Reverting Changes in an Eclipse Installation using p2

I was helping a colleague with some Eclipse install issues and was surprised he didn’t know about the ability to revert to a previous install configuration. Equinox p2 makes the revert process sane compared to the old Eclipse Update story. So everyone knows, to revert to a previous configuration of an Eclipse install, this is what you do…

First, open the About dialog and click the Installation Details button:

About Eclipse SDK

From the list, you can select a previous configuration and click the Revert button to go back in time:

Eclipse Installation History Dialog

It’s that simple!

As a bonus in Eclipse 3.6, you’ll be able to compare two configurations to see differences via the Compare button:

Comparing Install Configurations using p2

Once you do that, you should see a compare dialog with the changes:

Comparing Installation History using Equinox p2

Hope this helps!

6 Responses to “Reverting Changes in an Eclipse Installation using p2”

  1. Jens Cellai says:

    I was not aware of this function to do this. Thanks!

  2. Nick Boldt says:

    Coincidentally, I was just looking up how to do this programmatically via commandline today using p2.director and the -uninstallIU flag.

  3. Amazing … that worked for you? Never did for me.

    The p2 guys may argue that some of my plugins are faulty … but that sounds to me that the plugin development process still has some way to go. I mean it shouldn’t be possible to deadlock an Eclipse install just by adding another plugin.

  4. Aaron, Eclipse is a level playing field in terms of plug-ins. It’s easy to write a bad plug-in that performs a lot of code during startup of itself and slows down a whole Eclipse install. You can even write a plug-in that calls System.exit(1) on startup! There’s many ways to be devious or even lazy when developing plug-ins. A common case is that plug-ins don’t cleanup after themselves properly so memory is wasted. So I wouldn’t necessarily blame the p2 team who is just delivering the bits and ensuring dependencies are properly satisfied.

    This is one reason we (EclipseSource) produce products like Yoxos SecureSource to ensure that no bad bundles make it into an Eclipse installation.

  5. Steve Robenalt says:

    Looks like Nick answered my question before I could ask it. Thanks Nick!

  6. snowplow says:

    may you give me the source of the p2 reverting ?

6 responses so far

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