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2.3 Putting a System Together

With all these plug-ins floating around, what does an Eclipse system look like on disk? Figure 2-4 shows a typical RCP SDK install. The topmost directory is the install location. It includes a plug-in store, some bootstrap code, and a launcher, eclipse.exe, which is used to start Eclipse.

Figure 2-4

Figure 2-4 The anatomy of an Eclipse installation

The plug-in store (plugins directory) contains a directory or JAR file for each plug-in. By convention, the name in the file system matches the identifier of the plug-in and is followed by its version number. Each plug-in contains its files and folders as described earlier.

The configuration location (configuration directory) contains the configuration definition. This definition describes which plug-ins are to be installed and run. The configuration location is also available to plug-ins for storing settings and other data such as preferences and cached indexes. By default, the configuration location is part of the install location. This is convenient for standard single-user installs on machines where users have full control. Products and shared, or multiconfiguration, installs on UNIX systems may, however, put the configuration location elsewhere, such as the current user's home directory.

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