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Installing Eclipse – some of my favorite plugins

Posted by damuchinni on February 13, 2009

I just reinstalled a fresh version of Eclipse onto my workstation. I switch between IDEs a fair bit, depending on what I am doing. Eclipse is great for Maven work, mainly because of the m2eclipse plugin that just keeps getting better and better. IntelliJ, on the other hand, is king when it comes to Groovy and Grails. Here, I will run through how I typically set up my Eclipse environment. So, here is the procedure:

  • Download the latest Eclipse EE package (in this case, Ganymede SR1).
  • Update the pre-installed plugins to the latest version.
  • Install Subclipse ( – very cool support for Subversion 1.5 branching and merging.
  • I skip the AJDT plugin, as I don’t use AspectJ for my current projects. If you are, you might want to include this one to benefit from the maven-aspectj-plugin integration.
  • Install M2Eclipse ( – note this is the dev snapshot – I like living dangerously ;-).

That’s it for the basic stuff. With this, you can start developing. But the setup still lacks a bit of character. So I usually add a few more plugins.

I’m a big fan of code quality and code metrics, so I add the standard code quality-related plugins:

At the moment, I don’t bother installing Crap4j, as it doesn’t work on Ganymede yet.

I do occasionally do some work in Groovy in Eclipse (though IntelliJ is nicer on this front), so I add some Groovy support:

I like to monitor my CI servers from within my IDE. For Hudson, I use this one:

  • Hudson Eclipse plugin (http//

I’m not adverse to a bit of commercial software, if it improves my productivity and doesn’t require me to take out another mortgage. So I may well install the following commercial plugins:

  • JUnitMax (the tool is still a bit rough in parts, but those unit test failures marked with red crosses, just like compilation failures, really are quite addictive).
  • Tasktop (sort of like Mylyn on steroids)

With this, I have an operational development environment. I might install others as the need arises, but this gets me up and running in Eclipse with a minimum of fuss.

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