Tech

Eclipse Che 7 focuses on Kubernetes

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With just under six months delay Eclipse Che 7 has now appeared. The combination of workspace server and web-based development environment now fully relies on Kubernetes. In addition, the change of the code editor on Eclipse Theia developers in the browser should bring a way of working that is reminiscent of Visual Studio Code. In addition, there is a plug-in registry for extensions. Finally, Eclipse Che comes with a command-line tool for installing and managing the environment.

The workspaces in Eclipse Che are now each Kubernetes pods. All developer tools run in the container from the editor via selected plug-ins to individual tools including all dependencies. In this way, all tools have their own space and are isolated from each other. Developers can individually customize, update and replicate their environments for each application.

Already at the first presentation in February, the Che-makers spoke of a Kubernetes-native development environment. Eclipse Che 7 is designed for use with and in Kubernetes. The Che Workspaces Controller accesses the individual Che workspaces via the Kubernetes API. Developers do not need to install Kubernetes or Docker on their local machine.

The controller accesses the workspaces via the Kubernetes API.

The controller accesses the workspaces via the Kubernetes API.

(Picture: Eclipse)

The new command line tool chectl is used to install and manage Eclipse Che. For example, the environment can be accessed locally via the command chectl server:start --platform minikube start. chectl offers both a single-developer mode and one multi-user mode with additional authentication. The tool can also set up Eclipse Che in a remote Kubernetes cluster. Future should chectl get more administration features like configuring plugins and managing users.

Che 7 is replacing the previous Google Web Toolkit (GWT) based development environment with Eclipse Theia. The tool is building the Monaco editor from Microsoft which is the foundation of Visual Studio Code. Therefore, Theia offers a similar way of working as Microsoft's open source source code editor. However, developers are not set on Theia, but Che 7 allows the exchange of the editor. In addition to adapted versions of Eclipse Theia, other web environments such as Jupyter notebooks can be used.

The source code editor is an advanced version of Eclipse Theia.

The source code editor is an advanced version of Eclipse Theia.

(Picture: Eclipse)

Originally TypeFox and Ericsson started the Theia project, meanwhile, under the Roof of the Eclipse Foundation is, Red Hat has found the tool to be suitable for Eclipse Che and has been actively involved in the development ever since. Eclipse Che has an extended version of Theia on board. Additional features include secure communication between the IDE, the users, and the workspaces. In addition, the development environment extends the task management and the terminal. The IDE API provides additional features for interacting with Che components such as workspaces and settings.

Developers can now define their work environments via a devfile. It provides a declarative level for managing the project, the IDE with its plug-ins, and the individual build, runtime, and test environments. The abstraction layer is designed to simplify the customization, augmentation, and replication of environments. It can also be maintained in the repository with the rest of the source code.

A devfile can be used to define the environment as a code.

A devfile can be used to define the environment as a code.

(Picture: Eclipse)

Eclipse Che 7 provides its own registry for plug-ins, bringing all their dependencies and back-end services, as well as IDE-UI extensions as a complete package. Due to the common basis of Theia and Visual Studio Code, the extensions for the latter are also compatible with Che.