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Creating Plugins for the twilio-cli

1. Familiarize yourself with the architecture and oclif

The twilio-cli is built using the Open CLI Framework (oclif). It is using the "Multi-command" project type. You will specifically want to review the docs:

2. Adapt the starter repo (optional, but good for getting started)

Start by cloning this repo of an example debugger plugin.

Once it's cloned, you can poke around to get a sense for the organization and even copy and adapt it for your own plugin use case.

Your plugin directory should following the naming convention plugin-<my-spectacular-plugin>.

Remember to update the package.json fields if you start building your own plugin off of this one:

  • name
  • description
  • homepage
  • oclif["name"]
  • topics

And run npm install.

3. Add your topics and commands

Commands go in the src/commands folder and should inherit from one of our command base classes.


Inherit from TwilioClientCommand if your command will need to make Twilio API calls. You will be provided with a this.twilioClient to make API calls using the Node.js helper library for Twilio. The client object will already have the necessary credentials and account SID. Just start calling the API. You are also given an this.httpClient to make requests to other API's, but you'll need to manage any necessary credentials yourself.


Inherit from TwilioBaseCommand if your command doesn't need to make any API calls.


We recommend that you consider command naming diligently. It's possible to write a command that will collide with an existing command name. Additionally, we recommend starting your top-level command help with lower case to be consistent with the help that ships with twilio-cli.

Finally, the CLI will warn the user if the plugin is hosted outside of the twilio and twilio-labs organizations.


To create flags for your spectacular plugin, you will need the following import: const { flags } = require('@oclif/command');

Additionally, you will need to copy the base class' flags:

MySpectacularPlugin.flags = Object.assign({'fave-dessert': flag.string({'description': 'Your favorite dessert', required: true})}, TwilioClientCommand.flags)

4. Test your plugin with the CLI

You are probably using NPM if you develop a twilio-cli plugin, so install it if you have not already done so:

npm install -g twilio-cli

Follow the set-up instructions in the twilio-cli Quickstart. The Quickstart also includes instructions for homebrew installation.

For testing, "install" the plugin referencing your plugin's local development folder by linking to your plugin.

Run this command from the CLI folder. This assumes the CLI and your plugin folders are siblings of each other (perhaps in a ~/Projects folder):

./bin/run plugins:link ../plugin-<my-spectacular-plugin>

Now, you can run your plugin command from the CLI:

twilio my-new-topic:my-new-command --help

5. Publish your plugin to NPM

Once you have your plugin working, publish it to as a JavaScript package using npm publish. The twilio plugins:install <npm package name> command will download your package from NPM.

If you want to keep your package private, then you can run npm pack to create a tarball and distribute that file. Running twilio plugins:install <package.tar.gz> will install the plugin from the file instead of looking on NPM.

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