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GJ Roelofs, 2010-08-14 13:33

Redmine plugin hooks

Redmine supports the concept of Hooks. It is an API to allow external code to extend the core Redmine functionality in a clean way. Hooks allow the plugin author to register callback functions which are executed one after another when the Redmine code reaches specific points in the code.

There is a list of valid hooks. But the best way to find them is to just have a look into the code to find the place you would like to extend and search for a call to a hook nearby.

Additional methods to extend or replace Redmine code are:


As said above, when a hook is called, it executes the previously registered callback functions. These functions must accept exactly one parameter: a hash providing some context. This context hash will always contain data necessary to do something useful in your callback function. In the case of controller of view hooks (see below), it contains at least the following information:
  • :controller => a reference to the current controller instance
  • :project => the current project (if set by the controller),
  • :request => the current request object with much information about the current web request

Additionally, the hash will contain some data specific to the respective hook. This data is directly passed in the call_hook call you will find in Redmine's code.

Model hooks will not contain the default data as it does not apply here. These hooks will only contain the data passed in the call_hook call.

Types of hooks

Basically, there are currently three types of hooks:
  • View hooks
  • Controller hooks
  • Model hooks

While both types use exactly the same API, there is a fundamentally different use-case for these.

View hooks

View hooks are executed while rendering the HTML code of a view. This allows the plugin author to insert some custom HTML code into some sensible places of the view. The return value of the callback function transformed to a string and included into the view. There exists a shortcut for rendering a single partial. See below for an example.

Controller hooks

Controller hooks are fewer in number than the view hooks. Often it is sufficient to use additional filters or to extend the model classes, as the controller actions should (and are most of the time) be very short and don't do much. There are however, some more lengthy action which use hooks. To properly use those, one has to understand, that the objects in the context hash are only referenced. This, if you change a object in-place, the changes will be available in the actual controller (and later in the view). Consider the following simplified example:

Assume the following function registered to the do_something hook. See below for how to achieve that.

def do_something(context={ })
  context[:issue].subject = "Nothing to fix" 

Now consider a controller action with the following code:

issue = Issue.find(1)
# issue.subject is "Fix me" 
call_hook(:do_something, :issue => issue)
# issue.subject is now "Nothing to fix" 

As you can see, the hook function can change the issue object in-place. It is however not possible to completely replace an object as this would break the object references.

Model hooks

There are very few model hooks in Redmine. Most extensions in model code can be done by adding new methods or encapsulating existing ones by creatively applying the alias_method_chain pattern. The hooks can be used in the same way as the controller hooks.

Register functions to hooks

View hooks

The following example is going to hook a function into the hook view_issues_form_details_bottom. This can be used to add some additional fields to the issue edit form.

  1. In your plugin (assumed to be named my_plugin), create the following class in lib/my_plugin/hooks.rb. You can register to multiple hooks in the same class.
    module MyPlugin
      class Hooks < Redmine::Hook::ViewListener
        # This just renders the partial in
        # app/views/hooks/my_plugin/_view_issues_form_details_bottom.rhtml
        # The contents of the context hash is made available as local variables to the partial.
        # Additional context fields
        #   :issue  => the issue this is edited
        #   :f      => the form object to create additional fields
        render_on :view_issues_form_details_bottom,
                  :partial => 'hooks/my_plugin/view_issues_form_details_bottom'
    The following class does exactly the same as the above but uses a method instead of the shorter render_on helper. The name of the method decides which callback it registers itself to.
    module MyPlugin
      class Hooks < Redmine::Hook::ViewListener
        def view_issues_form_details_bottom(context={ })
          # the controller parameter is part of the current params object
          # This will render the partial into a string and return it.
          context[:controller].send(:render_to_string, {
            :partial => "hooks/my_plugin/view_issues_form_details_bottom" 
            :locals => context
          # Instead of the above statement, you could return any string generated
          # by your code. That string will be included into the view
  2. In your init.rb make sure to require the file with the hooks. It should look like this:
    require 'redmine'
    # This is the important line.
    # It requires the file in lib/my_plugin/hooks.rb
    require_dependency 'my_plugin/hooks'
    Redmine::Plugin.register :my_plugin do

Controller and Model hooks

You can register methods to controller and model hooks the same way as the view hooks. Always remember to require the hook class in your init.rb. See an example below:

module MyPlugin
  class Hooks < Redmine::Hook::ViewListener
    def controller_issues_bulk_edit_before_save(context={ })
      # set my_attribute on the issue to a default value if not set explictly
      context[:issue].my_attribute ||= "default" 

Additional examples

Some additional real-life examples can be found at


  • HowTo add filters to existing controllers?
  • HowTo overwrite methods using alias_method_chain
    • instance methods
    • class methods
    • initialize
    • modules