Reading resources from a Eclipse plugin

Frequenty you want to store static files in your bundle and load them from your bundle. For this you can use the following code, of course replace the bundle id with your version:

Bundle bundle = Platform.getBundle("de.vogella.example.readfile");
URL fileURL = bundle.getEntry("files/test.txt");
File file = null;
try {
	file = new File(FileLocator.resolve(fileURL).toURI());
} catch (URISyntaxException e1) {
} catch (IOException e1) {

Alternatively you can also use URL directly. I have to thank Paul Webster for this tip.

URL url;
try {
        url = new URL("platform:/plugin/de.vogella.rcp.plugin.filereader/files/test.txt");
	InputStream inputStream = url.openConnection().getInputStream();
	BufferedReader in = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream));
	String inputLine;

	while ((inputLine = in.readLine()) != null) {


} catch (IOException e) {

I believe the second option is the better one, as you avoid a dependency to the class Platform.

About Lars Vogel

Lars Vogel is the founder and CEO of the vogella GmbH and works as Eclipse and Android consultant, trainer and book author. He is a regular speaker at international conferences, He is the primary author of With more than one million visitors per month this website is one of the central sources for Java, Eclipse and Android programming information.
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6 Responses to Reading resources from a Eclipse plugin

  1. Great tip! Thank you! Every time I’ve tried to do this in the past, it’s been a huge pain and I’ve usually resorted to writing code that just seems messy and left me thinking “there has to be a better way to do this.” Here are two better ways — thanks!

  2. dzim says:

    Hi Lars,

    The second option is really much more reliable!
    I’ve done something quite similar a week or two ago where I stumbled over the first method, when the file was bundled within the plugin jar.
    The problem was: The files in question where somthing I called resource-jars – that means they where jars itself… That made me loads of trouble.
    The final idea was there:
    1) create an “resource” extension point
    2) load the urls into a URLClassLoader
    3) retrieve the resources from within the URClassLoader via theire specific class loader dependent URL

    It works, but it still have the look of a major quick hack 😉


  3. Lars Vogel says:

    @Chris: Thanks for the feedback

    @dzim: I agree with you that the second method is the better one.

  4. Alex Blewitt says:

    Both of these are Eclipse-specific, of course. It’s actually a lot better/easier to use Class.getResourceAsStream() to pull the bytes out, which has the advantage of working across all OSGi systems and outside of OSGi too. Plus it uses the bundle of wherever the class was loaded from.

    There is a bug in PDE (don’t have the ID but it wa

  5. Alex Blewitt says:

    … was filed by me and says “getEntry and getResource inconsistent”) – basically, at runtime, bundle.getEntry and bundle.getResource load the same; but under PDE, resources are loaded from the root of your plugin whilst resources come from under the /bin or /classes directory. I don’t believe that’s fixed

  6. Lars Vogel says:

    @Alex at least you don’t need to import Eclipse classes in the second approach which I believe is better.

Comments are closed.