Sep 30, 2009

Eclipse Dropins : A plug-ins add-in utility

If you prefer not to pollute your Eclipse installation with third party plugins, a better management option is to externalize these addons. Eclipse has long supported a feature known as "links" which allows you to associate any directory that follows the standard Eclipse structure, and which contains additional features and plugins, with your Eclipse installation. Eclipse effectively performs a runtime merge of the available features and plugins in these directories.

NOTE: The links feature just described became the dropins feature in Eclipse 3.4.

Here's how to "link" the JBoss Tools plugins to your Eclipse installation.

  • Extract the JBoss Tools release anywhere outside of your Eclipse installation. Be sure to preserve the directory structure of the archive (i.e. the extracted folder should be named "eclipse" and contain a "features" and "plugins" directory). It's convenient to put this eclipse folder inside of a directory with the name of the plugin (i.e., /home/max/eclipse-addons/jbosstools)
  • Create the file in the links folder (Eclipse <>= 3.4) of your Eclipse installation
  • The contents of should consist of a single line that defines the path where you extracted the JBoss Tools plugins (i.e. the location of the "eclipse" directory)


The links or dropins folder can contain any number of .link files that point to Eclipse extension directories.

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