One of the most useful aspects of the Girder platform is its ability to be extended in almost any way by custom plugins. Developers looking for information on writing their own plugins should see the Plugin Development section. Below is a listing and brief documentation of some of Girder’s standard plugins that come pre-packaged with the application.


The jobs plugin is useful for representing long-running (usually asynchronous) jobs in the Girder data model. Since the notion of tracking batch jobs is so common to many applications of Girder, this plugin is very generic and is meant to be an upstream dependency of more specialized plugins that actually create and execute the batch jobs.

The job resource that is the primary data type exposed by this plugin has many common and useful fields, including:

  • title: The name that will be displayed in the job management console.
  • type: The type identifier for the job, used by downstream plugins opaquely.
  • args: Ordered arguments of the job (a list).
  • kwargs: Keyword arguments of the job (a dictionary).
  • created: Timestamp when the job was created
  • progress: Progress information about the job’s execution.
  • status: The state of the job, e.g. Inactive, Running, Success.
  • log: Log output from this job’s execution.
  • handler: An opaque value used by downstream plugins to identify what should handle this job.
  • meta: Any additional information about the job should be stored here by downstream plugins.

Jobs should be created with the createJob method of the job model. Downstream plugins that are in charge of actually scheduling a job for execution should then call scheduleJob, which triggers the jobs.schedule event with the job document as the event info.

For controlling what fields of a job are visible in the REST API, downstream plugins should bind to the jobs.filter event, which receives a dictionary with job and user keys as its info. They can modify any existing fields or the job document as needed, and can also expose or redact fields. To make some fields visible while redacting others, you can use the event response with exposeFields and/or removeFields keys, e.g.

def filterJob(event):
        'exposeFields': ['_some_other_field'],
        'removeFields': ['created']

events.bind('jobs.filter', 'a_downstream_plugin', filterJob)


The geospatial plugin enables the storage and querying of GeoJSON formatted geospatial data. It uses the underlying MongoDB support of geospatial indexes and query operators to create an API for the querying of items that either intersect a GeoJSON point, line, or polygon; are in proximity to a GeoJSON point; or are entirely within a GeoJSON polygon or circular region. In addition, new items may be created from GeoJSON features or feature collections. GeoJSON properties of the features are added to the created items as metadata.

The plugin requires the geojson Python package, which may be installed using pip:

pip install -r plugins/geospatial/requirements.txt

Once the package is installed, the plugin may be enabled via the admin console.

Google Analytics

The Google Analytics plugin enables the use of Google Analytics to track page views with the Girder one-page application. It is primarily a client-side plugin with the tracking ID stored in the database. Each routing change will trigger a page view event and the hierarchy widget has special handling (though it does not technically trigger routing events for hierarchy navigation).

To use this plugin, simply copy your tracking ID from Google Analytics into the plugin configuration page.

Metadata Extractor

The metadata extractor plugin enables the extraction of metadata from uploaded files such as archives, images, and videos. It may be used as either a server-side plugin that extracts metadata on the server when a file is added to a filesystem asset store local to the server or as a remote client that extracts metadata from a file on a filesystem local to the client that is then sent to the server using the Girder Python client.

The server-side plugin requires several Hachoir Python packages to parse files and extract metadata from them. These packages may be installed using pip as follows:

pip install -r plugins/metadata_extractor/requirements.txt

Once the packages are installed, the plugin may be enabled via the admin console on the server.

The remote client requires the same Python packages as the server plugin, but additionally requires the Requests Python package to communicate with the server using the Girder Python client. These packages may be installed using pip as follows:

pip install requests -r plugins/metadata_extractor/requirements.txt

Assuming and are located in the module path, the following code fragment will extract metadata from a file located at path on the remote filesystem that has been uploaded to itemId on the server:

from girder_client import GirderClient
from metadata_extractor import ClientMetadataExtractor

client = GirderClient(host='localhost', port=8080)
client.authenticate(login, password)

extractor = ClientMetadataExtractor(client, path, itemId)

The user authenticating with login and password must have WRITE access to the file located at itemId on the server.

OAuth Login

This plugin allows users to log in using OAuth against a set of supported providers, rather than storing their credentials in the Girder instance. Specific instructions for each provider can be found below.


On the plugin configuration page, you must enter a Client ID and Client secret. Those values can be created in the Google Developer Console, in the APIS & AUTH > Credentials section. When you create a new Client ID, you must enter the AUTHORIZED_JAVASCRIPT_ORIGINS and AUTHORIZED_REDIRECT_URI fields. These must point back to your Girder instance. For example, if your Girder instance is hosted at, then you should specify the following values:


After successfully creating the Client ID, copy and paste the client ID and client secret values into the plugin’s configuration page, and hit Save. Users should then be able to log in with their Google account when they click the log in page and select the option to log in with Google.

Provenance Tracker

The provenance tracker plugin logs changes to items and to any other resources that have been configured in the plugin settings. Each change record includes a version number, the old and new values of any changed information, the ID of the user that made the change, the current date and time, and the type of change that occurred.


Each resource that has provenance tracking has a rest endpoint of the form (resource)/{id}/provenance. For instance, item metadata is accessible at item/{id}/provenance. Without any other parameter, the most recent change is reported.

The version parameter can be used to get any or all provenance information for a resource. Every provenance record has a version number. For each resource, these versions start at 1. If a positive number is specified for version, the provenance record with the matching version is returned. If a negative number is specified, the index is relative to the end of the list of provenance records. That is, -1 is the most recent change, -2 the second most recent, etc. A version of all returns a list of all provenance records for the resource.

All provenance records include version, eventType (see below), and eventTime. If the user who authorized the action is known, their ID is stored in eventUser.

Provenance event types include:

  • creation: the resource was created.
  • unknownHistory: the resource was created when the provenance plugin was disabled. Prior to this time, there is no provenance information.
  • update: data, metadata, or plugin-related data has changed for the resource. The old values and new values of the data are recorded. The old parameter contains any value that was changed (the value prior to the change) or has been deleted. The new parameter contains any value that was changed or has been added.
  • copy: the resource was copied. The original resource’s provenance is copied to the new record, and the originalId indicates which record was used.

For item records, when a file belonging to that item is added, removed, or updated, the provenance is updated with that change. This provenance includes a file list with the changed file(s). Each entry in this list includes a fileId for the associated file and one of these event types:

  • fileAdded: a file was added to the item. The new parameter has a summary of the file information, including its assetstore ID and value used to reference it within that assetstore.
  • fileUpdate: a file’s name or other data has changed, or the contents of the file were replaced. The new and old parameters contain the data values that were modified, deleted, or added.
  • fileRemoved: a file was removed from the item. The old parameter has a summary of the file information. If this was the only item using this file data, the file is removed from the assetstore.

Gravatar Portraits

This lightweight plugin makes all users’ Gravatar image URLs available for use in clients. When enabled, user documents sent through the REST API will contain a new field gravatar_baseUrl if the value has been computed. If that field is not set on the user document, instead use the URL /user/:id/gravatar under the Girder API, which will compute and store the correct Gravatar URL, and then redirect to it. The next time that user document is sent over the REST API, it should contain the computed gravatar_baseUrl field.

Javascript clients

The Gravatar plugin’s javascript code extends the Girder web client’s girder.models.UserModel by adding the getGravatarUrl(size) method that adheres to the above behavior internally. You can use it on any user model with the _id field set, as in the following example:

if (girder.currentUser) {
        'background-image', 'url(' +
        girder.currentUser.getGravatarUrl(36) + ')');


Gravatar images are always square; the size parameter refers to the side length of the desired image in pixels.

HDFS Assetstore

This plugin creates a new type of assetstore that can be used to store and proxy data on a Hadoop Distributed Filesystem. An HDFS assetstore can be used to import existing HDFS data hierarchies into the Girder data hierarchy, and it can also serve as a normal assetstore that stores and manages files created via Girder’s interface.


Deleting files that were imported from existing HDFS files does not delete the original file from HDFS, they will simply be unlinked in the Girder hierarchy.

Once you enable the plugin, site administrators will be able to create and edit HDFS assetstores on the Assetstores page in the web client in the same way as any other assetstore type. When creating or editing an assetstore, validation is performed to ensure that the HDFS instance is reachable for communciation, and that the directory specified as the root path exists. If it does not exist, Girder will attempt to create it.

Importing data

Once you have created an HDFS assetstore, you will be able to import data into it on demand if you have site administrator privileges. In the assetstore list in the web client, you will see an Import button next to your HDFS assetstores that will allow you to import files or directories (recursively) from that HDFS instance into a Girder user, collection, or folder of your choice.

You should specify an absolute data path when importing; the root path that you chose for your assetstore is not used in the import process. Each directory imported will become a folder in Girder, and each file will become an item with a single file inside. Once imported, file data is proxied through Girder when being downloaded, but still must reside in the same location on HDFS.

Duplicates (that is, pre-existing files with the same name in the same location in the Girder hierarchy) will be ignored if, for instance, you import the same hierarchy into the same location twice in a row.