Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jumping Eclipse release train

So you have customized your Eclipse Helios (or whatever) installation, and now Eclipse Indigo or (recently) Eclipse Juno has been released. But you dread 'upgrading' your installation as you have to export all the customizations to the new release, transfer all plugins, etc, etc, and ensure everything works properly. Dread not, because you actually don't need to do any of these (well except the last thing).

One thing I noticed about Eclipse is that they never provided an official documentation on how to upgrade from (for examples) Helios to Indigo or Indigo to Juno. Everywhere I checked about upgrading Eclipse is vague, some even claiming that you should do what I just described (suggesting there's no other way than manual migration).

But Eclipse supports automatic upgrading and migration even if the development team is so sly about it. All you need to do is this: (I use Helios and Juno as examples - adjust accordingly.)

CAUTION: If you use Eclipse in mission-critical applications, be sure to make a proper back-up before proceeding, BOTH of your workspace(s) and your current Eclipse installation! For others, it will also be good to do a back-up in case something goes wrong or you don't like the new Eclipse version.
  1. In Eclipse Helios, go to Window > Preferences > Install/Update > Available Software Sites.
  2. Uncheck Helios, The Eclipse Project Updates and anything else Helios-related.
    • You may also uncheck anything else that you know aren't needed (keep repositories you added as checked).
    • If you see multiple entries named Helios, uncheck all of them.
  3. Click Add... button and enter the new release train name as Name, and for Location, find the correct repository location here (in the Links column, copy the URL of "Repository", "p2 Repository", etc.)
    • For Juno release train, the URL is
  4. Click OK > OK.
  5. Click Help > Check for Updates. After Eclipse checks the new repository, you will get the dialog box showing you updates available.
  6. Update your Eclipse installation as per normal (hopefully you already know how to do this).
  7. When prompted to restart, click Restart Now (You may click Not Now but never click Apply Changes Now - the chances of error are higher on such major update).
  8. After restart, you will find that Eclipse has now upgraded to Juno and you didn't need to migrate settings and plugins to a fresh installation.
    • You can remove repositories you unchecked in step 2.
    • You should also ensure all plugins work correctly (some plugins can break when upgrading to a new release train).
If it helped you, leave a comment below and let me know! Alert me of any problems to note too.

Keywords: Eclipse Java C/C++ IDE Callisto Europa Ganymede Galileo Helios Indigo Juno Kepler EE SE Classic Developers Mobile Modelling RCP RAP Automotive Scout

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