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Getting Started

This page documents the basics of making your own Hyprland plugin from scratch.

How do plugins work?

Plugins are basically dynamic objects loaded by Hyprland. They have (almost) full access to every part of Hyprland’s internal process, and as such, can modify and change way more than a script.

Prerequisites

In order to write a Hyprland plugin, you will need:

  • Knowledge of C++
  • The ability to read
  • A rough understanding of the Hyprland internals (you can learn this alongside your development work)

Making your first plugin

Open your favorite code editor.

Make a new directory, in this example we will use MyPlugin.

→ If you have the Hyprland headers

If you install with make install, you should have the headers. In that case, no further action is required.

→ If you don’t have the Hyprland source cloned

Clone the Hyprland source code to a subdirectory, in our example MyPlugin/Hyprland. Run cd Hyprland && make all && sudo make installheaders && cd ...

Now that you have the Hyprland sources set up, you can either start from scratch if you know how, or take a look at some simple plugins in the official plugins repo like for example csgo-vulkan-fix or hyprwinwrap.

The basic parts of the plugin

Starting from the top, you will have to include the plugin API:

#include <hyprland/src/plugins/PluginAPI.hpp>

Feel free to take a look at the header. It contains a bunch of useful comments.

We also create a global pointer for our handle:

inline HANDLE PHANDLE = nullptr;

we will initialize it in our plugin init function later. It serves as an internal “ID” of our plugin.

Then, there is the API version method:

// Do NOT change this function.
APICALL EXPORT std::string PLUGIN_API_VERSION() {
    return HYPRLAND_API_VERSION;
}

This method will tell Hyprland what API version was used to compile this plugin. Do NOT change it. It will be set automatically when compiling to the correct value.

Skipping over some example handlers, we have two important functions:

APICALL EXPORT PLUGIN_DESCRIPTION_INFO PLUGIN_INIT(HANDLE handle) {
    PHANDLE = handle;

    // ...

    return {"MyPlugin", "An amazing plugin that is going to change the world!", "Me", "1.0"};
}

APICALL EXPORT void PLUGIN_EXIT() {
    // ...
}

The first method will be called when your plugin gets initialized (loaded)

You can, and probably should, initialize everything you may want to use in there.

It’s worth noting that adding config variables is only allowed in this function.

The plugin init function is required.

The return value should be the PLUGIN_DESCRIPTION_INFO struct which lets Hyprland know about your plugin’s name, description, author and version.

Make sure to store your HANDLE as it’s going to be required for API calls.

The second method is not required, and will be called when your plugin is being unloaded by the user.

If your plugin is being unloaded because it committed a fault, this function will not be called.

You do not have to unload layouts, remove config options, remove dispatchers, window decorations or unregister hooks in the exit method. Hyprland will do that for you.

Setting up a development environment

In order to make your life easier, it’s a good idea to work on a nested debug Hyprland session.

Enter your Hyprland directory and run make debug

Make a copy of your config in ~/.config/hypr called hyprlandd.conf.

Remove all exec= or exec-once= directives from your config.

recommended: Change the modifier for your keybinds (e.g. SUPER -> ALT)

Add this line:

monitor = WL-1, 1920x1080, 0x0, 1

Launch the output Hyprland binary in ./build/ when logged into a Hyprland session.

A new window should open with Hyprland running inside of it. You can now run your plugin in the nested session without worrying about nuking your actual session, and also being able to debug it easily.

See more info in the Contributing Section

More advanced stuff

Take a look at the src/plugins/PluginAPI.hpp header. It has comments to every method to let you know what it is.

For more explanation on a few concepts, see Advanced and Plugin Guidelines