Plugin types

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The M in Moodle stands for modular. The easiest and most maintainable way to add new functionality to Moodle is by writing one of these types of plugin. If none of the standardized types fits your needs, you can use the "local" type.

List of Moodle plugin types

Plugin type Component name (Frankenstyle) Moodle path Description Moodle versions
Activity modules mod /mod Activity modules are essential types of plugins in Moodle as they provide activities in courses. For example: Forum, Quiz and Assignment. 1.0+
Antivirus plugins antivirus /lib/antivirus Antivirus scanner plugins provide functionality for virus scanning user uploaded files using third-party virus scanning tools in Moodle. For example: ClamAV. 3.1+
Assignment submission plugins assignsubmission /mod/assign/submission Different forms of assignment submissions 2.3+
Assignment feedback plugins assignfeedback /mod/assign/feedback Different forms of assignment feedbacks 2.3+
Book tools booktool /mod/book/tool Small information-displays or tools that can be moved around pages 2.1+
Database fields datafield /mod/data/field Different types of data that may be added to the Database activity module 1.6+
Database presets datapreset /mod/data/preset Pre-defined templates for the Database activity module 1.6+
LTI sources ltisource /mod/lti/source LTI providers can be added to external tools easily through the external tools interface see Documentation on External Tools. This type of plugin is specific to LTI providers that need a plugin that can register custom handlers to process LTI messages 2.7+
File Converters fileconverter /files/converter Allow conversion between different types of user-submitted file. For example from .doc to PDF. 3.2+
LTI services ltiservice /mod/lti/service Allows the implementation of LTI services as described by the IMS LTI specification 2.8+
Quiz reports quiz /mod/quiz/report Display and analyse the results of quizzes, or just plug miscellaneous behaviour into the quiz module 1.1+
Quiz access rules quizaccess /mod/quiz/accessrule Add conditions to when or where quizzes can be attempted, for example only from some IP addresses, or student must enter a password first 2.2+
SCORM reports scormreport /mod/scorm/report Analysis of SCORM attempts 2.2+
Workshop grading strategies workshopform /mod/workshop/form Define the type of the grading form and implement the calculation of the grade for submission in the Workshop module 2.0+
Workshop allocation methods workshopallocation /mod/workshop/allocation Define ways how submissions are assigned for assessment in the Workshop module 2.0+
Workshop evaluation methods workshopeval /mod/workshop/eval Implement the calculation of the grade for assessment (grading grade) in the Workshop module 2.0+
Blocks block /blocks Small information-displays or tools that can be moved around pages 2.0+
Question types qtype /question/type Different types of question (e.g. multiple-choice, drag-and-drop) that can be used in quizzes and other activities 1.6+
Question behaviours qbehaviour /question/behaviour Control how student interact with questions during an attempt 2.1+
Question import/export formats qformat /question/format Import and export question definitions to/from the question bank 1.6+
Text filters filter /filter Automatically convert, highlight, and transmogrify text posted into Moodle. 1.4+
Editors editor /lib/editor Alternative text editors for editing content 2.0+
Atto editor plugins atto /lib/editor/atto/plugins Extra functionality for the Atto text editor 2.7+
TinyMCE editor plugins tinymce /lib/editor/tinymce/plugins Extra functionality for the TinyMCE text editor. 2.4+
Enrolment plugins enrol /enrol Ways to control who is enrolled in courses 2.0+
Authentication plugins auth /auth Allows connection to external sources of authentication 2.0+
Admin tools tool /admin/tool Provides utility scripts useful for various site administration and maintenance tasks 2.2+
Log stores logstore /admin/tool/log/store Event logs storage back-ends 2.7+
Availability conditions availability /availability/condition Conditions to restrict user access to activities and sections. 2.7+
Calendar types calendartype /calendar/type Defines how dates are displayed throughout Moodle 2.6+
Messaging consumers message /message/output Represent various targets where messages and notifications can be sent to (email, sms, jabber, ...) 2.0+
Course formats format /course/format Different ways of laying out the activities and blocks in a course 1.3+
Data formats dataformat /dataformat Formats for data exporting and downloading 3.1+
User profile fields profilefield /user/profile/field Add new types of data to user profiles 1.9+
Reports report /report Provides useful views of data in a Moodle site for admins and teachers 2.2+
Course reports coursereport /course/report Reports of activity within the course Up to 2.1 (for 2.2+ see Reports)
Gradebook export gradeexport /grade/export Export grades in various formats 1.9+
Gradebook import gradeimport /grade/import Import grades in various formats 1.9+
Gradebook reports gradereport /grade/report Display/edit grades in various layouts and reports 1.9+
Advanced grading methods gradingform /grade/grading/form Interfaces for actually performing grading in activity modules (eg Rubrics) 2.2+
MNet services mnetservice /mnet/service Allows to implement remote services for the MNet environment (deprecated, use web services instead) 2.0+
Webservice protocols webservice /webservice Define new protocols for web service communication (such as SOAP, XML-RPC, JSON, REST ...) 2.0+
Repository plugins repository /repository Connect to external sources of files to use in Moodle 2.0+
Portfolio plugins portfolio /portfolio Connect external portfolio services as destinations for users to store Moodle content 1.9+
Search engines search /search/engine Search engine backends to index Moodle's contents. 3.1+
Media players media /media/player Pluggable media players 3.2+
Plagiarism plugins plagiarism /plagiarism Define external services to process submitted files and content 2.0+
Cache store cachestore /cache/stores Cache storage back-ends. 2.4+
Cache locks cachelock /cache/locks Cache lock implementations. 2.4+
Themes theme /theme Change the look of Moodle by changing the the HTML and the CSS. 2.0+
Local plugins local /local Generic plugins for local customisations 2.0+
Legacy assignment types assignment /mod/assignment/type Different forms of assignments to be graded by teachers 1.x - 2.2
Legacy admin reports report /admin/report Provides useful views of data in a Moodle site, for admins only. Up to 2.1 (for 2.2+ see Reports)

Obtaining the list of plugin types known to your Moodle

To get the most exact list of types in your version of Moodle, use the following script. Put it to a file in the root directory of your Moodle installation and execute it via command line.

define('CLI_SCRIPT', true);
$pluginman = core_plugin_manager::instance();
foreach ($pluginman->get_plugin_types() as $type => $dir) {
    $dir = substr($dir, strlen($CFG->dirroot));
    printf("%-20s %-50s %s".PHP_EOL, $type, $pluginman->plugintype_name_plural($type), $dir);

Things you can find in all plugins

Although there are many different types of plugin, there are some things that work the same way in all plugin types, and we have a page that describes them.

Additionally you probably want to look at the page Plugin files.

Naming conventions

Warning if you have to choose a plugin (directory) name. The name is validated by the method lib/classes/component.php::is_valid_plugin_name() with a regexp: /^[a-z](?:[a-z0-9_](?!__))*[a-z0-9]+$/. In particular, the minus (-) character is not considered as valid, and the plugin will be silently ignored if the name is not valid.

There is an exception for activity modules that can not have the underscore in their name for legacy reasons.

See also