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Run Eclipse from your portable USB drive

posted under category: CFEclipse on February 28, 2009 by Nathan

I've got to admit that running basically everything from my USB drive is really nice sounding. Portable everything. I love Let's talk about running Eclipse portable.

Step 1: Download Eclipse, extract to portable drive
Step 2: Download Java, extract or install to portable drive
Step 3: Make a new workspace folder on the drive
Step 4: Rig up a batch file or shell script to run it all together. Here is what it needs to have for windows:

@echo off
cd eclipse
start eclipse -vm ../java/bin/javaw -data ../workspace

You'll see it may take only a few seconds longer to start than running it off your HDD.

Once started, you can import your projects into the workspace, add plugins and do your work from right there, all completely self-contained.

I did this initially for my Ant/Groovy presentation. I had my presentation online with Google Docs, and my demos from the flash drive. The idea was to use somebody else's PC, come with nothing to install and leave with nothing to clean up. It worked almost perfectly -- Alan had warned me about his PC, but when I ran the live demo anyway, Ant froze, Eclipse crashed, and I was out of time. Bummer! Anyways, not to detract from the subject, it did work on 3 other PCs. I'm just giving out creative ideas here.

Of course, if you're like me, to use this as your main IDE, you'll want a web server and something that runs CFML. I'm not there yet, but I know some other folks are doing just that.

Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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