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Speeding up Eclipse

Do you usually ask questions during an interview about the computer and other hardware you will be using if you get the job? And about the software? Well, I didn’t, and after using IntelliJ Idea from the beginnings and never having less than 8 gigs of RAM in my machines, I woke up with a laptop with 4GB RAM and Eclipse.

I absolutely hated it. In the first two weeks I have tried learning the new key bindings, but gave up on it when the operating system was reinstalled and my list of the Eclipse hot-keys saved in Sticky Notes got lost. I managed to change the key bindings to the ones I got used while working with IntelliJ Idea and sort of stopped complaining about Eclipse. Unfortunately the performance was awful, especially while having a JBoss instance in the background and running the GWT debugger. I have worked with the “official” Eclipse that I have got from my colleague until now, but this week I had a day when I lost my patience for this tool and started to look for tips and tricks to speed it up a bit.

Eclipse Luna

IntelliJ Idea key bindings in Eclipse

By changing the short-cuts in Eclipse to the ones used in IntelliJ Idea your Eclipse will not become faster, but it will be more usable if you got used to the key bindings in IntelliJ. Santosh Kumar has been kind enough to share his plugin that makes this change easy as taking candy from a child. You simply have to download the plugin (IdeaKeyScheme_1.0.0.jar) and drop the downloaded file into the plugins directory. To download the plugin and more information please visit the source article.

Remove unused plugins from starting up

This may be done in the Window > Preferences > General > Startup and Shutdown window. I have disabled all plugins from activating at startup and it has really made a difference.

Disable spell cheking

In the General > Editors > Text Editor > Spelling window uncheck the Enable spell checking checkbox.

Disable validations

You may remove all the validations you don’t need in the Validation section of the Preferences window. I have disabled all of them.

Disable bytecode verification

By disabling the bytecode verification I have managed to considerably reduce the startup time of Eclipse. This can be achieved by adding the -Xverify:none parameter in the eclipse.ini file. I have read several articles stating that it may be dangerous to disable the bytecode verification, but in this case I believe it can’t do much harm.

These small modifications have really helped. I can’t say that I like Eclipse more, but at least I work without getting the “Not responding” every 5 minutes. At the moment of writing Eclipse Luna (v. 4.4) is the latest version of Eclipse, but most of these speed enhancements will work on older or even newer versions as well.

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