Forcing Eclipse to store plugins outside of workspace

I'm preparing to update my Eclipse to 4.2 version and I'd like to solve one problem that has been annoying me since many many years. Right now my installation looks like this:

  • eclipse folder is located in /usr/local/share. This is a system-wide directory, yet Eclipse requires write permissions for a user, which goes against unix permissions philosophy.
  • I have a workspace and all plugins that I install go into .metadata folder within this workspace.

What I'd like to achieve is:

  • first of all, do not install plugins in the workspace directory. I'd like to see plugins installed either somewhere in my home directory or - if it is necessary for the user to have write permissions to eclipse directory - in eclipse directory itself.
  • take away users write permissions for eclipse directory. This will of course prevent installing plugins there, but I won't mind installing them somewhere in ~
  • preferable solution would be to take away write permissions for the user to eclipse directory and be able to install plugins within that directory as root. So when I want to add new plugin, I start Eclipse with root privileges, install the plugin (it goes to eclipse installation directory) and then I can use this plugin as non-privileged user.


Although I'm not a linux user, I'm 99% certain that plugins will never be installed into a workspace; that's just contrary to how workspaces and plugins are separated in Eclipse's architecture. A workspace may have configuration/cache data that is stored with file/folder names resembling plugin names, but the actual plugins are stored elsewhere.

I think if you read the multi-user install guide from the online help, you'll find one of the options outlined there will suit your needs.

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