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Getting started

The quickest way to get started with Spoofax by downloading an instance of Eclipse with the latest release. Alternatively, you can install the Spoofax plugin into an existing Eclipse instance, use Homebrew on macOS, or download and build Spoofax from source.


The recommended way to get started with Spoofax is to download an Eclipse instance with the latest Spoofax plugin. The plugin also includes the Spoofax meta-languages. Alternatively, you can install the Spoofax plugin into an existing Eclipse instance, or download and build Spoofax from source. Choose the Eclipse Bundle installation (recommended) or the Eclipse Plugin installation:

Download an Eclipse instance with an embedded Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the latest Spoofax plugin pre-installed for your platform:

macOS Intel (64-bit)
Linux x64 (64-bit)
Windows x64 (64-bit)

Windows x86 (32-bit)

Installation instructions.

Download Eclipse with Spoofax without an embedded JRE.

Development releases.

Perform a manual installation of the Spoofax plugin in Eclipse 3.5 or newer through the update site:

Installation instructions.

On macOS Spoofax can be installed easily using Homebrew.

Install the latest release of Spoofax Eclipse as follows:

brew tap metaborg/metaborg
brew install --cask spoofax

The optional command-line tools are installed with:

brew install strategoxt

Upgrading the Spoofax cask is not recommended

Upgrading the Spoofax cask using brew cask upgrade --greedy will lose all manually installed plugins. It is recommended to use Eclipse update sites to keep Spoofax up-to-date.

Quick Start

Once installed, create a new Spoofax project:

  1. Right-click the Package Explorer, choose NewProject, and select Spoofax Language project from the Spoofax category.
  2. Provide a name for your new language and click Finish.
  3. Select the created language project and press Ctrl+Alt+B (Cmd+Alt+B on macOS) to build the project.
  4. Create a new file with the extension registered to your language to test it.
  5. Follow one of the tutorials to learn more.

Finding the filename extension of your language

If you didn't explicitly specify a filename extension for your language, it is derived from the language name. You can find the filename extension for your language in editor/Main.esv at the extensions property.

Last update: July 3, 2024
Created: July 3, 2024