This projects aims at creating an emacs frontend to Eclim, see
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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.


  1. download the latest eclim distribution for your platform => Eclim Project Page

  2. install eclim and follow the instructions

  3. download the emacs-eclim source code

  4. add the following code to your emacs startup script

     (add-to-list 'load-path (expand-file-name "/path/to/emacs-eclim/"))
     ;; only add the vendor path when you want to use the libraries provided with emacs-eclim
     (add-to-list 'load-path (expand-file-name "~/coding/git/emacs-eclim/vendor"))
     (require 'eclim)
     (setq eclim-auto-save t)


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


The easiest way to manage your eclipse projects in emacs is to use the eclim-manage-projects command. This opens up a new buffer containing all the projects of your eclipse workspace.


code completion

You have two possibilities to use the eclipse code completion mechanism inside emacs.

  1. standard completion using the emacs *completion* buffer

    to start the completion, call eclim-emacs-complete. This is bound to M-TAB by default.

  2. company-mode backend called: company-emacs-eclim

    To activate this backend, replace company-eclim with company-emacs-eclim in the eclim-backends list, or call the convenience function company-emacs-eclim-setup.

organizing java imports

Emacs eclim allows you to use the import capabilities from Eclipse. When you call emacs-eclim-import-missing the needed imports will be added automatically. If there are multiple classes with the same name, you can choose the right one from a provided list.

class hierarchy

You can display a hierarchy of the java class in the current buffer. Use the function emacs-java-hierarchy to open the hierarchy buffer. The elements in the buffer are linked to the corresponding source files. This does also work for compiled .class files inside JAR files. This feature uses JAD to decompile the java classes. Make sure you have the executable it in your PATH when you want to use it.

override / implement methods

With eclim you can easily choose the method you want to implement or override from a list. Just call eclim-java-implement to get a list of available method scaffolds.


You can use the function eclim-ant-run to execute a given ant target from the current project. Be aware that emacs-eclim needs to be able to locate your build.xml file. You can use the eclim-ant-directory variable or overwrite the eclim--ant-buildfile-name function to customize how eclim locates your main buildfile.


Beside Ant you can now run maven life-cycle phases or call a specific goal. This works in all your project files, as long as emacs-eclim recognizes the eclipse project file. To run a maven phase just call eclim-maven-lifecycle-phase-run or eclim-maven-run to enter the name of a goal.


The project is pretty new and needs a lot of work. If you have some spare time and want to help us improve java development on emacs, just fork the project and send me a pull-request, once you want me to merge it back into the repository.


Make sure that you installed eclim correctly. The installer should have placed the following files into your Eclipse installation directory:


Furthermore emacs eclim relies on a eclim executable that is placed in your PATH. If you don't want to add the executable installed into your Eclipse plugin directory you can place a script with the following content in your PATH.

$ECLIPSE_HOME/plugins/org.eclim_1.4.5/bin/eclim $*