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Installing lean Eclipse with ADT

When you follow the downloads for Eclipse, you end up with all kinds of stuff in your Eclipse setup that you probably don’t need or want.  One of the common complaints about Eclipse is that it is slow to start up. This can be due to those unwanted plug ins.

I tried removing components manually, but some of them stopped Eclipse from working at all! So I searched around, and this is how to install a minimal version, that should speed up your startup.

  1. Take a note of your current workspace – you’ll need it to keep your current projects and settings safe.
  2. Remove your current Eclipse directory – the one with eclipse.exe in it. Or rename it if you want a backup just in case.
  3. Go to
  4. In the “Latest Download” section, click on 4.11 (Since latest release is 4.11, it seems the safest) – in general you want the latest released version, but if you encounter problems, you might want an earlier release. E.g. 2019-12 instead of 2020-03.
  5. Scroll down to Platform Runtime Binary
  6. Click on Windows (64 bit version) to download. Probably there’s a version for Mac if you’re into that kind of thing…
  7. Unzip the downloaded zipped file to a suitable place
  8. Launch eclipse from that place – pin to taskbar.
  9. Go to Help->Install New Software and download the software from these repositories
  10. Switch to the ABAP perspective and it should all work much better than before

From Marketplace I install darkest dark theme – but that’s optional. ?

Edit: 26.05.2020

  1. A dark theme is now available as standard in Eclipse.
  2. Another reason for slow loading Eclipse is that it is encountering many exceptions when starting up. Check .metadata\.log under your workspace directory.
  3. For the JAVA runtime, I’d recommend using rather than Oracle’s offering.
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  • Nice! I have been frustrated in the past at not being able to find a "just the basics" version for download.

    I also think some people are put off by the first hurdle of figuring out which Eclipse package to get. Personally I used to go for the "Javascript and Web" package and then add ADT.

  • Thanks, Matt!

    I have some questions about your items #4 and #9

    In the “Latest Download” section, click on 4.11 (Since latest release is 4.11, it seems the safest) – in general you want the latest released version.

    Go to Help->Install New Software and download the software from these repositories

    Do we have to be mindful of the backend SAP NW version we have running in our systems before deciding to always use the most current Eclipse/ADT versions? I'm asking because I recently happened upon this statement in the ADT-release notes for eclipseversion2018-12-4100:

    "Back-end version: Application Server ABAP 7.53 SP01".

    As we are only on NW 7.50 SP13 with EHP8 is this Eclipse-version "too new" for our system and shouldn't actually be used with it? Can these release notes be basically ignored as long as things work or would we use the ADT-version at our own risk?



    • You should be able to use the latest version of ADT, even if your NW backend is on a lower version, but some of the newer features of ADT just won't work. In other words, it's individual features that are dependent on a specific NW version, not ADT as a whole. We are on NW 7.40 SP13 and I have continually upgraded to the latest version of ADT without any problems.

  • Thanks for the sharing

    I guess even one needs to consider the heap size. Based on the number of projects currently loaded in the workspace and based on the type of plugins installed and utilized can also influence the performance of the eclipse or become sluggish.

    • It’s the start up time that bothered me. Once up, I never had performance issues. The purpose of the procedure I give above is exactly to have only the plugins you actually use.

  • Unfortunately the Eclipse platform package is kind of hidden. Thanks for this guide.

    Just one comment regarding "#4 .... - in general you want the latest released version."

    In general you are right, but you should check if the tools you want to work with already declared the support for the latest released Eclipse version. Most of the tools work without problems with a new Eclipse version. But very often some adjustments are required here and there. Certain features don't work without these adoptions.

  • One remark regarding this point:

    "From Marketplace I install darkest dark theme – but that’s optional. "

    It's no longer needed in the new versions of eclipse, you can just go to Window -> Preferences, General, Appearance. And there choose Dark Theme without any addition installation.


  • I gave it a try today and it worked very fine!

    As I have not deleted the old version yet, I can make a nice comparison:


    Yeah, way fewer plugins!

    I didn't really experience to much bad performance but I think it's generally a good idea to not only keep you code clean, but also your coding environment! 😉



  • Nice blog !

    In my blog that has a similar target I describe how to add locally a Java Runtime (from SAP!) so that you get a self contained installation that can even run on a USB stick.