# Plugin Management

A Meltano project's primary components are its plugins, that implement the various details of your ELT pipelines.

Your project's plugins are defined in your meltano.yml project file, and installed inside the .meltano directory. They can be managed using various CLI commands as well as the UI.

# Adding extractors and loaders to your project

Like all types of plugins, extractors and loaders can be added to a Meltano project using meltano add.

Discoverable plugins can be added by simply specifying their type and name, while adding a plugin that Meltano isn't familiar with yet requires adding the --custom flag. A non-default variant can be selected using the --variant option.

To find out what plugins are discoverable and supported out of the box, you can use meltano discover, with an optional pluralized <type> argument, e.g. meltano discover extractors. You can also check out the lists of supported extractors and loaders on this website.

If the Singer tap or target you'd like to use with Meltano doesn't show up in any of these places, you're going to want to add a custom plugin.

# List discoverable extractors and loaders
meltano discover extractors
meltano discover loaders

# Add a discoverable extractor or loader by name
meltano add extractor tap-salesforce
meltano add loader target-snowflake

# Add a specific variant of a discoverable extractor loader
meltano add extractor tap-salesforce --variant=singer-io
meltano add loader target-snowflake --variant=transferwise

# Add a custom extractor or loader
meltano add --custom extractor tap-covid-19

# Installing your project's plugins

Whenever you add a new plugin to a Meltano project using meltano add, it will be installed into your project's .meltano directory automatically.

However, since this directory is included in your project's .gitignore file by default, you'll need to explicitly run meltano install before any other meltano commands whenever you clone or pull an existing Meltano project from version control, to install (or update) all plugins specified in your meltano.yml project file.

# Removing plugins from your project

Since the plugins section of your meltano.yml project file determines the plugins that make up your project, you can remove a plugin from your project by deleting its entry from this file.

Traces of the plugin may remain in the .meltano directory under .meltano/<plugin type>/<plugin name>, and in the job and plugin_settings tables in the system database. You are free to delete these files and rows manually.

Contribution idea

Do you think there should be a meltano remove <type> <name> CLI command to mirror meltano add <type> <name>?

There's an issue for that, and we'll gladly accept a contribution!

# Using a custom fork of a plugin

If you've forked a plugin's repository and made changes to it, you can update your Meltano project to use your custom fork instead of the canonical source:

  1. Modify the plugin definition's pip_url in the plugins section of your meltano.yml project file to point at your fork using a git+http(s) URL, with an optional branch or tag name:


      - name: tap-gitlab
        variant: meltano
        pip_url: git+https://gitlab.com/meltano/tap-gitlab.git
        # pip_url: git+https://gitlab.com/meltano/tap-gitlab.git@ref-name

    If your plugin source is stored in a private repository, you have two options:

    • Continue to authenticate over HTTP(S), and store your credentials in a .netrc file in your home directory:

      machine <hostname> # e.g. gitlab.com or github.com
      login <username>
      password <personal-access-token-or-password>
    • Authenticate using SSH instead, and specify a git+ssh URL:

      pip_url: git+ssh://git@gitlab.com/meltano/tap-gitlab.git
  2. Re-install the plugin from the new pip_url using meltano install:

    meltano install <type> <name>
    # For example:
    meltano install extractor tap-gitlab

If your fork supports additional settings, you can set them as custom settings.

# Meltano UI

While Meltano is optimized for usage through the meltano CLI and direct changes to the meltano.yml project file, basic plugin management functionality is also available in the UI.