Writing Genkit plugins

Firebase Genkit's capabilities are designed to be extended by plugins. Genkit plugins are configurable modules that can provide models, retrievers, indexers, trace stores, and more. You've already seen plugins in action just by using Genkit:

import { configureGenkit } from '@genkit-ai/core';
import { vertexAI } from '@genkit-ai/vertexai';

  plugins: [vertexAI({ projectId: 'my-project' })],

The Vertex AI plugin takes configuration (such as the user's Google Cloud project ID) and registers a variety of new models, embedders, and more with the Genkit registry. The registry powers Genkit's local UI for running and inspecting models, prompts, and more as well as serves as a lookup service for named actions at runtime.

Creating a Plugin

To create a plugin you'll generally want to create a new NPM package:

mkdir genkitx-my-plugin
cd genkitx-my-plugin
npm init -y
npm i --save @genkit-ai/core
npm i --save-dev typescript
npx tsc --init

Then, define and export your plugin from your main entry point:

import { genkitPlugin } from '@genkit-ai/core';

interface MyPluginOptions {
  // add any plugin configuration here

export const myPlugin = genkitPlugin(
  async (options: MyPluginOptions) => {
    // initialize your plugin here...

Plugin options guidance

In general, your plugin should take a single options argument that includes any plugin-wide configuration necessary to function. For any plugin option that requires a secret value, such as API keys, you should offer both an option and a default environment variable to configure it:

import { genkitPlugin, GenkitError } from '@genkit-ai/core';

interface MyPluginOptions {
  apiKey?: string;

export const myPlugin = genkitPlugin(
  async (options: MyPluginOptions) => {
    const apiKey = options.apiKey || process.env.MY_PLUGIN_API_KEY;
    if (!apiKey)
      throw new GenkitError({
        source: 'my-plugin',
        status: 'INVALID_ARGUMENT',
          'Must supply either `options.apiKey` or set `MY_PLUGIN_API_KEY` environment variable.',
    // ... continue initialization

Building your plugin

A single plugin can activate many new things within Genkit. For example, the Vertex AI plugin activates several new models as well as an embedder.

Model plugins

Genkit model plugins add one or more generative AI models to the Genkit registry. A model represents any generative model that is capable of receiving a prompt as input and generating text, media, or data as output. Generally, a model plugin will make one or more defineModel calls in its initialization function.

A custom model generally consists of three components:

  1. Metadata defining the model's capabilities.
  2. A configuration schema with any specific parameters supported by the model.
  3. A function that implements the model accepting GenerateRequest and returning GenerateResponse.

To build a model plugin, you'll need to use the @genkit-ai/ai package:

npm i --save @genkit-ai/ai

At a high level, a model plugin might look something like this:

import { genkitPlugin, GenkitError } from '@genkit-ai/core';
import { defineModel, GenerationCommonConfigSchema } from '@genkit-ai/ai/model';
import { simulateSystemPrompt } from '@genkit-ai/ai/model/middleware';
import { z } from 'zod';

export const myPlugin = genkitPlugin('my-plugin', async (options: {apiKey?: string}) => {
    // be sure to include your plugin as a provider prefix
    name: 'my-plugin/my-model',
    // label for your model as shown in Genkit Developer UI
    label: 'My Awesome Model',
    // optional list of supported versions of your model
    versions: ['my-model-001', 'my-model-001'],
    // model support attributes
    supports: {
      multiturn: true, // true if your model supports conversations
      media: true, // true if your model supports multimodal input
      tools: true, // true if your model supports tool/function calling
      systemRole: true, // true if your model supports the system role
      output: ['text', 'media', 'json'], // types of output your model supports
    // Zod schema for your model's custom configuration
    configSchema: GenerationCommonConfigSchema.extend({
      safetySettings: z.object({...}),
    // list of middleware for your model to use
    use: [simulateSystemPrompt()]
  }, async request => {
    const myModelRequest = toMyModelRequest(request);
    const myModelResponse = await myModelApi(myModelRequest);
    return toGenerateResponse(myModelResponse);

Transforming Requests and Responses

The primary work of a Genkit model plugin is transforming the GenerateRequest from Genkit's common format into a format that is recognized and supported by your model's API, and then transforming the response from your model into the GenerateResponseData format used by Genkit.

Sometimes, this may require massaging or manipulating data to work around model limitations. For example, if your model does not natively support a system message, you may need to transform a prompt's system message into a user/model message pair.

Model references

Once a model is registered using defineModel, it is always available when requested by name. However, to improve typing and IDE autocompletion, you can export a model reference from your package that includes only the metadata for a model but not its implementation:

import { modelRef } from "@genkit-ai/ai/model";

export myModelRef = modelRef({
  name: "my-plugin/my-model",
  configSchema: MyConfigSchema,
  info: {
    // ... model-specific info

When calling generate(), model references and string model names can be used interchangeably:

import { myModelRef } from 'genkitx-my-plugin';
import { generate } from '@genkit-ai/ai';

generate({ model: myModelRef });
// is equivalent to
generate({ model: 'my-plugin/my-model' });

Telemetry plugins

See Writing a Genkit Telemetry Plugin.

Publishing a plugin

Genkit plugins can be published as normal NPM packages. To increase discoverability and maximize consistency, your package should be named genkitx-{name} to indicate it is a Genkit plugin and you should include as many of the following keywords in your package.json as are relevant to your plugin:

  • genkit-plugin: always include this keyword in your package to indicate it is a Genkit plugin.
  • genkit-model: include this keyword if your package defines any models.
  • genkit-retriever: include this keyword if your package defines any retrievers.
  • genkit-indexer: include this keyword if your package defines any indexers.
  • genkit-embedder: include this keyword if your package defines any indexers.
  • genkit-tracestore: include this keyword if your package defines any trace stores.
  • genkit-statestore: include this keyword if your package defines any state stores.
  • genkit-telemetry: include this keyword if your package defines a telemetry provider.
  • genkit-deploy: include this keyword if your package includes helpers to deploy Genkit apps to cloud providers.
  • genkit-flow: include this keyword if your package enhances Genkit flows.

A plugin that provided a retriever, embedder, and model might have a package.json that looks like:

  "name": "genkitx-my-plugin",
  "keywords": ["genkit-plugin", "genkit-retriever", "genkit-embedder", "genkit-model"],
  // ... dependencies etc.