This projects aims at creating an emacs frontend to Eclim, see
Emacs Lisp
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Eclim is an Eclipse plugin which exposes Eclipse features through a server interface. When this server is started, the command line utility eclim can be used to issue requests to that server.

Emacs-eclim uses the eclim server to integrate eclipse with emacs. This project wants to bring some of the invaluable features from eclipse to emacs.

It is also possible to start and stop the eclim daemon from emacs using the eclimd package.

You can ask questions or discuss new features at our Google Group

A note about Eclim versions

Prior to version 1.7.3, eclim used a proprietary protocol for communication with the eclim server. If you are running one of these older versions, you need version 0.1 of emacs-eclim.

Eclim versions 1.7.3 and later however, serves responses using a standard JSON format. These are supported by emacs-eclim versions 0.2 and later.

Emacs-eclim versions are tagged with the appropriate version number. You can see and download previous releases here.


  1. Download and install eclim.
  2. Install emacs-eclim. You have two options:
    • Installation from the MELPA package archive. Just add the archive to package-archives if you haven't already, and then install emacs-eclim with the package-install command.
    • Manual installation from GitHub.
      1. (git clone git://
      2. Add (add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/emacs-eclim/") to your startup script.
  3. Add the following code to your emacs startup script
(require 'eclim)

If you want to control eclimd from emacs, also add:

(require 'eclimd)


Eclipse installation

Emacs-eclim tries its best to locate your Eclipse installation. If you have Eclipse installed in a non-standard location (i.e. ~/opt/eclipse) you have two options:

  • Either customize the eclim-executable variable to make it point to the eclim executable within the Eclipe directory if necessary
  • Or, you can override the lookup by adding the following to your startup script.
 '(eclim-eclipse-dirs '("~/opt/eclipse")))

Displaying compilation error messages in the echo area

When the cursor is positioned on an error marker in a code buffer, emacs-eclim uses the local help feature in emacs to display the corresponding error message in the echo area. You can either invoke (display-local-help) manually or activate automatic display of local help by adding the following to .emacs:

(setq help-at-pt-display-when-idle t)
(setq help-at-pt-timer-delay 0.1)

Configuring auto-complete-mode

If you wish to use auto-complete-mode with emacs-eclim, add the following to your .emacs:

;; regular auto-complete initialization
(require 'auto-complete-config)

;; add the emacs-eclim source
(require 'ac-emacs-eclim-source)

Configuring company-mode

Emacs-eclim can integrate with company-mode to provide pop-up dialogs for auto-completion. To activate this, you need to add the following to your .emacs:

(require 'company)
(require 'company-emacs-eclim)
(global-company-mode t)

Configuring eclimd module

When emacs-eclim is configured correctly, you don't need to modify the configuration for the eclimd package. Still, there are some configurable variables you can tweak:

  1. eclimd-executable: This variable is used for locating the eclimd executable file. You can set it to nil ("Same directory as eclim-executable variable" choice in customization screen) to indicate that the executable is in the same directory as the eclim program. Alternatively, you can give it a string value ("Custom value" choice in customization screen) to specify the location of the executable.

  2. eclimd-default-workspace: When start-eclimd is executed, it will ask for the workspace directory to use. The default value for this question is controlled by this variable.

  3. eclimd-wait-for-process: Normally, when start-eclimd starts the eclimd process, it pauses emacs until eclimd is ready to accept commands. If you change the value of this variable to nil, start-eclimd will return as soon as eclimd is started. Eclimd startup takes several seconds, so if you change the default value of this variable, emacs-eclim commands will fail until eclimd is ready.


  • s.el for string manipulation functions
  • json.el (part of emacs as of version 23)

Optional dependencies

  • A recent version (0.6.0 or later) of yasnippet
  • A recent version (tested with 0.5) of company-mode
  • A recent version (tested with 1.4) version of auto-complete-mode
  • ido-mode (part of emacs as of version 22)


To get started just launch the eclim executable that the placed in your Eclipse installation directory.

Controlling eclimd

When you import the eclimd package, you will have access to two commands: start-eclimd, and stop-eclimd.

start-eclimd will ask for a workspace directory, and it will attempt to start eclimd program with the entered workspace directory. The configurable variable eclimd-default-workspace controls the default value of this directory. After start-eclimd runs the daemon, it will monitor its log output, and wait for the message that indicates that it is ready to accept commands. This is done to prevent failures with emacs-eclim commands while eclimd is starting up. While start-eclimd is waiting for the daemon to be ready, emacs will not accept any user input. To prevent this pause, you can modify the configurable variable eclimd-wait-for-process.

Normally, simply killing the buffer *eclimd* will allow you to stop the eclimd daemon. However, there is a command to perform a graceful shutdown: stop-eclimd. You should use this command when you wish to stop the eclimd program.


Read more about emacs-eclim:


Have a quick look at our Contribution Guidelines and hack away. alpha