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I setup Eclipse in


I keep all my open source packages (ANT, Maven, Apache, etc) in c:\software as well. Then I add the necessary directories to my $PATH variable (c:\software\ant\bin).

I also keep the Eclipse workspace under c:\software\eclipse_workspace.

The big plus behind this setup is portability. I can simply move the entire folder to a new drive, re-setup my path, and boom everything works. No interference from registry settings at all. Makes it very easy to backup.

This approached worked for XP, Windows7 RC1 and Windows7 Professional without issue.


I have many different versions of Eclipse and related products installed. So I have them installed as C:\Eclipse\... for Windows and /Eclipse/... under Mac and Linux. Usually with the directory name as the base name of the zip - e.g. eclipse-rcp-helios-SR2-macosx-cocoa-x86_64... Some products, like those from IBM, have their own ideas and can often not be changed...

As for the workspaces - yes, I have one for each customer - they are placed under /Eclipse/Workspaces/... and friends.

And the target platforms are placed under /Eclipse/TargetPlatforms/... and friends.


You could put it under your User folder or My Documents folder, so you don't have to worry about permissions. Then just add a link to your start menu / quick start / desktop and you will be good to go.


I usually install Eclipse to %LocalAppData%.

  • Common install path used by Google Chrome, Python, GitHub Desktop, Discord, and f.lux
  • Only installs Eclipse for the current user profile. (separate per-user settings)
  • Does not require administrator privileges
  • Accessible as a default Windows environment variable (%LocalAppData%)
  • Folder is designated specifically to hold application data


You can install (unzip) an eclipse:

  • anywhere you want (meaning you don't have to install it on c:\Program Files (I install it for instance on c:\prog\java\eclipse, a directory tree I create
  • with a workspace set anywhere you want (for me: c:\prog\java\workspace, and I reference that workspace in my eclipse.ini.
    This is important because the default location of a workspace (using user.home) is not always a good idea (see this SO question and its associated eclipse bug which will be solved only with the upcoming eclipse Helios 3.6)
  • with plugins set anywhere you want through a Dropins folder (also referenced in the eclipse.ini, for me: c:\prog\java\myplugins)
  • with a JVM installed anywhere you want (also referenced in the eclipse.ini, for me: c:\prog\java\jdks\jdk6u18, and I have installed several others jdks in c:\prog\java\jdks)

Eclipse shouldn't ever have to be in c:\Program Files, and the setting describe above works perfectly with:

  • Vista or Seven, UAC fully activated
  • XP, with no Administrator rights.

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