Eclipse, OSGi and PAX Runner

Eclipse, OSGi and PAX Runner

If you’re using Eclipse for OSGi development, there’s a neat utility that you can use to help you run your OSGi application on a variety of frameworks. PAX Runner uses the PDE org.eclipse.pde.ui.osgiFrameworks extension point to supply frameworks.

PAX Runner

To install PAX Runner, simply add their repository via software installation wizard.

There’s an important thing to note about PAX Runner. When you’re self-hosting with a PAX Runner based framework, your bundles will be deployed before executed. This may cause launching to take a bit longer than you’re used to depending on the size of your application. This is different from the traditional PDE workflow where we don’t have a deployment step when self hosting because Equinox provides us with some great hooks to skip that process. If you’re curious how this works under the covers, PDE instructs Equinox where to look for classes for the various bundles in your workspace (usually in the bin/ folder). This is known as the development time classpath and as far as I know, Equinox is the only framework to support this type of classpath (I filed a bug against Felix awhile ago).

On the whole, I recommend you give PAX Runner a try.

Also, if you have any ideas on how PDE can better support other frameworks, come talk to us.