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Context help for the Plugin Installer

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borysiasty committed Dec 15, 2009
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<h3>Python Plugin Installer</h3>
Downloads and installs plugins from remote repositories.
<a href="#pltab">Plugins tab</a><br/>
<a href="#retab">Repositories tab</a><br/>
<a href="#optab">Options tab</a><br/>

<a name="pltab">
<h4>Plugins tab</h4>

<p align='justify'>
The <label>Plugins</label> tab contains a list of all locally installed Python plugins, as well as plugins available in
remote repositories. Each plugin can be either:
<li> not installed - this means the plugin is available in the repository, but is not installed yet. In
order to install it, select the plugin from the list and click the <label>Install plugin</label> button.</li>
<li> new - this means that the plugin is newly available in the repository.</li>
<li> installed - this indicates that the plugin is already installed. If it is also available in any repository
the <label>Reinstall plugin</label> button will be enabled. If the available version is older than the installed
version, the <label>Downgrade plugin</label> button will appear instead.</li>
<li> upgradeable - this means that the plugin is installed, but there is an updated version available.
In this case, the <label>Upgrade plugin</label> button will be enabled.</li>
<li> invalid - this means that the plugin is installed, but is unavailable or broken. The reason will be
explained in the plugin description field.</li>

To install a plugin, select it from the list and click the <label>Install plugin</label> button. The plugin is installed in its own directory in:
<table border=1>
<tr><td>OS</td><td>system plugins</td><td>plugins installed by user</td></tr>
<tr><td>Linux and other unices</td><td>./share/qgis/python/plugins</td><td>/home/$USERNAME/.qgis/python/plugins</td></tr>
<tr><td>Mac OS X</td><td>./Contents/MacOS/share/qgis/python/plugins</td><td>/Users/$USERNAME/.qgis/python/plugins</td></tr>
<tr><td>Windows</td><td>C:\Program Files\QGIS\python\plugins</td><td>C:\Documents and Settings\$USERNAME\.qgis\python\plugins</td></tr>

<p align='justify'>
If the installation is successful, a confirmation message will appear. The plugin is ready to use.

<p align='justify'>
If the installation fails, the reason for the failure will be displayed in a warning dialog. Most often,
errors are the result of connection problems and/or missing Python modules. In the former case you
will likely need to wait before trying the install again, in the latter case, you should install the missing
modules relevant to your operating system prior to using the plugin. For Linux, most required
modules should be available via a package manager. For install instructions in Windows visit the
module home page. If you are using a proxy, you may need to configure it under <label>Edit</label> > <label>Options</label>
(Gnome, OSX) or <label>Settings</label> > <label>Options</label> (KDE, Windows) on the <label>Proxy</label> tab.

<p align='justify'>
The <label>Uninstall plugin</label> button is enabled only if the selected plugin is installed and is not a core
plugin. Note that if you have installed an update to a core plugin, you can uninstall this update
with the <label>Uninstall plugin</label> and revert to the version shipped with Quantum GIS. This default version
however, cannot be uninstalled.

<a name="retab">
<h4>Repositories tab</h4>
<p align='justify'>
The second tab <label>Repositories</label>, contains a list of plugin repositories available for the Plugin
Installer. By default, only the QGIS Official Repository is enabled. You can add several user-
contributed repositories, including the central QGIS Contributed Repository and other external repos-
itories by clicking the <label>Add 3rd party repositories</label> button. The added repositories contain a large
number of useful plugins which are not maintained by the QGIS Development Team. As such, we
cannot take any responsibility for them. You can also manage the repository list manually, that is add,
remove, and edit the entries. Temporarily disabling a particular repository is possible by clicking the
<label>Edit...</label> button.

<a name="optab">
<h4>Options tab</h4>
<p align='justify'>
The <label>Options</label> tab is where you can configure the settings of the Plugin Installer.
The <label>x Check for updates on startup</label> checkbox tells QGIS to automatically look for plugin updates and
news. By default, if this feature is enabled all repositories listed and enabled in the <label>Repositories</label>
tab are checked for updates each time the program is started. The frequency of update checking
can be adjusted using the dropdown menu, and may be adjusted from once a day right up to once a
month. If a new plugin or update is available for one of the installed plugins, a notification will appear
in the Status Bar. If the checkbox is disabled, looking for updates and news is performed only when
the Plugin Installer is manually launched from the menu.

<p align='justify'>
Some internet connections will cause problems when attempting to automatically check for updates.
In these cases, a <i>Looking for new plugins...</i> indicator will remain visible in the Status Bar during your
entire QGIS session, and may cause a program crash when exiting. In this case please disable the

In addition, you may specify the type of plugins that are displayed by the Plugin Installer. Under
<i>Allowed plugins</i>, you can specify whether you would like to:
<li> Only show plugins from the official repository</li>
<li> Show all plugins except those marked as experimental,</li>
<li> or Show all plugins, even those marked as experimental.</li>

<table border=1 width='95%' align='center'><tr><td>
Note: Experimental plugins are generally unsuitable for production use. These plugins are in the early stages of
development, and should be considered ’incomplete’ or ’proof of concept’ tools. The QGIS development team
does not recommend installing these plugins unless you intend to use them for testing purposes.

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