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I work for a company that uses Eclipse and a bunch of plugins for their development environment.

I'm trying to come up with an automated way to install everything(eclipse, and plugins) and configure the servers, subversion, task repositories, Maven, and Tomcat.

The current solution is to setup Eclipse and all of its plugins, and then stick it in a zip file. Then, you still need to install tomcat (and hook it into eclipse) and then setup SVN, tasks (bugzilla), and Maven by hand.

Also-- they currently develop on Windows, and I'm trying to get this set up on ubuntu 11.10.

Any advice for how to make this as easy as unpacking a tar and running a script? I'm trying to use git diff to figure out what eclipse is doing, but it's been far from fruitful.

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You should try the Workspace Mechanic plugin. This can share/setup whatever you want.

The Workspace Mechanic automates maintenance of your Eclipse environment by tweaking preferences, adding extension locations, and so on. You can use it to:

  • Create a consistent environment among groups as large as the entire company, your local team, or even among your own many workspaces
  • Save time setting up new workspaces
  • Create tasks that ensure your favorite new preferences are applied to all your current and future workspaces. (This is one of our favorite features!)

We are using it and it "just works".

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Thanks for this! I'll let you know how it works out for us as soon as I'm able to try it out. – Conrad.Dean Nov 16 '11 at 5:09
@Conrad.Dean how did this work out? I see nothing about setting up the server in Eclipse or installing plugins and such? It seems to me it is just maintaining preferences. – Danny Oct 30 '14 at 17:21
@Danny I never ended up properly implementing this. I don't work on any java projects that much anymore, so all of my developer settings live as dotfiles for tools that don't take years to configure :\. Sorry – Conrad.Dean Oct 30 '14 at 18:00

I think the ziping soulution is a good start. Then you can install a macro plugin and execute the configuration

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kind of a hack-- but I'm excited to use this for other reasons. Thanks! – Conrad.Dean Nov 8 '11 at 18:59

I store Eclipse and a base configuration in version control. That would handle the plugins and such. I also store in there all the tools such as the JDK and environment setup batch files and such.

That way the only thing the developer needs to install to start working is a version control client.

The batch files can be used to set up the meta data the way you want it.

Usually I make the batch files path automatically configure relative to where it is run, that way I can have multiple development streams on a single machine.

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"...batch files to set up the meta data the way you want it" Cool! that's exactly what I'm asking about. How do you get batchfiles to setup plugin configs for you? – Conrad.Dean Nov 28 '11 at 18:30
"%~dp0" (you can google that) will help configure things. It's not the batch file that sets up the configuration on the IDE that's done using project specific settings that are part of Eclipse AND is stored in version control. You can use a psf file to define the projects to link to version control, it's still manual but it reduces the number of steps to be more managable. – Archimedes Trajano Dec 2 '11 at 23:06

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