The Java Gradle plugin development plugin is currently incubating. Please be aware that the DSL and other configuration may change in later Gradle versions.

The Java Gradle Plugin development plugin can be used to assist in the development of Gradle plugins. It automatically applies the Java plugin, adds the gradleApi() dependency to the compile configuration and performs validation of plugin metadata during jar task execution.

The plugin also integrates with TestKit, a library that aids in writing and executing functional tests for plugin code. It automatically adds the gradleTestKit() dependency to the test compile configuration and generates a plugin classpath manifest file consumed by a GradleRunner instance if found. Please refer to Automatic classpath injection with the Plugin Development Plugin for more on its usage, configuration options and samples.


To use the Java Gradle Plugin Development plugin, include the following in your build script:

Example: Using the Java Gradle Plugin Development plugin

plugins {
    id 'java-gradle-plugin'

Applying the plugin automatically applies the Java plugin and adds the gradleApi() dependency to the compile configuration. It also adds some validations to the build.

The following validations are performed:

  • There is a plugin descriptor defined for the plugin.

  • The plugin descriptor contains an implementation-class property.

  • The implementation-class property references a valid class file in the jar.

  • Each property getter or the corresponding field must be annotated with a property annotation like @InputFile and @OutputDirectory. Properties that don’t participate in up-to-date checks should be annotated with @Internal.

Any failed validations will result in a warning message.

For each plugin you are developing, add an entry to the gradlePlugin {} script block:

Example: Using the gradlePlugin {} block.

gradlePlugin {
    plugins {
        simplePlugin {
            id = 'org.gradle.sample.simple-plugin'
            implementationClass = 'org.gradle.sample.SimplePlugin'

The gradlePlugin {} block defines the plugins being built by the project including the id and implementationClass of the plugin. From this data about the plugins being developed, Gradle can automatically: