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reckless - install and activate a CLN plugin by name


reckless [options] install/uninstall/enable/disable/source target


Reckless is a plugin manager for Core-Lightning. Typical plugin installation involves: finding the source plugin, copying, installing dependencies, testing, activating, and updating the lightningd config file. Reckless does all of these by invoking:

reckless install plugin_name

reckless will exit early in the event that: - the plugin is not found in any available source repositories - dependencies are not sucessfully installed - the plugin fails to execute

Reckless-installed plugins reside in the 'reckless' subdirectory of the user's .lightning folder. By default, plugins are activated on the bitcoin network (and use lightningd's bitcoin network config), but regtest may also be used.

Other commands include:

reckless uninstall plugin_name disables the plugin, removes the directory.

reckless search plugin_name looks through all available sources for a plugin matching this name.

reckless enable plugin_name dynamically enables the reckless-installed plugin and updates the config to match.

reckless disable plugin_name dynamically disables the reckless-installed plugin and updates the config to match.

reckless source list list available plugin repositories.

reckless source add repo_url add another plugin repo for reckless to search.

reckless source rm repo_url remove a plugin repo for reckless to search.


Available option flags:

-d, --reckless-dir reckless_dir specify an alternative data directory for reckless to use. Useful if your .lightning is protected from execution.

-l, --lightning lightning_data_dir lightning data directory (defaults to $USER/.lightning)

-c, --conf lightning_config pass the config used by lightningd

-r, --regtest use the regtest network and config instead of bitcoin mainnet

-v, --verbose request additional debug output


Reckless currently supports python plugins only. Additional language support will be provided in future releases.

Running the first time will prompt the user that their lightningd's bitcoin config will be appended (or created) to inherit the reckless config file (this config is specific to bitcoin by default.) Management of plugins will subsequently modify this file.

Troubleshooting tips:

Plugins must be executable. For python plugins, the shebang is invoked, so python3 should be available in your environment. This can be verified with which Python3. The default reckless directory is $USER/.lightning/reckless and it should be possible for the lightningd user to execute files located here. If this is a problem, the option flag reckless -d= may be used to relocate the reckless directory from its default. Consider creating a permanent alias in this case.

For Plugin Developers:

To make your plugin compatible with reckless install: - Choose a unique plugin name. - The plugin entrypoint is inferred. Naming your plugin executable the same as your plugin name will allow reckless to identify it correctly (file extensions are okay.) - For python plugins, a requirements.txt is the preferred medium for python dependencies. A pyproject.toml will be used as a fallback, but test installation via pip install -e . - Poetry looks for additional files in the working directory, whereas with pip, any references to these will require something like packages = [{ include = "*.py" }] under the [tool.poetry] section. - Additional repository sources may be added with reckless source add https://my.repo.url/here however, is included by default. Consider adding your plugin lightningd/plugins to make installation simpler. - If your plugin is located in a subdirectory of your repo with a different name than your plugin, it will likely be overlooked.


Antoine Poinsot wrote the original reckless plugin on which this is based.

Rusty Russell wrote the outline for the reckless utility's function

Alex Myers <> is mostly responsible for the reckless code and this man page, with thanks to Christian Decker for extensive review.


Core-Lightning plugins repo:


Main web site: