The Dopefly Tech Blog

« The Dopefly Tech Blog Main page

Start Eclipse faster with -initialize

posted under category: IDEs and tools on April 10, 2009 by Nathan

There was some good discussion today on the CFEclipse Users email list about getting Eclipse to start up faster, and I offered this suggestion:

Run this command when you log in to your workstation:

eclipse -initialize

According to the most complete reference I could find on Eclipse's command-line arguments, the initialize command:

Initializes the configuration being run. All runtime related data structures and caches are refreshed. Handy with shared installs: running Eclipse once with this option from an account with write privileges will improve startup performance.

The emphasis was mine, and for good reason. It really works!

In a very cheap experiment, using the windows clock as my stopwatch, I closed my open Eclipse (version 3.5, galileo M6), waited about a minute, then started it again. My PC took a full 60 seconds to load my workspace again.

I closed it, and called eclipse with -initialize through a windows shortcut. The initialize command doesn't really seem to do anything, and it took about 5 seconds to complete. After that, I waited 30 seconds and started Eclipse again, this time it took 16 seconds! Closed it, started it, 16 seconds again!

I guess I would have to reboot to get a cold start time, which is more than I'm prepared to do for today's little blog post. I really don't know what -initialize does under the hood, but wow, what a difference it can make.

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.
This blog is also available as an RSS 2.0 feed. Click your heels together and click here to contact Nathan.