Using the new Eclipse Installer

I’ve just started using the brand new Eclipse installer, and I’d like to report my experiences here. First of all, a big praise to Ed Merks and Eike Stepper for creating Oomph, on which the installer is based. 🙂

First of all, the installer is currently available in the “Developer Builds” section:


Once you downloaded it and extracted it, just run the executable oomph:

eclipse-installer2If you see an exclamation mark (on the top right corner), click on it, you’ll see some updates are available, so update it right away, and when it’s done, press OK to restart it.

The very same top right corner, also opens a menu for customization of some features, the one I prefer is the Bundle Pool, a cool feature that has been in Eclipse for so many years, and so very badly advertised, I’m afraid!

“p2 natively supports the notion of bundle pooling. When using bundle pooling, multiple applications share a common plugins directory where their software is stored. There is no duplication of content, and no duplicated downloads when upgrading software.”

One of the cool things of Oomph is that it natively and automatically supports bundle pools, it makes it really easy to manage them and makes installation faster and with less space requirements (what’s already been downloaded and installed won’t have to be downloaded and installed again for further Eclipse installations).


If you select that menu item, you can manage your bundle pools; the installer already detected existing bundle pools (I’ve been using them myself, manually, for some time now, and it detected that):


For this blog post I will create another bundle pool, just for testing. To create a new bundle pool, you first need to create a new p2 agent; the agent is responsible to manage the bundle pool, and to keep track of all the bundles that a specific Eclipse installation requires (this is also known as a p2 profile).

So I select “New Agent…” and choose a location in my hard disk; this will also set a bundle pool:


Just for demonstration, I’ll select the “pool”, “Delete…”, and create a “New Bundle Pool…” for the new agent, in another directory:


Then I select the new bundle pool, and press “OK”.

From now on, all the installations will be managed by the new agent, and all bundles will be stored in the new bundle pool.

OK, now, back to the main window, let’s start installing “Eclipse IDE for Java Developers”

In the next windows, I choose to install the new Eclipse in a different folder from the proposed default:


Let’s press “INSTALL”, and accept the LICENSE, the installation starts:

eclipse-installer8You’ll see that the installer is really quick (as far as I know, Oomph improved p2 internal mechanisms). It only took about a minute to install this Eclipse on my computer.

Then, you’re ready to launch this installation, or see the installation log.

eclipse-installer9But first, let’s have a look at the directory layout:


you see that the installed eclipse does not have the typical directory structure: it has no “features”/”plugins” directories: these are in the shared bundle pool. Also note that the p2 agent location has a directory representing the profile of the installed Eclipse.

Let’s try and install another Eclipse, e.g., the “Eclipse DSL Tools” (what else if not the one with the cool Xtext framework? 😉

The dialog proposes an installation directory based on my previous choice; I also select “Luna” as the platform:


Let’s press “INSTALL”… WOW! This time it’s even faster! You know why: only the new bundles are downloaded, everything else is shared. This also means: less space wasted on your hard disk! 🙂

But there are cooler things: Bundle pool management!

Go back to the “Bundle Pool Management” dialog, select the checkbox “Show Profiles” and you see the profiles handled by the current agent:

eclipse-installer12Select the agent and press “Analyze…”

You can see the bundles used by which profile:

eclipse-installer13Hope you enjoy this new installer! 🙂





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30 thoughts on “Using the new Eclipse Installer

  1. howlger

    Thank you for this detailed description. But I still do not understand the advantage of using the new Eclipse Installer as opposed to just downloading and unzipping an Eclipse package. It seems to me that the Eclipse Installer is not an installer (on Windows it does not create shortcuts, neither on the desktop nor in the start menu) but something like a package manager. Probably, Oomph alias the new Eclipse Installer saves disc space and download time when installing different Eclipse package of the same version. But why should I install different packages instead of using a single installation with all the plug-ins I need?

    I’m also unsure how to uninstall an Eclipse package that has been installed with the Eclipse Installer. On Windows most of the data seems to be stored in “%HOMEPATH%\.p2\pool” and some settings are stored in the “%HOMEPATH%\.eclipse\org.eclipse.oomph.*” directories.

    I also have not understood the Oomph preference recording. What must I do to play back these recordings? I switch to the dark theme, but when I switch to a new workspace or when I install a new Eclipse package I will see the default theme.

    By the way, if I try to install “Latest (Mars)” Eclipse IDE for Java Developers via the Eclipse Installer then the “installation fails with an error”. The error log shows problems with downloading org.eclipse.wb.* artifacts (“File has invalid content”). These artifacts seems the only *.pack.gz artifacts. Do you have any idea what is going wrong here?

    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author


      I found that using the installer is also much faster than downloading a zip; most of all, I think it’s quite usual to have many Eclipse installations with different plug-ins; surely that’s what I do, and I saw that many others do 🙂 that’s why bundle pools make everything faster and lighter.

      Please keep in mind that the main aim of Oomph is to make really easy to setup a workspace for developing/contributing an existing project, that’s why being able to record properties is important (it’ll be easy to recreate a workspace with the same preferences); to achieve that, Oomph uses .setup files.

      As for the other problems, I think it’s better if you ask the Oomph forum.

      Hope this helps

  2. Guido

    Thanks for helpful guide (it should be included in eclipse official doc.)

    Just a question:
    how to do an installation (using new installer) shareable by multi users on the same machine
    in order to run the same eclipse executable from more accounts (each user with own workspace)?
    I try to do the install on the system /opt/ folder but the installer inform that has not the right to create the /opt/
    Could be a solution the creation of a symbolic link node between personal folder and (for example) /opt/?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      Guido, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
      I also think that it’s already linked in the Oomph wiki page.

      Concerning your question, I guess it’s just a matter of rights: the /opt directory should be write-accessible by users who have to share the eclipse installations, and, for sure, by the installer.

      1. Guido

        I explain better my problem:
        I would like to use new installator to reach the following result:
        1) to install eclipse with new installer into system folder already existing (i.e. /opt/) by admin user (gksu eclipse-int) having root permission
        2) to have eclipse installed in to system folder (i.e. /opt/) in order to allow
        any normal user to run eclipse by his own account (and workspace) without providing you
        any root permisions.
        This result was obtained by old method of installation using commands:
        cd /opt/
        sudo tar -zxvf /path/where/is/eclipse-*.tar.gz
        gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop
        In conclusion I think the solution should be to start installer by “gksu eclipse-int”
        in order to allow to write into /opt/.
        (I hope the installer also creates eclipse.desktop allowing normal user to find/get eclipse by ubuntu unity)
        I think the installer should provide the ability to do both personal and system wide installation.

        1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

          Yes, running the installer with sudo should work.
          You may want to ask Oomph forum to get confirmation about that.

    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      As long as you know where it puts files on your computer, then you can remove them yourself. If you configure the bundlepool manually, again, you’ll know what to remove.

  3. arenn

    I am still not sure if I understand the use case of Oomph – is it possible to use it as multiplatform branded installer of own RCP application?
    Basically something like install4j, bitrock … just like native for eclipse?

  4. Shasank

    Im sorry but im having a problem with this. after the installation part the launch icon never appears. the install icon reappears. What to do?

    Thanks in advance for the help

  5. alzo

    Could you please let me know how to purge Eclipse that was installed with the above mentioned installer?

    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      It should be enough to remove the directory where you told the installer to install Eclipse, and then from the Installer you can cleanup the bundle pool by removing the unused bundles (you should use the button “Analyze Agent”).

  6. Rick

    I’ve had zero (0!) success using this installer on my Windows 7 HP laptop. It just hangs 1/2 way through the install. Useless.

  7. vishwanath

    i just cannot install eclipse ide for java developers or for that matter any other package.It shows installation failed with an error.Show log.

    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      well, the error should give you some hint about the problem.
      The most frequent problem is network connection 🙂

        1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

          I’m not talking about your network connection: Eclipse update sites might have been unavailable.
          You did not tell what the error/log says.

    1. Lorenzo Bettini Post author

      Eclipse is still good… if you don’t like the installer, then don’t use it… you don’t have to use the installer (and you’ll miss all of its nice features)

  8. Thomas Willms

    I ude your installer and had similar experiences as some of the other frustrated guys. I am working on windows 10. It is not possible to install the program there where I would like to: in C:\program files\eclipse.
    Why is this not possible? Obviously there is an access problem but this should be managed by the installer.
    In installed it at the suggested place under “users” because then it works, but I don’t like this location.
    I would have some explications about that subject.




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