Introduction to Eclipse Che

  • A centralized developer environment running on Kubernetes or OpenShift.

  • A multi-container workspace for each developer with the ability to replicate with a single click using Eclipse Che factories.

  • Pre-built stacks with the ability to create custom stacks for any language or runtime.

  • An enterprise integration using OpenShift OAuth or Dex.

  • Browser-based IDEs; integration with Che-Theia or any other web IDE, such as Jupyter.

  • Support of tools protocols, such as the Language Server Protocol or Debug Adapter Protocol.

  • A plug-in mechanism compatible with Visual Studio Code extensions.

  • A software development kit (SDK) for creating custom cloud developer platforms.

Joining the community

Interested in joining the community? Join us on the following channels:

Public chat

Join the public Eclipse Che Mattermost channel to chat with the developers.

GitHub project repositories

Report bugs, request features, and contribute in the main Eclipse Che repository.

Improve documentation in the Eclipse Che docs repository.


Visit StackOverflow to help other users of Eclipse Che: Eclipse Che on StackOverflow.

Community blog

Learn about the latest of Eclipse Che and submit your blog posts to the Eclipse Che blog.

Weekly meetings

Join us in the Che community meeting every Monday.


See the development roadmap on the wiki.

What is Eclipse Che

Eclipse Che is a Kubernetes-native IDE and developer collaboration platform.

As an open source project, the core goals of Eclipse Che are to:

  • Accelerate project and developer onboarding: As a zero-install development environment that runs in your browser, Eclipse Che makes it easy for anyone to join your team and contribute to a project.

  • Remove inconsistency between developer environments: No more: “But it works on my machine.” Your code works exactly the same way in everyone’s environment.

  • Provide built-in security and enterprise readiness: As Eclipse Che becomes a viable replacement for VDI solutions, it must be secure and it must support enterprise requirements, such as role-based access control and the ability to remove all source code from developer machines.

To achieve those core goals, Eclipse Che provides:

  • Workspaces: Container-based developer workspaces providing all the tools and dependencies needed to code, build, test, run, and debug applications.

  • Browser-based IDEs: Bundled browser-based IDEs with language tools, debuggers, terminal, VCS integration, and much more.

  • Extensible platform: Bring your own IDE. Define, configure, and extend the tools that you need for your application by using plug-ins, which are compatible with Visual Studio Code extensions.

  • Enterprise Integration: Multiuser capabilities, including Keycloak for authentication and integration with LDAP or AD.

Workspace model

Che defines the workspace to be the project code files and all the dependencies necessary to edit, build, run, and debug them. Che treats the IDE and the development runtime as dependencies of the workspace. These items are embedded and always included with the workspace. This differentiates Che from classical workspace definitions, which may include the project code, but require the developer to bind their IDE to their workstation and use it to provide a runtime locally.

Workspaces are isolated from one another and are responsible for managing the lifecycle of their components.

Developers using Eclipse Che use their containers directly in their developer workspaces. Che workspaces are Kubernetes or OpenShift Pods, which allow to replicate the application runtimes (and its microservices) used in production and provide a “developer mode” layer on top of those, adding intelligent code completion and IDE tools.

Browser-based IDEs

Eclipse Che provides browser-based IDEs for its workspaces. The default IDE is built on Theia, and it has the following capabilities:

  • Monaco-based editor: A fast and responsive editor, CodeLens

  • Language Server Protocol: Language tools

  • Debug Adapter Protocol: Debugger tools

  • Command palette: Do everything from your keyboard

  • Task support: Tasks from Visual Studio Code are extended and support Che commands

  • Embedded preview: Preview your application directly from the IDE, including Markdown preview

  • Customizable layout: Adapt the layout using drag-and-drop

  • And more: Outline view, search, Git

Different IDEs for different use cases

In Eclipse Che, the IDE is completely decoupled, so that it is possible to plug a different IDE into Che workspaces:

  • It can be based on Eclipse Theia (as it is a framework to build a web IDE), such as Sirius:

  • It can be a completely different solution, such as Jupyter or Eclipse Dirigible:

For situations where the default IDE does not cover the use cases of the users or to use a dedicated tool rather than an IDE.

Extensible platform

Eclipse Che is a great platform to build cloud-native tools, and it provides a strong extensibility model with an enjoyable developer experience for contributors.

Eclipse Che is extensible in different ways:

  • Plug-ins to add capabilities to the IDE. Che-Theia plug-ins rely on APIs compatible with Visual Studio Code. Plug-ins are isolated and provide their own dependencies packaged in containers.

  • Stacks to create pre-configured Che workspaces with a dedicated set of tools.

  • Alternative IDEs to provide specialized tools within Eclipse Che. Build your own, based on Eclipse Theia, or pick existing ones such as Jupyter.

  • Marketplace (soon) to easily distribute tools and custom IDEs, which can be tried online, to users and communities.

Eclipse Che uses Che-Theia as its default browser-based IDE. Che-Theia provides a framework to build web IDEs. It is built-in TypeScript and gives contributors a programming model that is flexible, relies on state-of-the-art tools protocols, and makes it faster to build new tools.

In Eclipse Che, the dependencies needed for the tools running in the user’s workspace are available when needed. This means that a Che-Theia plug-in provides its dependencies, its back-end services (which could be running in a sidecar container connected to the user’s workspace), and the IDE UI extension. Che packages all these elements together, so that the user does not have to configure different tools together.

Visual Studio Code extension compatibility

Eclipse Che rationalizes the effort for a contributor who wants to build a plug-in and distribute it to different developer communities and tools. For that purpose, Eclipse Che features a plug-in API compatible with extension points from Visual Studio Code. As a result, it is easy to bring an existing plug-in from Visual Studio Code into Eclipse Che. The main difference is in the way the plug-ins are packaged. On Eclipse Che, plug-ins are delivered with their own dependencies in their own container.

Enterprise integration

  • An enterprise integration using OpenShift OAuth or Dex.

  • Every Eclipse Che user gets a centralized developer workspace that can be easily defined, administered, and managed.

  • As a Kubernetes-native application, Eclipse Che provides state-of-the-art monitoring and tracing capabilities, integrating with Prometheus and Grafana.

Additional resources