Optimizing Eclipse on a Windows System

Having been thrust into mobile development, I’ve had to become acquainted with the Eclipse IDE. I had some experience working in Eclipse while I was at MySpace, but the experience was pretty limited there as it was a mix of Windows and Linux for that particular product (MySpace Karaoke, if you must know). Now that I’m pretty much in the weeds with the whole thing now, I’ve noticed that the performance is pretty poor right out of the box. Project builds, in particular, are painfully slow. I must caveat this entire blog post by admitting I am a HUGE fan of the Visual Studio IDE – VS2010 seriously rocks for development. Anyway, after scouring the web for answers, I did come across some posts that show how to tweak your instance of Eclipse to get the most bang for your hardware buck.

I’m running Windows 7 Ulimate x64 on an HP Elite workstation. I’ve got the i7 quad core CPU and 9 GB of RAM. Eclipse should be running pretty quick, no? Wrong. Out of the box, they limit quite a bit the initial memory allocation, and the Java version is set to 1.5. Here’s what I did to get my system running quicker.

Open your eclipse.ini file – C:\Program Files (x86)\Eclipse\eclipse.ini – and edit the memory values to higher numbers. You’ll also want to change the Java version to 1.6. My exact setup is below:

-startup
plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.0.201.R35x_v20090715.jar
–launcher.library
plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.win32.win32.x86_1.0.200.v20090519
-product
org.eclipse.epp.package.java.product
–launcher.XXMaxPermSize
2048M
-showsplash
org.eclipse.platform
–launcher.XXMaxPermSize
2048m
-vmargs
-Dosgi.requiredJavaVersion=1.6
-Xms768m
-Xmx768M
-XX:MaxPermSize=512m

Finding the exact values was a bit of trial and error. Putting number that were too high caused Eclipse to crash on startup. Be sure to back up your original in case you get too far down the line and can’t fix what you changed.

Enjoy!