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I downloaded eclipse and unzipped the file into a folder and also added some plugins, changed some settings.

If I copied this folder to a pendrive and opened it in another PC, will all my seetings and plugins work out of box?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes. Eclipse is portable. However you need to specify the workspace folder and the Java VM on the command line. This prevents eclipse from using the broken VM that comes with windows and allows it to access the workspace even if the drive letter has changed.

eclipse.exe -clean -vm %JAVA_HOME%/bin/javaw.exe -data %WORKSPACE%

FYI: The Java VM is also portable so you can put both Java and Eclipse on the same thumb drive.

NOTE: Eclipse project settings may not be portable. This depends on how you set up your .classpath file. Try to use relative paths whenever possible.

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Thank you for the answer! :) – instantsetsuna Jul 15 '10 at 13:58
Is it possible to make the installation compatible with multiple operating systems (such as Linux and Windows)? I've had a lot of difficulty trying to maintain a portable workspace between these two operating systems. – Anderson Green Jan 10 '13 at 0:42
Sorry, I haven't tried. – Chris Nava Jan 10 '13 at 23:27

Eclipse does store all of its plugins and configuration in its own directory structure, so making it portable it surprisingly easy and intuitive. I've used Eclipse in a portable fashion with no problems at all. All I can recommend is a couple of extra steps to make your life just that bit easier and this is what I do:

I just download the Eclipse zip file, extracted it to a directory on the desktop and do the following steps.

Copy the Java runtime from a computer that has it installed into your Eclipse directory. The folder with java in it should be named "jre" so you end up with the following:

    |   |___files

This means it can work on any machine that doesn't have Java installed without having to run special command line or path settings. Just run eclipse.exe and it finds the Java runtime in jre for you and carries on happily. Neato.

After that when Eclipse asks for a workspace I simply enter .\Workspace so that the workspace directory is created within the eclipse directory, and it seems that all the workspace details are kept under that directory in a "relative directory" fashion so it doesn't matter if the drive letter changes. Plugins like Pydev keep their settings in the workspace folder (in a folder named ".metadata") so once you've set it up they'll get remembered between places too.

And Voila, portable Eclipse.

You can copy this Eclipse directory between places and it all seems to "just work".

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For school, I chose to assign my Eclipse workspace to a Dropbox shared directory. Each time I started Eclipse, I used that directory as the workspace. It helped me work in multiple installs of Eclipse at the same time quite easily.

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Nice idea! +1 :) – instantsetsuna Oct 5 '10 at 7:54
I keep the workspace in my website's ftp account. I can then easily access them in my mac, windows and linux machines all at once. – Sri Harsha Chilakapati Jun 14 '14 at 4:15

Did you try Eclipse Portable? Some of my friends use it and they say it works well.

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+1 Thanks a lot! – AndrejaKo Jul 15 '10 at 12:17
You're welcome. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jul 15 '10 at 12:28
That link is outdated. Here is the new link: – Andrew Mar 8 '12 at 15:46
Is there any way to use Eclipse Portable with Linux (or any other operating system besides Windows)? – Anderson Green Jan 10 '13 at 0:39

It should. I have eclipse installation on a flash drive and it works fine. Sometimes I have to select which JDK I'm using though.

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How were you able to install Eclipse on a flash drive? – Anderson Green Jan 10 '13 at 0:40

Some plugins and several settings are set on the "workspace" level.

As such, it doesn't matter as much if you use it on another computer, but more if you use it on another workspace.

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As many others said, Eclipse is portable and/or can be made portable quite easy. Keep in mind that - depending on the project type - a lot of write activity may happen on the workspace contents (not the installation), for example when auto-building the class files after saving a Java file or to keep the local workspace history. This might not only slow down Eclipse significantly, but it might also lower the life expectancy of you flash drive.

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Old question, but since the apparition of Oomph, the Eclipse installer, Eclipse is no longer portable: it pollutes your home user directory, and it creeps in at least 6 different configuration files, located in 5 different directories. It has become a nightmare.

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