Bootstrap an elexis 3 environment (Eclipse, Checkout)
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A simple way to bootstrap an Eclipse environment for Elexis 3

© Copyright 2014 Niklaus Giger <>

Here I used to maintain a small ruby script which was for a few months the easiest way to setup an Elexis 3 development environment. But Marco Descher came up with a better alternative based on the Eclipse Oomp-Installer

Another approach for compiling elexis-3 and generating installable products using Docker is found in the project elexis-dockerfiles

Installation using Eclipse_Oomph_Installer

This is now integrated into the source of the elexis-3-core project. For details, see

Missing in both setup is

  • choosing the 3lexisFormatterProfile.xml of the elexis-3-core repository as Java Formatting style

Installation using a ruby script

In this repository you find a small ruby script bootstrap_elexis_3_env.rb which installs an Eclipse (Kepler) and a checkout of the elexis-3-core and base repositories into the current directory. This script took less than 3 minutes (depends on the download speed) in my setup.


  • Java8. You may install a JDK from Oracle
  • git. You may download a version from


  • git clone
  • cd bootstrap-elexis-3
  • ./bootstrap_elexis_3_env.rb # At the end it should start the eclipse creating an empty workspace in ./workspace
    • Correct your workspace settings by double clicking on the workspace-mechanic button on the lower left
    • Apply the changes as suggested by
    • Afterwards the button should change to Applied. Workspace mechanic will check regularly whether your workspace is still up to date.
    • (Optional) Under Help..Install new software click “Available Software sites”, then click on “Import” the file p2_sites.xml in the cloned bootstrap-elexis-3.
      • Select “JInto” from the drop down “Work with”. Select OpenSource/Jinto.
  • From the Eclipse main menu, select: File – Import…Git – Projects from Git, then Existing local repository. Click “Add” and browse to the elexis-3-core sub directory of the checkout of your cloned bootstrap-elexis-3 repository. Click “Finish”, then “Next”. In Select “Import existing projects”
  • Repeat the same procedure for elexis-3-base
  • In the “Package Explorer” view open (The mars target is not yet functional). Wait till the “Resolving Target Definition” task has reached 100%. Then click on “Set as Target Platform”.
  • Download the DemoDB and unzip it to your $HOME/elexis directory.
  • In the “Package Explorer” view, select ch.elexis.core.application/ElexisCore.launch and select debug/ElexisCore in the context menu. If you are running under MacOSX, please use the (OS X) variant.
  • You will be prompted for a username and password. Enter test for both.
  • You should be now inside a running Elexis which announces itself with the version Elexis ${versionFromPomViaGroovy}. The curious name is set, because the official building is done using Maven, which would result in version number like 3.1.0-a20141224-1331.
  • If you have workspace-mechanic installed in your Eclipse installation, all your workspaces are regularly checked whether they have your preferredd settings. They live $INSTALL_DIR/configuration/, as ~/eclipse/mechanic did not work on MacOSX.

Note of June 14, 2014: As the update site for com.wdev91.eclipse.copyright vanished, I uncommented the line in bootstrap_elexis_3_env.rb.

Example install log

--2014-02-28 14:13:26--
Auflösen des Hostnamen » («..., 2001:620:0:8::20
Verbindungsaufbau zu (||:80... verbunden.
HTTP-Anforderung gesendet, warte auf Antwort... 200 OK
Länge: 9377181 (8.9M) [application/zip]
In »»«« speichern.
2014-02-28 14:13:26 (13.5 MB/s) - »»«« gespeichert [9377181/9377181]
Klone nach '/opt/kepler/checkout/elexis-3-core'...
Klone nach '/opt/kepler/checkout/elexis-3-base'...
Installing epp.package.rcp
Installing 1.2.0.RELEASE.
Installing com.wdev91.eclipse.copyright 1.4.0.
Installing 0.3.4.
Operation completed in 119526 ms.
--2014-02-28 14:15:40--
2014-02-28 14:15:41 (846 KB/s) - »»«« gespeichert [788669/788669]
  inflating: plugins/de.guhsoft.jinto.doc_0.13.0.jar

More info

  • myWorkspaceMechanics has some more changes to the workspace preferences
  • Record and propose your changes using the PreferenceRecorder to the Elexis developer list
  • director/director -list -r allows you to list all installable units of a given P2-update site. Unfortunately some P2-site (eg. jinto) work only inside the Eclipse but not via the buckminster director

Alternatives/not choosen paths

  • Setup-Eclipse. Disadvantages creates 50MB big installers
  • A full VM (Too big, unclear how to create)
  • docker Disadvantages, Linux-only, project is young, but promising (low on resources) but maybe I will use this solution as part of setup


  • No demoDB found. Search in in the console window of the Eclipse IDE for Checking demo database availability and verify the path.
  • Linux-users might work around crashes like this

No bp log location saved, using default.
[000:000] Browser XEmbed support present: 1
[000:000] Browser toolkit is Gtk2.
[000:000] Using Gtk2 toolkit
No bp log location saved, using default.
[000:005] No bp log location saved, using default.
[000:006] Browser XEmbed support present: 1
[000:006] Browser toolkit is Gtk2.
[000:006] Using Gtk2 toolkit
[000:000] No bp log location saved, using default.

by adding -vmargs -Dorg.eclipse.swt.browser.DefaultType=mozilla to the invocation of eclipse.