Plugin Bundles

Last updated: 4 minutes read.

A plugin bundle is a ZIP file that contains your custom middleware files and its associated configuration block (the custom_middleware block). The idea behind plugin bundles is to enhance the process of attaching and loading custom middleware. It allows to avoid duplicating the content of the custom_middleware section onto each of your APIs definitions, which is still possible if you do not want to support a bundle server within your global Tyk setup.


A plugin bundle must include a manifest file (called manifest.json). The manifest file contains important information like the configuration block and the list of files that will be included as part of the bundle file. If a file isn’t specified in the list, it won’t be included in the resulting file, even if it’s present in the current directory.

The manifest file

A sample manifest file looks like this:

  "file_list": [
  "custom_middleware": {
    "pre": [
        "name": "PreMiddleware"
    "post": [
        "name": "PostMiddleware"
    "driver": "python"
  "checksum": "",
  "signature": ""

You may leave the checksum and signature fields empty, the bundler tool will fill these during the build process.

The custom_middleware block follows the standard syntax we use for Tyk plugins. In Tyk Community Edition, where file-based API configuration is used by default, a custom_middleware block is located/added to the API configuration file.

Bundler tool

The bundler tool is a CLI service, provided by Tyk Gateway, that lets you generate these plugin bundles. Please note that the generated bundles must be served using your own web server. See Downloading and Updating Bundles for more details.

Bundle security

The bundler tool enables you to sign a bundle using a private key. Tyk configuration may enforce or skip the validation of this signature, depending on the global configuration parameters.

The bundler tool

Since v2.8, Tyk Gateway provides the command bundle functionality as part of its binary.

Run this command to see more details on the bundle command:

/opt/tyk-gateway/bin/tyk help bundle

Using the bundler tool

Run the following command to create the bundle:

$ tyk bundle build

The resulting file will contain all your specified files and a modified manifest.json with the right checksum and signature (if required), in ZIP format.


By default, the bundles are signed, if no private key is specified, the program will prompt for a confirmation. Use -y to override this (see options below).

The following options are supported:

  • -output: Specifies the name of the bundle file e.g. -output If this flag is not specified, will be used.
  • -y: Force tool to create unsigned bundle without prompting e.g. $ tyk-cli bundle build -output -y.
  • -key: Specifies the path to your private key which is used to generate signed bundle e.g. $ tyk-cli bundle build -output -key mykey.pem.

Using a rich plugin bundle

Global parameters

To load a bundle plugin the following parameters must be specified in your tyk.conf:

"enable_bundle_downloader": true,
"bundle_base_url": "",
"public_key_path": "/path/to/my/pubkey",
  • enable_bundle_downloader: Enables the bundle downloader.
  • bundle_base_url: Is a base URL that will be used to download the bundle, in this example we have specified in the API settings, Tyk will fetch the following URL: (see the next section for details).
  • public_key_path: Sets a public key, this is used for verifying signed bundles, you may omit this if unsigned bundles are used.

Per API / Local parameters

To use a bundle plugin on one of your specified APIs, you must add the following parameter to its configuration block:

"custom_middleware_bundle": ""

A complete API Definition would look like:

  "name": "Tyk Test API",
  "api_id": "1",
  "org_id": "default",
  "definition": {
    "location": "header",
    "key": "version"
  "auth": {
    "auth_header_name": "authorization"
  "use_keyless": true,
  "version_data": {
    "not_versioned": true,
    "versions": {
      "Default": {
        "name": "Default",
        "expires": "3000-01-02 15:04",
        "use_extended_paths": true,
        "extended_paths": {
          "ignored": [],
          "white_list": [],
          "black_list": []
  "proxy": {
    "listen_path": "/quickstart/",
    "target_url": "",
    "strip_listen_path": true
  "custom_middleware_bundle": ""

Downloading and Updating Bundles

Tyk will fetch on start. A plugin bundle will be cached after its initial download, if a Tyk reload event occurs, the same contents will be used. If you want to replace it, you must update your API configuration to use a different name and then trigger a reload.

As a suggestion, you may organise this using a Git commit reference or version number, e.g.,,,, etc.

Alternatively, you may delete the cached bundle from Tyk manually and then trigger a hot reload to tell Tyk to fetch a new one. By default, Tyk will store downloaded bundles in this path: { TYK_ROOT } / { CONFIG_MIDDLEWARE_PATH } / bundles


Remember to set "enable_coprocess": true in your tyk.conf when using rich plugins!

The bundler tool is an open-source project which you can find on GitHub.