Geany dev
Plugin Writing Guidelines


The following hints and guidelines are only recommendations. Nobody is forced to follow them at all.

General notes

Getting a plugin idea

If you want to write a plugin but don't know yet what it should do, have a look at to get an idea about what users wish.

Managing the source code

For authors of plugins for Geany, we created a dedicated geany-plugins project on Sourceforge and GitHub to ease development of plugins and help new authors. All information about this project you can find at

To add a new plugin to this project, get in touch with the people on the geany-devel-mailing list and create a fork of the geany-plugins project at Beside of adding a new plugin, geany-devel-mailing list is also the place to discuss development related questions. However, once you have done your fork of geany-plugins you can develop your plugin until you think it is the right time to publish it. At this point, create a pull request for adding your patch set into the master branch of the main geany-plugins repository.

Of course, you don't need to use GitHub - any Git is fine. But GitHub is making it way easier for review, merging and get in touch with you for comments.

If you don't want your plugin to be part of the geany-plugins project it is also fine. Just skip the part about forking geany-plugins and sending a pull request. In this case it is of course also a good idea to post some kind of announcement to geany-devel and maybe to the main geany mailing list – it's up to you. You can also ask for your plugin to be listed on the website as a third party plugin, helping Geany user to know about your plugin.

At time of writing, there are some plugins already available in the repositories. Feel free to use any of these plugins as a start for your own, maybe by copying the directory structure and the autotools files (,, ...). Most of the available plugins are also ready for i18n support, just for reference.

We encourage authors using this service to only commit changes to their own plugin and not to others' plugins. Instead just send patches to geany-devel at or the plugin author directly.

Installation paths

  • The plugin binary ( should be installed in Geany's libdir. This is necessary so that Geany can find the plugin. An easy way to retrieve Geany's libdir is to use the pkg-config tool, e.g.
    `$PKG_CONFIG --variable=libdir geany`/ geany
    #define geany
    Simple macro for geany_data that reduces typing.
    Definition: plugindata.h:224
  • If your plugin creates other binary files like helper programs or helper libraries, they should go into $prefix/bin (for programs, ideally prefixed with geany), additional libraries should be installed in Geany's libdir, maybe in a subdirectory.
  • Plugins should install their documentation files (README, NEWS, ChangeLog, licences and other documentation files) into the common documentation directory $prefix/share/doc/geany-plugins/$pluginname/
  • Translation files should be installed normally into $prefix/share/locale. There is no need to use Geany's translation directory. To set up translation support properly and for additional information, see main_locale_init().
  • Do never install anything into a user's home directory like installing the plugin binary in ~/.config/geany/plugins/.