Build Eclipse Java Project from Command Line

To complete André's answer, an ant solution could be like the one described in Emacs, JDEE, Ant, and the Eclipse Java Compiler, as in:

           line="-warn:+unused -Xemacs"/>
        <classpath refid="compile.classpath" />

The compilerarg element also allows you to pass in additional command line args to the eclipse compiler.

You can find a full ant script example here which would be invoked in a command line with:

java -cp C:/eclipse-SDK-3.4-win32/eclipse/plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.0.100.v20080509-1800.jar org.eclipse.core.launcher.Main -data "C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\workspace" -application org.eclipse.ant.core.antRunner -buildfile build.xml -verbose

BUT all that involves ant, which is not what Keith is after.

For a batch compilation, please refer to Compiling Java code, especially the section "Using the batch compiler"

The batch compiler class is located in the JDT Core plug-in. The name of the class is org.eclipse.jdt.compiler.batch.BatchCompiler. It is packaged into plugins/org.eclipse.jdt.core_3.4.0..jar. Since 3.2, it is also available as a separate download. The name of the file is ecj.jar.
Since 3.3, this jar also contains the support for jsr199 (Compiler API) and the support for jsr269 (Annotation processing). In order to use the annotations processing support, a 1.6 VM is required.

Running the batch compiler From the command line would give

java -jar org.eclipse.jdt.core_3.4.0<qualifier>.jar -classpath rt.jar


java -jar ecj.jar -classpath rt.jar

All java compilation options are detailed in that section as well.

The difference with the Visual Studio command line compilation feature is that Eclipse does not seem to directly read its .project and .classpath in a command-line argument. You have to report all information contained in the .project and .classpath in various command-line options in order to achieve the very same compilation result.

So, then short answer is: "yes, Eclipse kind of does." ;)

You can build an eclipse project via a workspace from the command line:

eclipsec.exe -noSplash -data "D:\Source\MyProject\workspace" -application org.eclipse.jdt.apt.core.aptBuild

It uses the jdt apt plugin to build your workspace automatically. This is also known as a 'Headless Build'. Damn hard to figure out. If you're not using a win32 exe, you can try this:

java -cp startup.jar -noSplash -data "D:\Source\MyProject\workspace" -application org.eclipse.jdt.apt.core.aptBuild


Several years ago eclipse replaced startup.jar with the "equinox launcher"

On Eclipse Mars (MacOX):

java -jar /Applications/ -noSplash -data "workspace" -application org.eclipse.jdt.apt.core.aptBuild

The -data parameter specifies the location of your workspace.

The version number for the equinox launcher will depend on what version of eclipse you have.