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Equinox p2 Migration Guide

This is a work in progress, and subject to change.

Before & After

Below is a comparison chart showing how to organize your extensions, plugins & features, using a p2-free Eclipse and a p2-enabled Eclipse (3.4M6+).

Eclipse 3.2 through Eclipse 3.4M5 Eclipse 3.4M6+
  plugins/  (plugin folders & jars)
  features/ (feature folders)
  plugins/  (plugin folders & jars)
  features/ (feature folders)

- or, simpler -

  plugins/  (plugin folders & jars)
  features/ (feature folders)

Note that the old layout is also still supported, but with the new dropins folder, you have more control and it's easier to clean up unwanted extensions (eg., by deleting the whole somefolder folder).

eclipse/links/ (*.link files)
eclipse/dropins/ (*.link files)

As before, each .link file contains a path to a folder in which eclipse/features/ and eclipse/plugins/ can be found. For example:


- or -


Note that the old layout is also still supported.

  plugins/  (plugin folders & jars)
  features/ (feature folders)

These folders, including the .eclipseextension file, are created when doing an Update Manager install to a folder other than the base eclipse/ directory.

If you want to create the .eclipseextension file by hand, here's how. You can also just open the .eclipseproduct file from the root of your Eclipse install with Eclipse's File > Open File... then do a File > Save As... to rename it.

To import a pre-existing folder, use Help > Software Updates > Manage Configuration > Add an Extension Location.

  plugins/  (plugin folders & jars)
  features/ (feature folders)

External Extension Locations aren't supported anymore. You can only import the old extension directories content into the Eclipse plugins and features directories. All files from that external Extension Locations will then be copied into the folders under the Eclipse root folder. For the import the .eclipseextension file is no longer required.

You can unpack a zip and point Eclipse at it. Or, even easier, point Eclipse at the zip and it'll handle the unzip for you.

To import such a folder, use Help > Software Updates... > Available Features > Manage sites... > Add... > Local... (or Archive..., for an unpacked zip.)

This doesn't feel the same as old "Extension Location". After adding a local feature you still have to manually select available features and explicitly install them, while with old update manager, linked "Extension Locations" were installed automatically. Furthermore there is no more UI support to install plugins into Extension Locations, all plugins go directly under the Eclipse root directory.

See Also

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