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Installing Eclipse Plugins as a normal user on Linux

I’m trying to get the hang of Eclipse
and I always seem to find myself getting annoyed with all the documentation
I find for newbies. My goal is the following:

Install an Eclipse plugin under Linux

Sounds simple, right? Well here are some my system configuration settings
that I feel are relevant:

  • I’m running Ubuntu Dapper
  • I installed Eclipse via ubuntu’s package management tool

So here are some immediate solutions I thought of…

  • Become root and install into /usr/share/eclipse/plugins
    • Pros
      • Since I’m the sys admin, it’s easy to do
      • Straightforward to me and maps to the same notion in Windoze
    • Cons
      • If I deinstall Eclipse for some reason or upgrade, what happens to my
      • Why do I need to become root?
      • Doesn’t Eclipse have some facility for reading plugins per-user?
  • Open up the Help in Eclipse and search for Plugin
    • I ended up getting tons of documentation on how to MAKE a plugin but…
      • Where’s the docs on installing a plugin?
      • Where’s the docs explaining where Eclipse reads plugin information from?
      • Where’s the docs explaining what dirs I need to look for plugins?
      • Where’s the tutorial for installing plugins?
  • Install my own version of Eclipse in my home directory
    • Pros
      • Straightforward to me
      • No need for root
      • I can get the latest and greatest!
    • Cons
      • Didn’t I just toss out the usefulness of my package manager?
      • I don’t care about latest and greatest, I just want working
      • More disk space wasted
      • I bet it’s going to ask me to compile something…

After googling around finally I finally hit on a link that explains it properly.
To save you the same aggravation as me here’s the
link and here’s the
Google search I tried that worked. So far I have to say this is on par for most
products that have come out of the Java camp. Documentation is plentiful, just
not the documentation you need or want to achieve your goal. Of course, the
excuse that ‘Google is your friend’ comes up often. So much for documentation…

Install Eclipse plugins as a normal user in Linux