Nuxeo Add-Ons

Scripting Commands

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Scripting commands can be used to define the way an installation is done. Usually, when installing a new component you need to execute a limited set of commands like copy, delete, patch etc.

The Package Scripting Commands provides a easy to use format for defining the install logic of a package and more, each built-in command is providing safe rollback in case of install failures.

When writing your installation using scripting commands you don't need to write the uninstall script. This script will be automatically generated after the installation is successfully done.

Typical installations

A typical install.xml file looks like this:

   <update file="${package.root}/install/bundles" todir="${env.bundles}" />
   <update file="${package.root}/install/bundles-jsf-ui" todir="${env.bundles}" if="Packages.contains('nuxeo-jsf-ui')" />
   <update file="${package.root}/install/bundles-web-ui" todir="${env.bundles}" if="Packages.contains('nuxeo-web-ui')" />
   <update file="${package.root}/install/lib" todir="${env.lib}" />

This instructs Nuxeo to use the bundles from the bundles directory, and in addition use those from the bundles-jsf-ui directory only if the nuxeo-jsf-ui package is installed (and similarly for nuxeo-web-ui). It also instructs Nuxeo to use the plain Java libraries from the lib directory.

Specialized installations

Let's now look at a more complex install.xml file, which would be used only for very specialized packages:

  <copy file="${package.root}/myplugin.jar" tofile="${env.bundles}" fail="tofile.isFile()" />
  <copy file="${package.root}/" tofile="${env.config}/"
    ignore="Platform.isJBoss()" />
  <copy file="${package.root}/mylib-1.2.jar" tofile="${env.lib}/mylib-{version:.*}.jar"
    ignore="Version.isGreaterOrEqual(version, \"1.2\")" />
  <deploy file="${env.bundles}/my-plugin.jar"/>

You can see the file is using contextual variables as env.bundles. etc. See Creating Nuxeo Packages for the complete list of context variables.

Let's take each command and see what will be executed.

  • The first copy command is copying the file named myplugin.jar from the package root into the Nuxeo bundles directory (by preserving the file name).

      <copy file="${package.root}/myplugin.jar" tofile="${env.bundles}" 
        fail="tofile.isFile()" />

    You can see a fail attribute was used to put a guard on this command. The guard says that the command should fail if the target file exists (i.e a JAR with the same name already exists in the Nuxeo bundles directory). See below in the Guard Attributes section for more details on using guards.

  • The second copy command will copy the file from the package root to the Nuxeo configuration directory but only if the current platform distribution is not based on JBoss.

      <copy file="${package.root}/" tofile="${env.config}/"
        ignore="Platform.isJBoss()" />

    You can see here the usage of another type of guard parameter: ignore.

  • The third copy command is a bit more complicated. It is used to upgrade an existing library. It is checking if the version of the library is an old version and should be replaced. If it is the same or a newer version the command will be ignored.

      <copy file="${package.root}/mylib-1.2.jar" tofile="${env.lib}/mylib-{version:.*}.jar"
        ignore="Version.isGreaterOrEqual(version, \"1.2\")" />

    You notice the usage of regular expression variables. The tofile value is using an expression of the form {var:regex}. This is a file pattern that allow to search for an existing file that match the given pattern. If a matching file is found the pattern portion of the file name will be extracted and inserted into the EL context under the 'var' key. If no matching file is found the command will fail.

    So, in our case the first file that matches the name mylib-*.jar and is located in the env.lib directory will be selected and the value that matched the pattern will be inserted into EL context under the name version. That way we can use this variable in our ignore guard parameter. This will check the version of the file that matched to see if the upgrade should be done or not.

    The deploy command will deploy (e.g. install) the specified bundle into the working Nuxeo Platform. The deploy command is needed only if you don't want to restart the server after the install is done. If you skip the deployment command you need to restart the server to have your new bundle deployed.

    Note that the deploy command won't work for all bundles. Some bundles will need the server to be restarted.

    The reload-core is simply flushing any repository caches. This is useful if your new bundle is deploying new type of documents. In that case if you don't restart the server you need to flush the repository cache to have you new types working.

Guard Attributes

We've seen that there are two special attributes that can be used on any command:

  • fail: this is an EL expression that can be used to force command to fail in some circumstances.
  • ignore: this is an EL expression that can be used to avoid executing the command in some circumstances.
  • if: this is an EL expression that can be used to only execute the command in some circumstances.

The variable available in EL context are:

  • Packages: a packages helper. Only one method is available, contains, that will check if the given package is installed (or being installed) in the platform.
  • Version: a version helper. See VersionHelper class for the list of all available methods. Example: Version.isGreater(version, '1.0')
  • Platform: a platform helper that provides methods to check the type of the currently running Nuxeo Platform (name, version etc.). Examples: Platform.matches("dm-5.3.2"), Platform.isTomcat() etc.
  • Pattern Variables: as we seen variable used in file pattern matching are inserted into the EL context.
  • custom variables provided by each command. Each command should document which variables are provided.

Command Validation

Before running an installation the install commands are first validated, that means each command is tested in turn to see whether or not it could be successfully executed. All potential failures are recorded into a validation status and displayed to the user. If blocking failures are discovered the install will be aborted, otherwise if only warnings are discovered the user is asked whether or not to continue the install.

For example, a validation failure can occurs if a command is trying to upgrade a JAR that is newer than the one proposed by the command.

When validation failures occurs the installation is aborted - so nothing should be rollbacked since nothing was modified on the target platform. Of course even is the validation is successful the install process may fail. In that case an automatic rollback of all modification is done. Lets see now how the rollback is managed.

Command Rollback

Each command executed during an install is returning an opposite command if successful. The opposite command is designed to undo any modification done by the originating command. The originating command is responsible to return an exact opposite command. All built-ins commands are tested and are safe in generating the right rollback is needed to undo the command modifications. When you are contributing new commands you must ensure the rollback is done right.

As an example of describing how a command should generate its rollback command let's the built-in copy command. To simplify let's say the copy command has a file parameter, a tofile parameter and an optional md5 parameter. When the copy command (copy1) is executed it will backup the fileto file if any into let say backup_file, generate an md5 hash of the file content, and then copy the file over the fileto**.** This command will generate a rollback command (copy2) that will have the following arguments:

  • copy2.file = backup_file
  • copy2.tofile = copy1.tofile
  • copy2.md5 = md5(copy1.file)

The md5 parameter is used (if set) to test if the target file (of the copy) has the same md5 as the one specified in the command. If not then the command will fail - since we cannot rollback a file over another one that was modified meanwhile.

This is the approach taken by the copy command. You can take any approach you want but in any case the command you implement must provide a safe rollback command.

Here is a short pseudo-code of how the commands are executed (and rollback done if needed)

// execute each command in the install.xml file
for (Command cmd : commands) {
  Command rollbackCmd = cmd.execute(task, userPrefs);
  if (rollbackCmd != null) {

So, each time a command is executed the opposite command is logged into an command list named log.

If any error occurs during the execution of a command the logged commands are executed to do the rollback. If all the commands are successfully executed then the command log is persisted to a file named uninstall.xml. Of course this is the generated uninstall script.

The Uninstall Script

Let see now what is the uninstall script generated by the install file described above. We will show only the first copy rollback command (since the others are similar):

  <copy file="path_to_package/backup/myplugin.jar" tofile="path_to_bundles/myplugin.jar" md5="aaaa.." />

You can see the uninstall script doesn't contain variables, neither guard attributes. This is normal since at install time all variables were resolved and replaced with their actual values. Also guard attributes are not useful at uninstall time since the install succeeded. Also, you can note an additional md5 attribute that represents the md5 hash of the file that has been copied at install time. The uninstall copy will succeed only if this md5 value is the same as the target file it is being to replace. The commands ignored at install time (due to a matching ignore attribute) will obviously not be recorded in the uninstall file.

Also, note that in the case that the copy command didn't overwrite any file the rollback command will be a delete command and not a copy one.

The copy command is more complex but there are commands that are a lot more simpler to implement. For example the opposite of the reload-core is itself. There are cases when a command doesn't have an opposite - in that case you should return null as the opposite command.

Implementing a Command

The built-ins commands provided by the Nuxeo Platform may not cover all of the install use cases. In that case you must implement your own command.

To implement you own command you must extend the AbstractCommand class from org.nuxeo.connect.update.task.standalone.commands:nuxeo-connect-standalone (nuxeo-connect-standalone in

Here is a simple example (the Delete command):

public class Delete extends AbstractCommand {

    public final static String ID = "delete";

    protected File file; // the file to restore

    protected String md5;

    public Delete() {

    public Delete(File file, String md5) {
        this.file = file;
        this.md5 = md5;

    protected void doValidate(Task task, ValidationStatus status) {
        if (file == null) {
            status.addError("Invalid delete syntax: No file specified");

    protected Command doRun(Task task, Map<String, String> prefs)
            throws PackageException {
        try {
            File bak = IOUtils.backup(task.getPackage(), file);
            return new Copy(bak, file, md5, false);
        } catch (Exception e) {
            throw new PackageException(
                    "Failed to create backup when deleting: " + file.getName());

    public void readFrom(Element element) throws PackageException {
        String v = element.getAttribute("file");
        if (v.length() > 0) {
            FileRef ref = FileRef.newFileRef(v);
            file = ref.getFile();
            guardVars.put("file", file);
            if (file.isDirectory()) {
                throw new PackageException("Cannot delete directories: "
                        + file.getName());
        v = element.getAttribute("md5");
        if (v.length() > 0) {
            md5 = v;

    public void writeTo(XmlWriter writer) {
        if (file != null) {
            writer.attr("file", file.getAbsolutePath());
        if (md5 != null) {
            writer.attr("md5", md5);

You can see in that example there are four main methods to implement:

  • Two are the XML serialization of the command,
  • one is the command validation (should check if all required attributes are set and the command is consistent),
  • and the last one is the execution itself which should return a valid rollback command.

To deploy your command you should put your class into the package (the command can be a Groovy class or a Java one). Then to invoke it just use the full class name of your command as the element name in the XML. For example if the command file is commands/MyCommand.class (relative to your package root) you can just use the following XML code:

<commands.MyCommand ... />

Built-in Commands

This is a list of all commands provided by the Nuxeo Platform:


Updates a JAR file.


<update file="file_to_copy" tofile="destination"/>


<update file="file_to_copy" todir="destination_dir"/>

A boolean upgradeOnly attribute (false by default) can be specified to avoid creating the JAR if there is no previously-existing one.

A boolean allowDowngrade attribute (false by default) can be specified to avoid overwriting a JAR whose version is lower than the new one.


Copies a file to a given destination. This command can be used to add new files or to upgrade existing files to a new version.


<copy file="file_to_copy" tofile="destination"/>


<copy file="file_to_copy" todir="destination_dir"/>

There is also a boolean overwrite attribute available than can be used to force command failure when overwrite is false and the destination file exists. Overwrite is by default false.

The tofile attribute will be injected as a File object in the EL context used by guards.

The destination can be a file pattern.

Parametrized Copy

Same as copy but the content of the copied file is generated using variable expansion based on user preferences (variables defined by the user during the install wizard).


<pcopy file="file_to_copy_and_transform" tofile="destination"/>


<pcopy file="file_to_copy_and_transform" todir="destination_dir"/>


Deletes a file. This command takes one argument which is the absolute path of the file to delete. The argument name is file.

An optional parameter generated for the uninstaller is the md5 one which will be used to avoid inconsistent uninstalls.

Directories delete are not allowed.


<delete file="file_to_delete"/>


Starts an OSGi bundle into Nuxeo Runtime. Needed when deploying a new bundle to the Nuxeo Platform without restarting the server. Note that not all bundles can be deployed without restarting.

This command takes one argument which is the absolute path of the bundle to deploy. The argument name is file.


<deploy file="file_to_deploy"/>


Stops an OSGi bundle that is deployed in the Nuxeo Runtime. Needed before removing a bundle from Nuxeo without restarting the server.

This command takes one argument which is the absolute path of the bundle to undeploy. The argument name is file.


<undeploy file="file_to_undeploy"/>


Flushes all repository caches. Should be used when new document types are contributed and no restart is wanted.

This command takes no arguments.

The opposite command is itself.



TODO: add more info about other existing commands

2 months ago Loubna Benzaama Fix Showcase Content add-on doc
3 years ago Manon Lumeau 35
3 years ago Solen Guitter 34
5 years ago Solen Guitter 33 | Formatting, update Astract Command location and links
5 years ago Solen Guitter 32 | Added TOC
6 years ago Solen Guitter 30
6 years ago Solen Guitter 31
6 years ago Julien Carsique 29
6 years ago Anahide Tchertchian 28
6 years ago Anahide Tchertchian 27
7 years ago Solen Guitter 26 | Updated mercurial link to github URL
8 years ago Julien Carsique 25 | add info about module containing AbstractCommand to extend for implementing new marketplace package commands
8 years ago Julien Carsique 24 | updated pointer to list of context variables
8 years ago Bogdan Stefanescu 23
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History: Created by Bogdan Stefanescu

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