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Martin Lippert edited this page Apr 26, 2022 · 85 revisions
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This guides you through the various installation steps for the STS4 components on the different supported platforms (Eclipse, Visual Studio Code and Theia). All the variants require at least a JDK11+ to be installed on your system as a prerequisite.

The language server launcher will look for JVM to launch with. It looks in these places and uses the first java executable found:

  • the location configured via ${language-server-name} Where ${language-server-name} is one of srping-boot, concourse, cloudfoundry-manifest or bosh. This setting is specific fora particular language server and only affects how that server launches.
  • the location in JAVA_HOME environment variable
  • a java executable in the PATH

It is possible to use the spring-boot and Java tooling with projects that require older JRE to compile and run since the JRE used for this purpose is independent of the JRE used to launch the language server itself. The best way to configure the JRE for the language server independently is to set ${language-server-name} in vscode's user or workspace settings.

Spring Tool Suite 4 (the Eclipse-based distribution)

Spring Tools 4 ready-to-use distribution package

To download the full featured Spring Tool Suite 4 distribution that has everything pre-installed, please go to:

Note: For Windows, the download is a self-extracting JAR archive. Double click and it will expand itself on disc.

Install Spring Tools 4 into an existing Eclipse (via the Marketplace)

In order to install the Spring Tools 4 into an existing Eclipse install, you need the latest Eclipse release as a prerequisite (download the Eclipse IDE from here:

You can install Spring Tools 4 into your existing Eclipse installation using the Eclipse Marketplace. Search for "Spring Tools 4" and install:

Install Spring Tools 4 into an existing Eclipse (via a p2 repo)

You can also use a p2 repository to install individual components of Spring Tools 4 into an existing Eclipse installation. Choose Install New Software in Eclipse and use this p2 repository URL:

Select the main features you wish to install and proceed. The standard set of features is this:

For the reference, the feature IDs are:

  • org.springframework.boot.ide.main.feature
  • org.springframework.ide.eclipse.boot.dash.feature
  • org.springframework.ide.eclipse.xml.namespaces.feature

In addition to those p2 repositories, we also provide an additional one:

This will provide you the latest Spring Tools 4 together with the latest Eclipse release and can be used to always stay on top of the latest Spring Tools 4 and the latest Eclipse version. Since it combines Spring Tools 4 and Eclipse release train repos, it is not recommended for manually installing Spring Tools 4.

If you would like to try Spring Tools 4 features inside of an existing STS 3.9.x installation, please open the Spring Dashboard in STS 3.9.x, go to the Extension Install page, and select the Spring Tools 4 Add-On item.

Visual Studio Code

Download and install Visual Studio Code:

Install from the Visual Studio Marketplace:

More detailed instructions on installing extension from Visual Studio Marketplace can be found here


Theia IDE is not a "box" product that can be just downloaded. It is usually deployed either in a Cloud and served over the web or locally on the desktop as Electron application. For more information about Theia see

Theia now supports installing and using VS Code extensions in Theia and we no longer build or support the STS Theia extensions that we produced upto STS version 4.4.

Fear not, however, we are still supporting Theia via our VScode extensions, which have been tested and work fine within Theia.

If Theia IDE is deployed and running somewhere then STS extensions can be installed into Theia with the Extension Manager. You can use the Extension Manager to install the STS 4 vscode extensions which you can get from our VSCode Extensions Downloads page. Note that in order for this to work your Theia instance must have both the:

  • the Extension Manager (package @theia/plugin-ext) and the
  • VSCode extension compatibility support (package @theia/plugin-ext-vscode) included.

If you don't have a Theia IDE with these two packages already running, then you essentially have to build and run your own instance. In this case you can set it up so that STS 4 vscode extensions are automatically pre-installed at build-time.

To understand how to do this, you can refer to how we build our own Theia test instance into a Docker image here.

If you want, you can also use the same Dockerfile and customise it to your own needs:

Now you are ready to build the docker image:

$ docker build -t my-theia-sts4 .
Successfully built fedf2ac8a962
Successfully tagged my-theia-sts4:latest

You can run this image as follows:

docker run -it --init  -p 3000:3000 -p 8080:8080 -v "$(pwd):/home/project:cached" my-theia-sts4

This will start Theia in a docker container and 'mount' your current directory as volume at /home/project in the container. You can then open it at http://localhost:3000.

Atom (deprecated since Spring Tools 4.3.0 release)

Download and Install latest Atom (any version >= 1.22)

Atom packages can be installed through Atom -> Preferences - on Settings window, select Install. Atom packages may prompt you to install missing prerequisite Atom packages (i.e. ide-ui and/or ide-java). It's recommended that you choose to install them.

Install the following from the Spring Team (spring-projects):