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Plugin and FPP Developers - What are your development setup recommendations?

Started by epal, April 09, 2021, 02:27:23 PM

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Hey, I'd like to start creating a plugin.  For you developers out there, are you developing locally or directly on a running FPP?  I'd like to be able to do it locally, but I'm guessing that makes it much harder to test out.  I've pulled down some plugin code and I realize it can be reliant on the fpp directory structure.  I saw a few things about plugin templates on the wiki, but they looked like they may be out of date.  I'd be happy to update them once I get up and running.  Any suggestions on the best way you've found to develop plugins or on fpp in general?  Thanks in advance!


Depends on what kind of plugin you are working on.    In many cases, developing within a docker container works well enough.   I do much of my work in a docker container on my Mac.   There is a script in the root of the fpp checkout that can show how.   For more advanced stuff (UI level things), there is a docker/docker-compose.yml that can be used to get FPP up in running in docker along with the Node stuff needed for the UI.    

If the plugin will interact directly with hardware (like sensors or GPIO pins or similar), then you may need to develop directly on the Pi or BBB.
Daniel Kulp -


Super helpful, I didn't know about the docker script before but that makes perfect sense.  Thanks!


For the past few years I've run my master FPP instance on an Atom-based NAS appliance with USB sound via the FMT-212R and a USB Gig-E driving the ColorLight.  This year my goal is run the master instance in a docker container on my main server.  I've already moved over to using the container and am just tweaking things as I test, so I agree on docker being the easiest method.

I plan to rename the existing docker-compose.yml file in github to something like docker-compose-dev.yml and commit a new one that is more user-oriented with lots of comments in it showing things like passing through a sound card or a dedicated network interface for E1.31 or ColorLight/Linsn outputs.


I'm a little late to reply, but... when you need to do work on "real" hardware, vscode with remote-ssh plugin works very well.  (Better on a PI3/P4 then a BBB because of memory constraints).


The VSCode setup linked above works great for FPP itself, how would I go from that to say working on a change to Would I create a git submodule for the plugin in /opt/fpp/plugins?


It's actually not much different.   Instead of loading /opt into vs-code, you load in /home/fpp/media/plugins and all the plugins that are installed would be there.   You cannot build from within vscode I think, but "make" on the command line works.
Daniel Kulp -


Ack, that is what I was doing, just wondering if there was a way to get VSCode setup so that it understands all the imports/symbols/etc. I'm a sucker for IDE help :)


Circling back here I'm successfully setup by doing:

VSCode is happily resolving all the fppd symbols and it is a quite nice development experience.

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