Setting Up Moodle Eclipse

Moodle Eclipse is a favorite editor for many Moodle users, but it is not exactly simple to use. In fact, you can find other programs that are easier to use. The extent of Eclipse’s ability as an editing software, however, makes it more than worth it.

So how do you start setting up Moodle Eclipse? In this article, we will take you through a step by step process on how this works. Note though that your Java program should be up to date, otherwise Eclipse would not run. Plus, make sure your version of Eclipse is .4 or older with a large space in your memory to properly accommodate the program. Eclipse is great, but you will have a hard time running it with poor hard drive space.

Setting Up Moodle Eclipse

Default Work Desk

The minute you open Eclipse, you will be welcomed with a string of helpful links that can get you started with the setup. You have the option to read all these or just continue reading below. A work desk will also be created for you as a first time user. You can create several work desks and choose one as your default.

General Settings

The general settings for Moodle Eclipse also requires a little tweaking, but not by much depending on your preferences. Following are some setup changes you will need to do:

  •  Go to General and then choose Content Types before going to PHP Source File. You will find a box at the bottom and add *.html.
  •  Go to General and proceed to Editors before going to File Associations. The top box should contain *.php and the bottom box should have the PHP Editor as its default setting.
  •  For connections containing a proxy, go to Network Connections and enter your proxy information.
  •  For a font change, you can go to General, and then Appearance, and finally Colors and Fonts. You will find Basic on the right hand corner and click on Text Font.

PHP Development Tools

This is a crucial plug in for all Eclipse programs. To get this in your own, simply go to the program’s menu bar, choose Help and click on Install New Software.

  • From here, you will be directed to the Work With box so type in:<releasename>/
  • Put in PHP in the Type Filter Text box
  • You will find the plug in name PHP Development Tools (PDT) SDK Feature. Check the “Contact all update sites during install”, making sure that it is confirmed before clicking on Next.

After this, the following installation process should be easy enough to follow and will require you to just push on a couple of buttons.

Proxy Presence

If you have a proxy, it is best to first enter your proxy information by choosing Window, going to Preferences, and opting for Install/Update. Put in your proxy information and proceed to the next steps. Note that for the 3.4 OSX version of the program, the directions are: Eclipse, Preferences, and then General, and finally Network Connections. Note that you might have already done this through General Settings but you’ll still need to repeat it this time.

Update Setup

It is crucial that you get constant updates for Eclipse to make sure the program is running wonderfully. To do this, go to the Help section and then click on Check for Updates. Tick on the Search for New Features to Install and proceed, choosing New Remote Site and use the following URL: You can give this a name like Eclipse Update or PHP Update, depending on your preferences. Click OK and Finish until you arrive at PHPEclipse Nightly Builds, checking Eclipse and then proceeding with the download. When you’re done, install the update and restart the program to integrate the changes.

Checking if the Updates Work

So now you’ve turned the computer on and off, allowing you to check whether the updates are working perfectly. Open the program again, go to Help and then choose Software Updates then Find and Install. From here, you will tick on the box Search For New Features to Install before proceeding.

Choose Europa Discovery Site/Callisto Discovery Site and the Eclispe/PHP Update you originally made before rebooting the computer. These are the sites where searches will be made to check for updates.

From here on out, the updates are pretty much automated. The program will occasionally pop up alerts where you can choose a mirror.

Checking Updates Part 2

A tree structure is usually available for Eclipse, allowing you to explore different updates and installations through a wizard. The best ones to choose would be the Web Standard Tools under any Discovery Site as well as the PHPEclipse Nightly Builds which can be found under your Eclipse Update/PHP Update.

You might encounter a warning message, but don’t worry too much about that. Simply click on the Select Required button, check on the license agreements and proceed to the Finish button. The download might take some time but once they are done, you can just install them all and wait a few more. Ignore the digital signing warning – this is normal and shouldn’t hinder your installation process. Finally, the program will prompt a reboot.

Of course, those are just few of the Moodle Eclipse set up information you should know about. Setups over PHP settings, CVS Settings, SSH2 and others are required and will need more in-depth knowledge on your part.

Some Features to Check Out

This software features some excellent additions for users including Navigation, Multi-File Search, Synchronize View, Outline, Error Highlighting, and others. Make sure to check these out because they are incredibly helpful when working on your editor. You also get Create Patch features and Code Navigation, both of which are highly helpful. When it comes to troubleshooting Eclipse problems, you can always refer to helpful posts from other users or directly from the Help page of the program.


Eclipse is a continuously developing program so it is important that you stay up to date with the changes. Visit the blog on a regular basis to know what has changed about Eclipse and what can be done to improve your current setup. Explore the program as much as you want to find out techniques to tweak results and refine the Moodle Eclipse process to your specific needs.

Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.