Gradle Eclipse Plugin Tutorial

Filed Under: Gradle

Today we will look into Gradle Eclipse plugin. In my previous post, we have discussed about Gradle Basics and Gradle installation. Before reading this post, Please refer my previous post about gradle tutorial.

Gradle Eclipse Plugin

In this post, we will discuss about the following two topics.

  1. How to setup Gradle Eclipse Plugin
  2. How to Develop Java Simple Example with Gradle Eclipse Plugin

Gradle uses it’s own DSL(Domain Specific Language) Groovy-based scripts to write build scripts. Unlike Ant and Maven, it does not use complex XML build scripts. Gradle is developed using Java and configuration elements are developed using Groovy. It uses Groovy to write build scripts.

Prerequisite: To understand Gradle DSL scripts, we should have some knowledge about Groovy basics. Please go through some Groovy tutorials before going through this post.

NOTE: Groovy is a Dynamic Programming Language and it’s syntax is similar to java programming language. It is very easy to learn for a Java Developer.

Gradle Build Scripts

Now we will start writing simple Gradle build scripts. As we are already familiar with Ant and Maven build scripts, we know what is the starting point to start writing build scripts.

First and foremost thing we should know is Gradle default build script file name. Like Ant’s default build script name is build.xml and Maven default build script name is pom.xml, Gradle default build script name is build.gradle".

When we run “gradle” command, it searches for this default file available in the current working directory. If it finds, it executes that build script. Otherwise, displays some useful default help message.

We will use Eclipse Gradle Plugin to develop and test all our Gradle examples. Before working with simple examples, let’s first setup Gradle Plugin with Eclipse IDE.

Gradle Eclipse Plugin installation

I’m using Eclipse 4.4 Luna IDE. You can use same steps for other Eclipse versions too.

  1. Open “Eclipse Marketplace…” from “Help” menu. Type “gradle” in Search box as shown below
  2. gradle eclipse plugin install marketplace

  3. Click on “Install” button for “Gradle Integration for Eclipse(4.4) 3.6.4.RELEASE” option to install Gradle Eclipse Plugin
  4. gradle eclipse plugin

  5. Accept license by clicking radio button and click on “Finish” button.
  6. gradle eclipse plugin installed

This step installs Eclipse Gradle plugin and restarts Eclipse IDE. Now we can start developing applications using Gradle Build tool.

Gradle Eclipse Plugin Example

Now we are going to develop a simple java example with Eclipse Gradle Plugin. Please use the following steps to develop and test this application.

  1. Click on “File >> New >> Other” to open “New” Wizard window to create new Java Gradle Project.
  2. Select “Gradle Project” option under “Gradle” Category as shown below:

    eclipse gradle example

    Click on “Next” Button to see “New Gradle Project” Window as shown below

    eclipse gradle new project

  3. In “New Gradle Project” Window, we need to provide two details
    1. Please provide our project name: “JavaGradleSimpleExample”
    2. Select “Java Quickstart” option from “Sample project” Dropdown box

    gradle eclipse project wizard

    Now click on “Finish” Button to create new Java Gradle project.

  4. Now our Java Gradle project structure looks like below image.
  5. eclipse gradle project structure

    If you observe this project structure, Gradle Project is same as Maven Project structure. Yes, Gradle uses Maven Project structure but instead of pom.xml file, we have build.gradle file.

  6. Our project build.gradle file contains below content.
    apply plugin: 'java'
    apply plugin: 'eclipse'
    sourceCompatibility = 1.5
    version = '1.0'
    jar {
        manifest {
            attributes 'Implementation-Title': 'Gradle Quickstart',
                       'Implementation-Version': version
    repositories {
    dependencies {
    compile group:'commons-collections',name:'commons-collections',version:'3.2'
    testCompile group: 'junit', name: 'junit', version: '4.+'
    test {
        systemProperties 'property': 'value'
    uploadArchives {
        repositories {
           flatDir {
               dirs 'repos'

    If you don’t understand this file content at this stage, don’t worry. We will discuss this file content in detail in coming posts and also provide you one post about Gradle and Maven build scripts differences in detail.

  8. This default Java Gradle project, creates one Java file: and one JUnit test class as shown below.

    package org.gradle;
    import org.apache.commons.collections.list.GrowthList;
    public class Person {
        private final String name;
        public Person(String name) {
   = name;
            new GrowthList();
        public String getName() {
            return name;

    package org.gradle;
    import org.junit.Test;
    import static org.junit.Assert.*;
    public class PersonTest {
        public void canConstructAPersonWithAName() {
            Person person = new Person("Larry");
            assertEquals("Larry", person.getName());

    It does NOT have much logic. It just created a Person POJO class and one JUnit to test it.

  10. It’s time to run our application. Please use the following steps to build and test our Gradle build script.
    1. Right click on our “JavaGradleSimpleExample” Project’s build.gradle file and select “Run As” >> “Gradle build” option as shown below:
    2. build gradle project in eclipse

    3. It opens “Edit Configuration” Wizard window as shown below
    4. gradle build configurations eclipse

      Here observe “Type tasks in the editor below. Use + to activate content assistant.” text.

    5. We need to type our required Gradle commands. When we keep control point in that Editor, it will display all available Gradle commands as shown below
    6. gradle eclipse example edit configuration commands list

    7. Now type “build” Gradle command in that Text editor as shown below.
    8. gradle eclipse example edit configuration build command

    9. Click on “Apply” button to apply our changes. Then click on “Run” button to start our Gradle build commnad “gradle build”
    10. Observe the Eclipse IDE Console log.

      run gradle project in eclipse

    If you observe the console output, it shows “BUILD SUCCESSFUL” message. That means our Gradle build command has executed successfully.

When we run the gradle build command, it does the following things:

  1. It compiles both java files
  2. It generate jar file with name “JavaGradleSimpleExample-1.0.jar” at ${PROJECT_ROOT_DIR}\build\libs that is “JavaGradleSimpleExample\build\libs” as shown below:
  3. gradle example jar file

  4. It executes JUnit file

If something goes wrong in any one of these steps, we will see “BUILD FAILED” error message.

That’s it for Gradle Eclipse plugin example. We will explore build.gradle file content and Gradle commands in coming posts.


  1. swapnil patil says:

    sir thank u so much great explanation in simple language……
    sir please tell me , is spring boot frameworks only works on four components or anything else please tell me.

    1. Pankaj says:

      I am not sure what you meant by “spring-boot works on only 4 components”?

  2. Loopa C says:

    Hi we are using eclipse oxygen, will creating sample gradle project external/ internal dependencies are not getting created, what could be the possible reason?

  3. Pandurang says:

    Is this gradle integration in eclipse is free one OR Need to pay for this .


  4. Manish Chauhan says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I am new to Gradle and it is being used in my project.
    I am using eclipse STS with jdk 7 to build one of my Gradle project but I am continuously getting ‘Tools.jar not found error’ while doing ‘Gradle STS –> Refresh All.
    I have checked the tools.jar is present in the jdk –> jre –> ext folder and is also being shown in JRE Libraries.
    Could you please help.

  5. Swechchha jain says:

    Sir I don’t found “gradle integration eclipse(4.4) 3.6.4 release” in my eclipse so plz give m another link for download or install it

  6. keerthana says:

    thank you 馃槈

  7. Kapil says:

    Very useful for beginners like me 馃檪

  8. Ram Thota says:

    Hi Ram,

    I am new Gradle, And your blog helping me a lot. Please mention your next gradle post link here in this post. So that we can get it easily.

  9. sravan says:

    Where can I get this Persons Java example… or is it should be created on our own

    1. Rambabu says:

      Thanks for reading my tutorials. Yes those are our own classes. As per your project requirements, You can create any class in your project.

      Many thanks,

  10. Thirupathi says:

    I am new to gradle tool. can u pls explain how to write a builde.gradle file for existing project after installing gradle plugins.


  11. Marcos says:


    thanks a lot for the blog

    One question, after runing gradle build/run, what is the next step to debug the class


    Could you please desc

  12. Shilpa Dash says:

    Thank you so much Rambabu Posa. Its really helpful for me.
    Please provide more post on Gradle with some more example.

    1. Rambabu says:

      Sure, we will provide some more advanced examples soon. If you have any specific Requirement, please inform us.

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