that allows reloading a plugin. This attempts to restart the current plugin process.

Plugin configuration changes made after the initial node startup are applied when reloading the plugin. This is demonstrated in the HelloWorld plugin tutorial.

Plugin integrity verification

GoQuorum uses Plugin Central Server to download and verify plugin integrity using PGP. You can enable the same verification process locally using the --plugins.localverify and --plugins.publickey command-line options, or remotely using custom Plugin Central.

To disable the plugin verification process, use the --plugins.skipverify command-line option.

Warning

Using --plugins.skipverify introduces security risks and isn’t recommended for production environments.

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