How could you do programmatically what Joomla does when you install a plugin? Let's say, for simplicity's sake, that you have a plugin package file local with your Joomla instance.

A solution might look like one of:

  • a) You make a POST request to a Joomla endpoint with the package file that installs the plugin.

  • b) You write a shell script that both installs the package file's contents in the correct folder, and writes the required data to the db (more brittle this way).

1 Answer 1


Use Install model.

if (!defined('_JEXEC'))
    define('_JEXEC', 1);
    define('JPATH_BASE', realpath(__DIR__));
    require_once JPATH_BASE . '/includes/defines.php';
    require_once JPATH_BASE . '/includes/framework.php';

JModelLegacy::addIncludePath(JPATH_ADMINISTRATOR . '/components/com_installer/models', 'InstallerModel');
$input = JFactory::getApplication('site')->input;
$input->set('installtype', 'folder');
$input->set('install_directory', $path);
$model = JModelLegacy::getInstance('Install', 'InstallerModel', array('ignore_request' => true));

Where $path is path to extension installation files.

  • Thanks for this. This would work once I have access to the Joomla runtime. Do you know of any way this could be done externally, without access to that runtime?
    – steel
    Jul 26, 2018 at 13:24
  • If you need to run this in external script, add Joomla dependencies and define the application in JFactory::getApplication() call. I have updated the answer to reflect this. You may also look into making a CLI application.
    – Sharky
    Jul 27, 2018 at 8:47
  • You can create a new controller inside your component, and call it externally via GET/POST and pass the required details as paramteres. Jun 3, 2022 at 14:24

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