How to add Eclipse Neon launcher in GNU Linux menus and launchers

If you are a GNU Linux user, there are of course many distributions, you have your favorite one. And there is two ways to install Eclipse IDE:

But in both case, you will have to go in the installation folder to run Eclipse. Even the installer does not create a .desktop file, so you won’t find Eclipse in your distribution menu. And depending on your distro, it might not be possible to lock Eclipse icon to the launcher. As a regular Ubuntu user, with the Unity desktop, I like to have my favorite applications in the launcher.

Create a .desktop file

The solution is actually very easy: in the installation folder, create an empty file, name it Eclipse.desktop and copy paste this code:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Eclipse is an IDE

Then, change the properties of the files so it can be executed. Just double click on it, and Eclipse should start. You will be able to lock the icon to the Launcher.


Of course, please change the path to your Eclipse installation. And if you have many installations, you can change the name field to make it more clear in the menu. You can also change the filename.

Add Eclipse to your menu

You now have a cool desktop launcher, but it is not yet available in your menu. To do that, copy the Eclipse.desktop file in:


If you still can’t find Eclipse in the menu, just log out from your session or restart your computer. That should be good.


Improve the GNU Linux installer

I opened a bug on Bugzilla, for I think that the Oomph based installer should create the .desktop. If you agree with me and want to participate to the discussion, it is here:

By the way, creating a .desktop file is really a standard recommended by the Gnome and KDE are following this standard:

USS and the Marketplace Client

Two weeks ago, I started my new job, Product Manager at the Eclipse Foundation. I will be in charge of developing new features and services for the Eclipse user community. Eclipse users and contributors, my plan is to make your life easier 😉

For my first blog article about the Eclipse platform, I would like to introduce a new service available for the user community: Eclipse User Storage, aka the USS. It is an API for projects to store data on Eclipse Foundation servers, linked to a user account.

Java - Boardcluster - website-index.html - Eclipse _129The MPC is one of the the first Eclipse projects to use the USS. It’s intent is to help users share their favorite plugins between many installations or workstations: the Marketplace Client.

Available since Neon M6 and M7, the Marketplace Client or “MPC” is very useful to install and share your favorite Eclipse plugins. By sharing, I mean that if you are using the same Eclipse account on many workstations, you are able to retrieve your favorites through the MPC, and install them. Life made easy, in a sense, no?

So, where to find this wonderful tool? Just open the “Help” menu, and look for “Eclipse Marketplace”.

It opens a new window, dedicated to the MPC. Your workbench is still available while you’re browsing and installing packages.

Eclipse Marketplace _131

Now, let’s see how you can use the sharing feature. Go to the “Favorites” tab. The first time you use the MPC, this tab will be empty. Just click on “Log in to view your favorites” and fill the form with your Eclipse account information.

Eclipse Marketplace _134

If you have the “Secure Storage” service activated in Eclipse, you might have to configure that too.

To add a package as a favorite, just click on the star button below a project’s logo. You can do that on any tab of the MPC. Of course, you can search some packages on the “Search” tab. However, I would recommend that you go in the “Installed” tab, and add your favorites from there.

Of course, you can also go to the Eclipse Marketplace website and manage your favorites there. And if you already have favorites there, they will be automatically imported in the MPC.

Go back to the “Favorites” tab:

Eclipse Marketplace _136

You can also click on “Import Favorites List…” and copy paste the link of the favorites of a user. You can try if you want with the  my favorites link on the Marketplace website:

If you are using Eclipse on many devices, just repeat the same thing. You can install your favorite packages across multiple Eclipse installations using the MPC. Just click on the “Install” button of a package. Of course, you might have to restart Eclipse once you’re done.

The MPC is now available in Eclipse Neon, so please, install Neon M7, test it and install plugins! And if you find a bug, please report it here:
Feedback will allow us to make it even better!

One last point to explain: where are your favorites being stored? As explained at the beginning of this article, the Marketplace Client is using the USS (User Storage Service). So your favorites are saved with your Eclipse user account.

At the moment, only two projects are using USS: MPC and Oomph. But of course, this it can be used by any Eclipse project.

So, if you want to play with test the api, the documentation is available on the wiki:

Why become a member of Eclipse

This video has been recorded at Eclipse Con Europe 2015. I had the chance to explain why this is interesting to become a member of Eclipse:

  • Be fair, you make business with Eclipse technology
  • You want to be more visible in the Community
  • Open Source is a great way to manage Intellectual Property
  • Your code will be  available for years

I also use the example of Bonitasoft as a Solution Member, and Obeo as a Strategic Member.

This video continues to my second presentation, “How to build an active community around your project”. I also posted an other article about it.

Implementig gamification for your community

Working on Bonitasoft Community website, I studied many websites using gamification to identify the leaders and understand the activity of users. Stackoverflow, IMHO the best gamification implementation available, provide a very good, complete and intuitive user profile, and for example, you can have a look at my AskUbuntu profile.

I did a series of talks about gamification, and I had very interesting discussion about how to integrate it in different contexts like websites or traditional desktop applications. Here is a 5 minutes one, extracted from a session in the main room at Eclipse Con France 2015.

The video cover the entire day in the main room, with many interesting talks on various topics.