Custom Tools Plugin

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Plugin Information

Plugin ID custom-tools-plugin Changes In Latest Release
Since Latest Release
Latest Release
Latest Release Date
Required Core
0.4.4 (archives)
Oct 15, 2014
extended-choice-parameter (version:0.28)
Source Code
Issue Tracking
Pull Requests
Open Issues
Pull Requests
Ryan Campbell (id: recampbell)
Oleg Nenashev (id: oleg_nenashev)
Usage Installations 2014-Aug 386
2014-Sep 426
2014-Oct 438
2014-Nov 464
2014-Dec 446
2015-Jan 484
2015-Feb 504
2015-Mar 549
2015-Apr 576
2015-May 594
2015-Jun 634
2015-Jul 692

A generic tool installer. You define how tools get installed, and the plugin will automatically install them when needed. 


A job will often require a tool not already installed on your slave machines. In large Jenkins environments, this often results in waiting on an administrator. The goal of this plugin is to let users manage their own tools, without requiring this administrator involvement.

Using this plugin, you can define a script (or just a URL) for installing a tool. You then define which jobs require the tool, and the plugin installs them as needed before the build runs.


Let's say that you have a build that needs NodeJS. The first step is to add the tool to the "Custom Tools" section in the global configuration. You could use a script, as follows. The "Exported paths" field lets you specify multiple directory patterns which will be added to the $PATH so that your build needn't know where the tool is actually installed.
Then, you just need to add the tool requirement to your job's Build Environment:

Then, you can just use the tool in your job, without having to know where it's installed. The plugin will install it as needed before your job runs, and make sure the $PATH is setup correctly:

Advanced use-cases

Versioning of tools

Custom Tools plugin provides a support of versioning. Currently the plugins uses the functionality provided by Extended Choice Parameter plugin, but it's a subject for a change in the future. Extended Choice Parameter plugin allows to setup versions locally in the global configuration or to reference a property file with the version listing.


  • If a tool has the versioning enabled, Custom Tools starts retrieving versions during the tool installation
  • *Tool version* parameter is available. If it is not specified, the default version will be used
  • Several tool installers support TOOL_VERSION variables (e.g. all installers from Extra Tool Installers Plugin), so you can

Version configuration example:

Version usage in Tool Installers:

Configuration of the Tool Version parameter:

Example of the build parameter dialog:

JIRA Issues


Wiki will be updated according to changes in 0.3 and 0.4 versions.

Ryan's vision: In the future, there will be a repository of tool installers hosted by the Jenkins community on GitHub, allowing people to share tool installation scripts.

Compared to Tool Environment Plugin the advantages are that you can define tools of arbitrary type more intuitively (otherwise you would need to make an e.g. "Ant installation" that is not in fact Ant at all but really NodeJS); and in the common case that your usage of the tool is just adding it to $PATH, it is a little easier to configure on the job side. In the future these plugins should be merged.

Useful links

Version History

Version 0.4.4 (Oct 15, 2014)

  • Properly escape special symbols in Additional vars coming from substituted variables (issue #JENKINS-24113)

Version 0.4.3 (Oct 09, 2014)

  • Be robust against null multi-configuration options after plugin upgrades (issue #24853)
  • Respect slave platform while constructing environment variables (issue #14515)

Version 0.4.2 (06/29/2014)

  • Support of tool version parameters in CLI build commands (issue #22923)
  • Reduce the size of the configuration page by adding the Advanced section (issue #20909)
  • Return non-null default values for CLI to workaround issue #15094 in Jenkins core (issue #22925)
  • Throw errors if the configured tool cannot be found (issue #18814)
  • Properly handle missing tools in the Install wrapper to avoid NPEs (issue #22075)

Version 0.4.1 (11/25/2013)

Version 0.4 (09/08/2013)

Version 0.3 (08/02/2013)

  • Change of ownership. New owner: Oleg Nenashev, Synopsys Inc.,
  • New features:
    • JENKINS-18774 - New option: Setup of label-specific environment variables (useful for LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc.)
    • JENKINS-18707 - New option: Skip installation of tool at MatrixBuild's master job
    • JENKINS-17844 - Improvement: Environment Variables expansion in ExportedPaths and ToolHome
    • Partial replacement of the Tool Environment Plugin. Custom Tools can export HOME variables in different cases (ex, Tool_HOME and TOOL_HOME)
  • Bug fixes:
    • JENKINS-18815 - Home variables substitution doesn't work properly in case of leading variable
    • JENKINS-18481 - BuildWrapper throws NPE if user doesn't select any tool 
    • JENKINS-14515 - Malformed path variable in case of different operating systems at master and slave
    • JENKINS-13285 - customtools-plugin does not delegate the Launcher.isUnix() call in DecoratedLauncher


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