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A Brief Overview of Building at Eclipse

Revision as of 06:34, 7 May 2014 by (Talk | contribs) (Cross-platform build)


This page is about building Eclipse- and RCP-based products (including Eclipse itself). This document is focused on using PDE Build directly by Eclipse projects; work is currently underway to develop a Common Build Infrastructure that should, in the long term, make the build process much easier.

PDE Build

PDE Build is The Way to headlessly build Eclipse- and RCP-based products. The online documentation provides a good foundation of knowledge, but does fall short in on some specifics, including the use of Pack200 and JAR signing using the Eclipse Foundation's certificate. This document addresses these issues.

The following guides are available:

  • The Eclipse IDE for Education (IDE4EDU) project's releng project provides a relatively simple example of how PDE Build can be used to build, Pack 200, sign, and create an update site using the Eclipse Foundation's build server.

Build Server

Eclipse projects can use the Eclipse Foundation's build server ( to run automated builds. If you're a committer with a shell account, you should already have access to the server. If not, your project lead should send a note to the Eclipse Webmaster. Once you have access to the server, you can move your build scripts to the 'shared' directory (i.e. /shared/[top-level project]/[project]/[component]). For example, the build scripts for the aforementioned IDE4EDU are run from the /shared/technology/soc/ide4edu/releng directory. If this directory doesn't exist for your project, please ask the webmaster to create it for you.


The Hudson build tool is now available . Committers can login with their CVS/SVN credentials.

This Hudson install is being managed by members of the community in the same way that PlanetEclipse is. If you want to start using Hudson to build your project file a bug requesting a new build job under EclipseFoundation->Community and specify the Hudson component.

For more information, please see Hudson.


Eclipse itself is built using the PDE build infrastructure that it ships with the Plug-in Development Environment. Ant is used to run the build, with adequate plug-points where in you can perform custom tasks such as instrumentation of code.

To get comfortable with ant:- - If you are new to ant

Eclipse provides a very usable interface for writing ant files(yes, with auto-complete and the stuff) as well as run the ant files from within the IDE. But, for headless(without UI, from command line) builds, you'll need to use the antRunner application provided by eclipse. For more help, peek into the help documentation of eclipse that you are using.

Plugin Builder plugin - Something to make your life even easier

You might get stuck nowhere:-


Plugins (including features and fragments) must specify their own versions as well as the versions of their dependencies appropriately.


See the eclipse team's plugin-versioning guidelines. You can also ask Pascal Rapicault or John Arthorne for their "Plug-in versioning" presentation.


Pascal Rapicault has created an application (org.eclipse.core.runtime.versionchecker.dependencyChecker) to "specify the ranges on all [your] required plug-ins."

Cross-platform build

Eclipse RCP applications can be cross-built for several platforms using any platform on which eclipse runs. You just need to install the RCP delta pack in your Target Platform. If you dont know what a Target Platform is, then just intall the RCP delta pack in your eclipse installation directory. To download the delta pack as per your platform, visit Click the Release version that you are targeting, then search for 'delta'.

Preferred way of using the "DeltaPack"

The DeltaPack is used to get platform specific artifacts so that you can export your RCP product for multiple platforms. See the next section for more information on the DeltaPack

Adding platform specific artifacts

The preferred way of getting the platform specific artifacts is to just add them to the target platform. There is no need to look-up and download the "DeltaPack" if you follow these instructions.

  • Open Window/Preferences.
  • Find PDE/Target Platform
  • Select your (active) target platform
  • Click Edit
  • Click Add
  • Select "Software Site"
  • Click Next
  • In "Work With" type: (replace 4.3 with your current version)
  • Check "Eclipse RCP Target Components"
  • Check "Equinox Target Components"
  • Uncheck "Include required software"
  • Check "Include all environments"
  • Press Finish
  • Press Finish
  • Press OK

Open your product file and select the "Export" option. You will see that the "Export for multiple platforms" checkbox is available.

Old way of using the "DeltaPack"

What is the DeltaPack

The DeltaPack is a distribution from Eclipse that contains platform specific files for all supported platforms and widget sets. It contains:

  • SWT Platform Layers
    Various plugins to handle connection to the native OS widgets.
  • Various launchers (exe, cmd, etc..)
    Files to launch Eclipse from the command line
  • Other platform specific plugins
    Hooks into secure storage, native networking and native Eclipse filesystem hooks

In total there are some 70 plugins to support the complete range of supported operating systems (around a dozen).

When do you need it

You need it if you want to export your RCP application to multiple targets (a combination of OS/ARCH/WIDGETSET: e.g. linux/ppc64/gtk ). This is typically done from the product configuration file.

How to get it

You can get it from:

Click on any of the builds and look for DeltaPack. Please note that [there are discussions on removing the DeltaPack]( and getting it the preferred way.

How to add it to your target platform

  • Download the DeltaPack as described above
  • Unzip it to a location .e.g. "C:\eclipse-4.4M7-delta-pack"
  • Open Window/Preferences.
  • Select PDE/Target Platform
  • Select your (active) target platform
  • Click Edit
  • Click Add
  • Select "Directory"
  • Click Next
  • In "Location" type: "C:\eclipse-4.4M7-delta-pack\eclipse"
  • Press Next
  • Press Finish
  • Press Finish
  • Press OK

Open your product file and select the "Export" option. You will see that the "Export for multiple platforms" checkbox is available.

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