November 24, 2007

How to export eclipse workbench layout (or perspective settings)

Do you find yourself in the need of configuring your eclipse workbench layout on every new computer you are working on? I did. I am used to a personal workbench layout. Unfortunately eclipse (version 3.3) does not seem to provide means for exporting workbench layout or perspective settings and importing them on another machine (if you know a way I am not aware of, please let me know). Eclipse provides build-in means for exporting some user settings such as keys, formatter and cleanup but how do you export your workbench layout or perspective settings?

My answer to this question is a little bit hacky, but it works. Go to your eclipse workspace directory in your file system and find the folder workspace/.metadata/.plugins/. This folder contains all the configuration you have made in your workbench. You don't have to copy all contents of this folder to achieve the goal of exporting your perspective settings or workbench layout. In particular the following folders are interesting:


This folder contains all your perspective settings and your workbench layout. Copy this folder and its contents and save them in the workspace of the other computer.


This folder contains all the settings you have made in the eclipse preferences. Eclipse provides build-in means for exporting some of them, but copying this folder works also.

There may also be other folders in the .plugins directory you are interested in. They all contain preferences and settings for some build-in or installed eclipse plugins.


  1. Hi

    It looks like (I'm using eclipse 3.3.2) there's an option to automatically copy over you're workbench layout to another workspace; if you go to Switch Workspace -> Other, there's a 'Copy Settings' section below. Tick 'Workbench Layout'

  2. Do you know if Windows and Linux version's settings are compatible or not?

    Actually I work at home on ArchLinux and at work on Windows and I would like to copy my settings from one to another.

    Is that possible?

  3. Thank you very much!
    Bad thing that Eclipse doesn't supply these exports.

  4. Darren Hurley's suggestion worked for me on 3.3.1.

  5. Darren Hurley's suggestion works, but you still need to copy the metadata if you want to install eclipse on another computer, don't you?