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A CLI for managing World of Warcraft add-ons.

Project description

instawow is a fledgling package manager for World of Warcraft written in Python. It can be used to install, remove and update add-ons from Curse, WoWInterface and Tukui.


Assuming you have Python 3.6 or higher:

pip3 install instawow


Installing add-ons

You can install add-ons by their Curse project ID or slug, or their WoWInterface ID, or even by their URL. All of the following will install Molinari:

instawow install curse:20338
instawow install curse:molinari
instawow install
instawow install
instawow install wowi:13188
instawow install

By default instawow will install the latest file to have been released. You may also install the latest file that has been uploaded (be it stable, or beta or alpha quality) by passing --strategy=latest. This option only applies to CurseForge packages.


You can update all of your add-ons in one go with instawow update or any individual add-on the same way you’d install or remove it: instawow update <add-on>.


Uninstalling an add-on is as simple as instawow remove <add-on>.

Other operations

You may list installed add-ons with instawow list installed; outdated add-ons with instawow list outdated; and pre-existing add-ons with instawow list preexisting. The latter command will attempt to reconcile add-on folders with their corresponding Curse IDs, where available.

To see information about an installed add-on, execute instawow info <add-on>. To visit its homepage, execute instawow hearth <add-on>. And to open its main folder in your file manager, run instawow reveal <add-on>.


instawow ships with a BitBar plug-in for macOS, which you can use to update add-ons from the menu bar. To install the plug-in run instawow extras bitbar install.



instawow has no way to know about add-ons it did not itself install. The Twitch (née Curse) client uses a proprietary fingerprinting algorithm to reconcile add-ons installed locally with add-ons they keep on their servers. Even if the fingerprint had been reverse-engineered, I’d be loath to adopt it. Ideologically, because it was born of a desire to monopolise the add-on distribution market; and, practically, because we could never know when Curse might pull the rug from under our feet. The Minion app also implements a similar though less sophisticated fingerprinting technique.

Metadata harvesting

The Twitch client uses a closed metadata API internally. Because the API was not built for third-party use it has not been isolated from user accounts (cf. GitHub integrations). If users were to log into the API instawow would acquire full access to their account. Authentication is also complicated by the ongoing Curse account migration to Twitch and is (or should be) unnecessary for the simple use case of installing and updating add-ons. Until recently instawow used to rely on the official feeds. These were apparently sunsetted by Curse on 8 June 2018, leaving us with no choice but to scrape the website. Scraping is a delicate art. The slightest variation in the HTML output might very easily trip up instawow and the code will need to be updated whenever Curse decide to change parts of their code. By contrast Minion uses an undocumented but open JSON API, which instawow does communicate with. Tukui provides an API for public use.


instawow’s purpose is to facilitate add-on management and not discovery. It does not seek to drive people away from add-on portals; but to make installing, updating and removing add-ons found on portals hassle-free for those of us who are (ever so slightly) proficient with the command line and do not particularly revel in using bloatware or inhabiting walled gardens. It is also important to note that the Twitch client communicates with Google Analytics, Scorecard Research and Nielsen without user consent, which is unacceptable to me and my European brethren.


Fork and clone the repo, cd and:

python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/active
python3 -m pip install -e .

Happy hacking.


Bug reports and fixes are welcome. Do open an issue before committing to making any significant changes.

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