New to Eclipse?

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This page is a summary of the Eclipse Newcomers FAQs page on the website. If you really want to know more about Eclipse, we suggest that you read the full text on that page.

What is Eclipse?

Eclipse is an open source community whose projects are focused on building an extensible development platform, runtimes and application frameworks for building, deploying and managing software across the entire software lifecycle. Many people know us, and hopefully love us, as a Java IDE but Eclipse is much more than a Java IDE.

The Eclipse open source community has over 200 open source projects. The Eclipse community is also supported by a large and vibrant ecosystem of major IT solution providers, innovative start-ups, universities and research institutions and individuals that extend, support and complement the Eclipse Platform.

One very exciting thing about Eclipse is that many people are using Eclipse in ways that we have never imagined. The common thread is that they are building innovative, industrial-strength software and want to use great tools, frameworks and runtimes to make their job easier.

What is the Eclipse Foundation?

The Eclipse Foundation is a not-for-profit, member-supported corporation that hosts the Eclipse projects. The Foundation provides services to run the IT infrastructure, perform IP due diligence, mentor open source projects, and provide marketing and business development support for the Eclipse community.

It is important to realize that the Eclipse Foundation does not actually develop the open source code. All of the open source software at Eclipse is developed by open source developers, called committers, which are volunteered or contributed by organizations and individuals.

How can I get started using Eclipse?

Most people start by downloading one of the different download packages. Plugins can be added to Eclipse to expand its functionality; the Eclipse Projects and Eclipse Marketplace are two sources for additional plugins, but there are many more out there!

There is also a wealth of books, tutorials and white papers to help you get started. Check out The Official Eclipse FAQ in the Eclipse Wiki for more information about all aspects of Eclipse. There are also companies available to help with training and consulting services. In addition, please feel free to post a question on our forums.