Recipe 12.1 Installing a Plug-in


12.1.1 Problem

You want to install an Eclipse plug-in.

12.1.2 Solution

Download the plug-in, and expand it in the Eclipse plugins directory.

12.1.3 Discussion

Numerous plug-ins are available already, and many are free for the downloading. To install a plug-in, stop Eclipse if it's running, and download the plug-in to the eclipse directory, the directory that contains the workspace and plugins directories.

You can find more than 450 Eclipse plug-ins at, and most of them are free. About 7,000 plug-ins are downloaded everyday from this site. Many of them support what Eclipse left outespecially drag-and-drop development for environments such as Swing, Struts, and SWT.

Eclipse plug-ins come zipped or tarred, and you typically uncompress them in the eclipse directory. When uncompressed, the files for the plug-ins are stored automatically in the plugins and features directories.

Each plug-in gets its own folder in the Eclipse plugins directory. Typically, you'll find the following files in every plug-in's folder:


The code for the plug-in, stored in a .jar file


Shown when the user requests information about the plug-in


Directory for icons (the standard is GIF format)


Holds library .jar files


The plug-in manifest, which is what describes the plug-in to Eclipse

Holds text data used by plugin.xml

Although you usually uncompress plug-ins in the eclipse directory, some plug-ins are designed to be unzipped in the plugins directory. If installation instructions for the plug-in are unavailable, open the plug-in using an unzip or untar tool, and take a look at how it'll expand itselfthe file plugin.xml always has to go into a subdirectory of the plugins directory.

That's all you need to do to install a plug-in. After expanding the plug-in's compressed file, start Eclipse again. You might see a dialog indicating that configuration changes are pending; restart Eclipse again if necessary.

Eclipse Cookbook
Inside XML (Inside (New Riders))
ISBN: 596007108
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 232
Authors: Steve Holzner

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