Here's my advice for installing Eclipse onto a Linux box shared among multiple users. I see three solutions with varying amounts of disk space use / user control.
- Full User Control / Maximum Disk Usage
Each user installs their own Eclipse in
~/eclipse. This occupies maximum disk usage (perhaps as much as 400M per user), but allows each and every user to configure what plugins/features they need in their Eclipse.
- No User Control / Minimum Disk Usage
Root performs a single central install of Eclipse in
/opt/eclipse(or their distro's preference). Minimal disk space needed, but users have NO control over updates or of what plugins/features they have access to, just their private workspace(s) in their home dir. This means that if you have some CDT users and some PDT users, everyone will be able to do everything -- and all users will have the same pile of plugins loaded on startup, regardless if they ever use those plugins.
- Hybrid Install: Partial Control / Medium Disk Usage
Each user installs the Eclipse Platform Runtime Binary (~40M) in their
~/eclipse. All other plugins/features are installed into one or more "extension locations" in (for example)
Users can then cherry-pick the feature groups (extension locations) they want depending on their needs via
Help > Software Updates > Manage Configuration > Add an Extension Location, but can't run updates -- only root can. This means everyone's install *could* be the same, but you could also have Modeling users, PDT users, and PDE/JDT users who only have installed to their Eclipse the plugins they actually need to perform their job.
If they need a feature that's not available in the common shared
/optspace, they can install it themselves into a new extension location, such as
~/eclipse-plugins-phpeclipse. Then, if root notices that several users have downloaded and installed the same features, they could copy those features to
/opt/and symlink the users' extension location folder(s) to the common folders in
/opt/to save disk space.
In all three cases, I would also ensure that users have read the FAQ entries on starting Eclipse and tuning memory usage, so that as they add more features they don't crash their Eclipse or hog system resources. As root, it would be easy to create desktop shortcuts (and/or shell scripts) for a number of different canned Eclipse startup methods, using
-vm /opt/jdk50/bin/java or
-data ~/workspace1 or
-data ~/workspace2, and with
This is how I would address this issue. How have other sysadmins solved this?