Cacti Plugins allow users of Cacti to extend it's functionality into areas that the core Cacti developers have not. They were written based off of the work of Jimmy Conner from the Squirrel Mail project years ago. They allow developers to augment the Cacti Website, and it's polling processes to extend Cacti's reach.
There are a number of popular plugins including:
In theory, these plugins can be integrated into Cacti very simply, and removed without breaking Cacti. However, it must be noted to always review the plugins documentation before you start to use it.
Plugins written for Cacti 0.8.x require modifications in order to be compatible with Cacti 1.x. There are several changes that all plugin developers need to be aware of. Any of the Cacti Group maintained plugin can be used as reference plugins for driving your plugin migration to the 1.x framework and are available on Github.
In order to migrate your legacy Cacti plugins, there are several steps that need to be taken. This guide will provide a brief synopsis of changes that are required to make your plugins compatible with Cacti 1.0.
Each of the following steps should be followed to migrate your plugins. Some of these changes are optional, and some are mandatory. We will start with the list of steps that must be required. Then, in future sections, we will provide details on performing each step.
Creation of Information (INFO) file (mandatory)
Applying correct classes to Anchor tags to trigger callbacks (mandatory)
Remove instances of including top_header.php, top_graph_header.php, top_general_header.php and replacing with function calls top_header(), bottom_footer(), top_graph_header(), and top_general_header(). (mandatory)
Adding '&header=false' to most header() function calls to drive Ajax rendering. (mandatory)
Movement of form elements to be W3C compliant as HTML5 requires it (mandatory)
Moving the $nav variable within the page to ensure tables are formatted correctly. This includes the $nav before the table and the $nav afterwards. (mandatory)
Remove all instances of $_GET, $_REQUEST, and $_POST and replacing the wrappers get_request_var(), get_filter_request_var(), set_request_var(), isset_request_var(), isempty_request_var() (mandatory)
Utilize the 'validate_store_request_vars()' function to greatly simplify request validation on your pages. (mandatory)
Migration of the Plugin to the PIA 2.x+ install and setup process. Cacti PIA 1.x plugins are not supported in Cacti 1.0 and beyond. (mandatory)
Removal of hooks that inject jQuery, jQueryUI into Cacti's header (mandatory)
Remove inline styles, and use Cacti's classes instead (highly recommended)
Migration of filters to Ajax callbacks (highly recommended)
Removing references to the $colors array (optional)
Using new functions for alternate colored rows, sorted, checkbox and other headers (optional)
Using new options for headers to support tool tips, alignment etc (optional)
Migration to new pagination functions, which simplify page navigation
The INFO file follows the INI file specification. An example INFO file includes the following sections:
name - The name of the plugin directory
version - The version number of the plugin
longname - A description for the plugin
author - The plugins author
email - An email contact in order to reach the author
homepage - A link to the plugin authors homepage
compat - The minimum supported Cacti version
capabilities - a comma delimited string of capabilities defining how the plugin works with remote data collectors
nosync - a comma delimited string of directories or file extensions to
skip during the remote data collector synchronization. File extensions must be
*.extension and only are relevant in the base directory of the
plugin. The following extensions are automatically excluded regardless of
directory: 'tar', 'gz', 'zip', 'tgz', 'ttf', 'z', 'exe', 'pack', 'swp', 'swo'.
As mentioned, there are some very good examples of how to create or migrate plugins in the various Cacti plugins included on The Cacti Groups GitHub site. Also, for a very simple Cacti page, you can look at vdef.php as an example. You can use this as a template to manage a table using the Cacti framework. For a simple plugin example, please review the gexport plugin.
For developers using the Cacti framework, it is important to note that additional controls on logging have been added. Debug logging can now be controlled at not only a global level, but now per plugin, per device and even per file.