lightning-plugin – Manage plugins with RPC


plugin subcommand [plugin|directory] [options] …


The plugin RPC command command can be used to control dynamic plugins, i.e. plugins that declared themself “dynamic” (in getmanifest).

subcommand can be start, stop, startdir, rescan or list and determines what action is taken

plugin is the path or name of a plugin executable to start or stop

directory is the path of a directory containing plugins

options are optional keyword=value options passed to plugin, can be repeated

subcommand start takes a path to an executable as argument and starts it as plugin. path may be an absolute path or a path relative to the plugins directory (default ~/.lightning/plugins). If the plugin is already running and the executable (checksum) has changed, the plugin is killed and restarted except if its an important (or builtin) plugin. If the plugin doesn’t complete the “getmanifest” and “init” handshakes within 60 seconds, the command will timeout and kill the plugin. Additional options may be passed to the plugin, but requires all parameters to be passed as keyword=value pairs, for example: lightning-cli -k plugin subcommand=start greeting='A crazy' (using the -k|--keyword option is recommended)

subcommand stop takes a plugin executable path or name as argument and stops the plugin. If the plugin subscribed to “shutdown”, it may take up to 30 seconds before this command returns. If the plugin is important and dynamic, this will shutdown lightningd.

subcommand startdir starts all executables it can find in directory (excl. subdirectories) as plugins. Checksum and timeout behavior as in start applies.

subcommand rescan starts all plugins in the default plugins directory (default ~/.lightning/plugins) that are not already running. Checksum and timeout behavior as in start applies.

subcommand list lists all running plugins (incl. non-dynamic)


On success, an object is returned, containing:

  • command (string): the subcommand this is responding to (one of “start”, “stop”, “rescan”, “startdir”, “list”)

If command is “start”, “startdir”, “rescan” or “list”:

  • plugins (array of objects):
    • name (string): full pathname of the plugin
    • active (boolean): status; plugin completed init and is operational, plugins are configured asynchronously.
    • dynamic (boolean): plugin can be stopped or started without restarting lightningd

If command is “stop”:

  • result (string): A message saying it successfully stopped

On error, the reason why the action could not be taken upon the plugin is returned.


lightning-cli(1), lightning-listconfigs(1), writing plugins


Antoine Poinsot <> is mainly responsible.