Bndtools Developer Guide

This page is a tutorial for developers wishing to customise and enhance Bndtools itself. For general documentation please refer to the Tutorial.

Building Bndtools

Bndtools is built with Bndtools! If you want to work on the bndtools source code, you have two options:

Checking Out from GitHub

First check out the source code from GitHub as follows:

git clone git://

If you have Bndtools installed in your Eclipse IDE already (e.g. using Marketplace) then skip to Importing Into Eclipse below. Otherwise read on…

Building from the command-line

Read the document to learn how the build works.

Assuming you have Gradle (version 1.11 or better) installed, you can build bndtools from the command line by changing to the root of your checkout and typing:

gradle build dist

After a a short while, two directories - build/generated/p2 and build/generated/extras/p2 will appear. These contains an Eclipse Update Sites that you can use to install bndtools from the code you have just built.

To install from the generated Update Sites, open the Help menu in Eclipse and select “Install New Software”. In the update dialog, click the “Add” button (near the top left) and then click the “Local” button. Browse to the location of the build/generated/p2 directory that you just built. Then set the name of this update site to “Bndtools Local Snapshot” (or whatever you like, it’s not really important so long as you enter something). Click “OK”. Do the same for the build/generated/extras/p2 directory.

Back in the update dialog, Bndtools will appear in the category list. Place a check next to it and click Next. Drive the rest of the wizard to completion… congratulations, you have just built and installed bndtools!

Importing Into Eclipse

Now you have Bndtools installed in your Eclipse IDE, you can import the bndtools projects into Eclipse to begin working on the source code.

Open the File menu and select “Import” and then “Existing Projects into Workspace” (under the General category). Click “Next”. Click the “Browse” button (top right) and select the root directory of the bndtools projects.

Ensure that all projects (sub-directories) are checked.

NB: These projects must all be in the same directory!

Click “Finish”… Eclipse will start to import and build the projects. If you see a dialog during the import prompting you to “Create a Bnd Configuration Project” click CANCEL.

You should now have all the bndtools projects in your workspace, ready to begin hacking!

Launching Bndtools from Eclipse

To launch bndtools from Eclipse (e.g. to try out a change to debug), use one of the .bndrun files from the bndtools.core project. There are three launchers, one per architecture, i.e.:

Right click on the file that matches your computer’s architecture and select “Run As” > “OSGi Run”. If none of these files matches the architecture you want to run on, then please create a new one and submit it back as a patch.