Using Plugins from the Official OpenMDAO Plugin Repository

What Official OpenMDAO Plugins Are Available?

The OpenMDAO project also hosts a set of official plugins in a GitHub top-level organization called OpenMDAO-Plugins. You can visit this site at

These plugins are all open source, although some of them are component wraps of proprietary or otherwise-restricted codes (e.g., Nastran) that you will have to obtain separately.

From an activated OpenMDAO environment, you can also display a list of the plugin distributions that are available from the OpenMDAO-Plugins organization on GitHub as follows:

plugin list --github

This returns a response that looks something like this:

Available plugins

   adpac_wrapper -- Component wrapper for ADPAC (Advanced Ducted Propfan Analysis Code)
   excel_wrapper -- OpenMDAO Excel Wrapper (MS Windows only)
   flops_wrapper -- Component wrapper for FLOPS
     ipoptdriver -- Driver wrapper for the IPOPT optimization code
      montecarlo -- DOEgenerator for Monte Carlo Simulation
      nas_access -- Resource Allocator for NAS
  nastranwrapper -- Component wrapper for MSC Nastran
      neural_net -- A neural net surrogate model generator based on the FFnet library
  ommodelwrapper -- OpenModelica Model Wrapper
overflow_wrapper -- Component wrapper for OVERFLOW (OVERset grid FLOW solver)
      pdcyl_comp -- Component wrapper for PDCYL
    pyopt_driver -- Driver wrapper for the open-source optimization package pyOpt
     vsp_wrapper -- Component wrapper for VSP (Vehicle Sketch Pad)

What Plugins Are Installed?

To list all OpenMDAO plugins you currently have installed, type the following at the operating system prompt (always in an activated OpenMDAO environment):

plugin list

You should get a response that looks something like this:

Installed plugins

flops_wrapper.flops_wrapper.FlopsWrapper 0.6
openmdao.lib.components.broadcaster.Broadcaster 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.expected_improvement.ExpectedImprovement 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.expected_improvement_multiobj.MultiObjExpectedImprovement 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.external_code.ExternalCode 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.metamodel.MetaModel 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.mux.DeMux 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.mux.Mux 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.components.pareto_filter.ParetoFilter 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.differentiators.finite_difference.FiniteDifference 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.broydensolver.BroydenSolver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.caseiterdriver.CaseIteratorDriver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.conmindriver.CONMINdriver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.doedriver.DOEdriver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.genetic.Genetic 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.iterate.FixedPointIterator 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.iterate.IterateUntil 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.newsumtdriver.NEWSUMTdriver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.sensitivity.SensitivityDriver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.drivers.simplecid.SimpleCaseIterDriver 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.surrogatemodels.kriging_surrogate 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.surrogatemodels.logistic_regression 0.2.1
openmdao.lib.surrogatemodels.nn_surrogate 0.2.1
openmdao.main.assembly.Assembly 0.2.1
openmdao.main.component_with_derivatives.ComponentWithDerivatives 0.2.1
openmdao.main.driver_uses_derivatives.DriverUsesDerivatives 0.2.1
openmdao.main.problem_formulation.ArchitectureAssembly 0.2.1
openmdao.test.execcomp.ExecComp 0.2.1
overflow_wrapper.overflow_wrapper.OverFlowWrapper 0.4

This shows both the plugin name and the versions.

You’ll notice that the output includes a lot of things that are installed as part of the standard library. The default behavior of plugin list is to show every installed plugin whether it is built into the OpenMDAO distribution or has been added to the OpenMDAO environment from some other source. To show only plugins that are not built into the OpenMDAO distribution, use the --external option. A shortcut for --external is -e. For example:

plugin list -e

To show only the builtin plugins that come with OpenMDAO, use the --builtin option or its shortcut, -b.

If you only want to list plugins belonging to a specific group, use the -g option. For example, to see only plugins that are drivers, do the following:

plugin list -g driver

The possible group names are: caserecorder, caseiterator, optproblem, driver, surrogatemodel, doegenerator, component, architecture, container, differentiator, variable.

Installing Plugins

To install one of the plugins listed above, simply type, from any directory but within an activated OpenMDAO environment:

plugin install --github pyopt_driver

You will see some text that looks something like this.
Processing 0.4
Running OpenMDAO-Plugins-pyopt_driver-c18e0c5/ -q bdist_egg --dist-dir /tmp/easy_install-_OgLCm/OpenMDAO-Plugins-pyopt_driver-c18e0c5/egg-dist-tmp-P0HnUe
warning: no directories found matching 'src/pyopt_driver/sphinx_build/html'
Removing pyopt-driver 0.3 from easy-install.pth file
Adding pyopt-driver 0.4 to easy-install.pth file

Installed /OpenMDAO/dev/ktmoore1/OpenMDAO-Framework/devenv/lib/python2.6/site-packages/pyopt_driver-0.4-py2.6.egg
Processing dependencies for pyopt-driver==0.4
Finished processing dependencies for pyopt-driver==0.4

The 'activate' file has been updated with new values added to LD_LIBRARY_PATH
You must deactivate and reactivate your virtual environment for the
changes to take effect

The message at the end indicates that you need to deactivate and reactivate for some symbols to be added to your environment. Notice that in this case, we’ve actually used plugin install to upgrade the version of pyopt_driver from 0.3 to 0.4.

If you want a specific version of a plugin, you can use easy_install style syntax to specify one:

plugin install --github pyopt_driver==0.3

This will give you pyopt_driver version 0.3, not 0.4.

Viewing Plugin Documentation

Viewing the documentation for a plugin is easy. For example, if you installed the pyopt_driver using

plugin install --github pyopt_driver

you can then view the documentation for it using the command

openmdao docs pyopt_driver

Importing Plugin Modules

Again, using the example of pyopt_driver, you can import the module using:

import pyopt_driver

Quick Command Reference for “plugin” Command

Action Command
List all installed plugins plugin list
List builtin installed plugins plugin list -b
List external installed plugins plugin list -e
List installed plugins from a group plugin list -g groupname
List plugins available on GitHub plugin list --github
Install plugin foo from GitHub plugin install --github foo
Install version 0.3 of plugin foo plugin install --github foo==0.3