Skip to main content
Jump to: navigation, search

Orion/Getting the source

< Orion
Revision as of 13:25, 13 November 2012 by Mark (Talk | contribs) (For Eclipse committers)

This page covers how to get the Orion source code, as well as how to set up for self-hosting (changing Orion code from Orion).

What you need

  • Basic knowledge of the Git version control system.

New to Git? Here's an introduction.

Browsing the source

Just want to take a peek at our code? You can browse it on the web here:

We also have GitHub mirrors if you prefer:

Getting the source onto your computer

The Orion source code lives in two Git repositories:

To checkout our repositories, you'll generally perform the following commands in your command shell:

git clone
git clone

If you're running an older version of Git, the http protocol may not work. In that case, try the git protocol instead:

git clone git://
git clone git://

For Eclipse committers

This section applies only to Eclipse Committers. If you're not a committer, you can skip these instructions.

  • Ensure that your Git configuration uses the same email address that you've set in your Eclipse Foundation profile. If the addresses don't match, you won't be able to push changes (see Git#Committers_new_to_Git).
  • Committers need to use different URLs to access the Orion Git repositories. The URL includes your committer ID:

Overview of self Hosting

Self-hosting means using Orion to edit Orion's own source code.

  1. The Orion source code.
  2. An Orion server.

The server can be running in the cloud (like OrionHub, a public demo server that anyone can use), or running locally on your own computer.

  1. An Orion build.
  2. An Eclipse IDE.

Self hosting using

Eclipse committers can self host with our demo server located at See Selfhosting for instructions.

Self hosting using local server

We assume you are familiar with git. If not, review the Eclipsepedia Git Page. You can use EGit (the Eclipse Git client) or the command-line Git client. If you are on Windows, use msysgit if you prefer the command line git client.

Self-hosting locally involves running an Orion server on localhost, pointing your Orion editor at your local git repo directories, and working within Orion to make changes. Changes are committed using the command-line tools (or EGit), as a separate phase from the Orion workflow. Orion supports an integrated Git workflow; see Working with git.

Here are the steps needed to get up and running.

Install the Eclipse SDK

  • You can use any recent stable build of the Eclipse SDK to run the server, such as Eclipse 3.7.1.

Load the source into Eclipse

  • Download a stable orion build (latest integration build is the current recommendation) and unpack it somewhere on your hard disk. This download will be used as a so-called "target platform" when you run the server from Eclipse.
    • Occasionally, new dependencies are introduced in the server and you will need to take a nightly build to keep up-to-date. Check the orion-dev mailing list if you aren't sure which build to take.
  • Create a new workspace using your Eclipse SDK.
  • Use the File->Import->General->Existing Projects into Workspace wizard. In the wizard, set the root directory for the import to whatever directory you used when you cloned the Git repositories. You'll know you have the right path when you see a bunch of org.eclipse.orion.* projects in the project list.
  • Ensure that Copy projects into workspace is not checked. Feel free to import just a subset of the projects (for example, just client plugins) - the remaining ones will come from the 'target platform'.
  • The projects should appear in your workspace. Don't worry about compile errors just yet until after you've set up the target platform.
  • Now you need to set up a target that points to the Orion build you downloaded. (Window->Preferences->Plug-in Development->Target Platform).
    • Add a target
    • Initialize the target definition with "Nothing", Next...
    • In the Locations tab, click Add... , Select Installation, click "Next", click "Browse...", and point to the eclipse directory of your stable Orion build
    • Once you finish the wizard, you'll have a new target definition available in the list of targets.
    • Make this the active target definition for your self-hosting workspace.
  • Your workspace will be rebuilt and most of the compile errors should disappear.
    • There might be a few errors related to unsatisfied dependencies from .tests plugins, but you can ignore them for now. You can also ignore any errors from org.eclipse.orion.server.ui, as it is not required to launch the server. Right-click these projects and close them if you get sick of seeing the errors.

Set up the launch to run from source

The plugin source you've loaded into Eclipse will now be used to run Orion, taking priority over the plugins in the working stable build.

  • Open the Run->Run Configurations dialog, expand OSGi Framework, and select the OSGi Framework launch called web-ide.
  • The launch configuration we will use is associated with a Orion server configuration file called web-ide.conf. This file controls which directories the Orion server can access on your machine, among other things. Since we want to use Orion to edit its own source code, we have to ensure the Orion server can access the files in your local git repo.
    • Add a line like this to web-ide.conf:
      The path points to the folder where you checked out the Orion source code. (Use whatever path format — backslashes or forward slashes — is appropriate for your platform.)
  • On the Bundles' tab, ensure that "Launch with: features selected below" is selected. Ensure there are five Orion features checked (see image below)


  • If you only want to work on the client (not the server), you can now close the server projects (5 client projects should remain).

Running the server

  • Run the launch configuration. Point your browser at http://localhost:8080.
  • You'll be prompted to login (create an account).
  • Once logged in, you'll see an empty Navigator view. Click the New button and choose Link to Server.
  • Type a name (for example, "Orion Client") and in the Server Path field, enter the path to the Orion code on your local machine.
    • The path must be of one of the orion.file.allowedPaths entries we created in the previous section (or a subfolder thereof).
    • For example, if you wanted to make changes to the client, you might link to the following file path:
  • You should see the folders show up in your Orion explorer:
  • From here, you can start editing files. As you make changes to the client code, you can simply reload the corresponding page in your browser to see the changes. We recommend you keep a browser tab open with a stable editor and stable navigator, and open a new tab for reloading and trying changes. In this way, you'll always have a couple of safe browser tabs to use to revert changes if you break something!


See the Releng Builds page for details on how to contribute changes to the build.

Back to the top