How-To: Learn how to write a Burp Suite extension in Kotlin – Setting up

April 21, 2021

Welcome to the first post in our tutorial series “How-To” dedicated to Burp Suite. In this tutorial we will create a modern burp extension using Kotlin. Why Kotlin? Burp is written in Java, but if you don’t like java (like me) you can use python or ruby to create an extension. I used to write my addons in python with Jython but Burp use Jython that only support Python2.7 which is now deprecated for more than a year. I could use Ruby but the extender API is very “java-like“, that make writing elegant code difficult when you mix multiple languages.

This tutorial series will teach you how to use burp API, not how to program in Kotlin. If you want to learn more about Kotlin, I strongly recommend this video by the creator of the language.

Episode 0

In this prelude episode we will focus on the development environment setup. We are going to use IntelliJ IDEA. IDEA and Kotlin are both developed by JetBrains and work wonderfully together.

You can find all the code used in this tutorial on our GitHub repository

IntelliJ IDEA


The first step is to install openjdk-14 and IntelliJ IDEA. We will use Ubuntu LTS 20.04 for this tutorial, if you use another OS or Linux distribution please refer to for help.

$> sudo apt install openjdk-14-jdk
$> sudo snap install intellij-idea-community --classic

That’s it, you can now start IntelliJ IDEA.

New project

Once it’s started, create a new Java project named MyAddon and add Kotlin support.

burp suite extension

This will create the skeleton folder for your addon.

To create a burp extension we will need burp interface files, we can easily add them using maven.

  1. Open the project settings via File / Project Structure, or by pressing ctrl+alt+shift+s and go to the Libraries tab.
  2. Click on the + icon and choose From Maven...
from maven

Search for net.portswigger.burp.extender:burp-extender-api and install the latest version (2.1 here)

download library

Add the library to your addon module.

add library

Writing the extension: Hello World

Now we have everything we need, we can start writing the actual code for the addon.

In order for Burp to find our extension we need to create a new package named burp with a class named BurpExtender implementing IBurpExtender interface.

First create a new burp package.

new package

Then, in this burp package create a new Kotlin class named BurpExtender

new kotlin class

The BurpExtender class must implement a registerCallback function that will be called by burp, this is the entrypoint of your addon. Our first example is a simple hello world.

This is the full code below:

package burp

@Suppress("unused") // Remove warning, the class will be used by burp
class BurpExtender : IBurpExtender {
     override fun registerExtenderCallbacks(callbacks: IBurpExtenderCallbacks) {
         // Let's wrap stdout and stderr in PrintWriter with auto flush
         val stdout = PrintWriter(callbacks.stdout, true)
         val stderr = PrintWriter(callbacks.stderr, true)

         // Set our extension name, this will be display in burp extensions tab
         callbacks.setExtensionName("My Addon")
         stdout.println("Hello world!")
         stderr.println("Hello error!")

Now that our minimal extension is finish we need to build it into a jar file in order to load it into burp.

Building a jar file

Go back to project structure ctrl+alt+shift+s on the artifact tab and create a new JAR from modules.

building JAR

Select the MyAddon module and press OK

To create the jar file automatically for each build, don’t forget to check Include in project build

You can now build your project via the menu or by pressing ctrl+F9

The jar file will be available in $PROJECT_PATH/out/artifacts/MyAddon_jar/MyAddon.jar

Testing your extension in Burp Suite

Open burp and go to Extender/Extensions and click on add.
In the popup choose java as extension type and enter the path of the previously created jar file, then press next.

You can now see your extension with it’s name, and the messages in the Output and Errors tabs.


We got our first extension ready and running, even if it doesn’t do much for now. Tune in for next episode, we will explore Burp API and how to add UI components. Feel free to ask anything on our Twitter!