Installing Multiple Eclipse Plugins with Ease

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Installing Multiple Eclipse Plugins with Ease

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Eclipse is a platform built for plugins. Personally I use over a dozen plugins on top of the vanilla Eclipse distribution. All these plugins greatly increase my productivity throughout the development cycle. However, there is a drawback: when setting up a new IDE, installing all those plugins can be very time consuming.

There are a number of solutions for that. Most of them include a custom Eclipse distribution or more plugins. Now, there's another option: using the new Eclipse Marketplace.

The process is simple: mark your favorite Eclipse plugins and the Marketplace will build a personalized update site containing your plugins. This update site can be used in all versions and distributions of Eclipse without the need to install any extra plugins. Moreover, this update site is public and can shared among teammates and colleagues. This process works great for installing nWire along with other plugins from different sites.

The Installation Process

Step 1: Visit the Eclipse Marketplace.

Step 2: Login to the Eclipse Marketplace.

Log-in with your Eclipse Bugzilla account. If you don't have an account, registering is quick and free (start here). This enables you to mark your favorites. Naturally, having an Eclipse Bugzilla account has other perks like the ability to report bugs in Eclipse projects or vote for existing bugs. From my experience, there's hardly any spam involved.

Step 3: Locate the plugins you use and mark them as favorites.

Step 4: Click on My Marketplace.

Step 5: Click on the green arrow and copy your personalized update site URL.

The URL will take the form http://marketplace.eclipse.org/user/####/p2/repo where #### represents your user ID in the marketplace. See the screenshot for more details.

Eclipse Marketplace Favorites

Step 6: Open Eclipse.

Step 7:  Open the Update Manager (Help → Install New Software or Help → Software Updates). 

Step 8: Select Add Site and enter the URL copied from the marketplace.

If you visit the update site URL from a browser, you will get an instructions page with more details on what to do with the URL.

Step 9: The update site will list all your favorite plugins. Simply select all the plugins and install them in one single step.

See the screenshot for more details. If you are missing some of the plugins, make sure to turn off the Group By Categories. Some update site do no include categories. For more installation tips, see this article

Eclipse Marketplace Plugin Installation

Step 10: Restart Eclipse and start working. 


This process greatly simplifies the installation of multiple plugins. It also lets you share plugin collections with your coworkers. For example, if you want to see which plugins I'm using, simply visit my update site URL at: http://marketplace.eclipse.org/user/1134/p2/repo.

The advantages of this approach is that it is simple to use and it works in any Eclipse distribution like Zend Studio. If you are looking for a more robust solution for managing your configuration, I suggest taking a look at Pulse which manages the entire Eclipse installation process and enables sharing your workspace configuration among coworkers. 

From http://www.nwiresoftware.com/blogs/nwire/2010/05/installing-multiple-eclipse-plugins-ease


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