It’s been a long time coming, but I’m pleased to announce a brand new editor for your iRules: F5 Programmability for Eclipse! This editor supports iRules & iRules LX in its initial release, but stay tuned for more features down the road. One of the cool features from my quick glance this afternoon is simultaneous multi-system support.
Note: This tool is provided via DevCentral as a free tool to help you better leverage iRules, and is in no way officially supported by F5 or F5 Professional Services. All support, questions, comments or otherwise for this editor should be submitted in the Q&A section of DevCentral. Please make sure to tag irules and/or iruleslx, as well as adding a custom editor tag.
The system requirements for the F5 Programmability for Eclipse are:
Eclipse installed – Minimum version: Luna (v4.4) Recommended: Mars (v4.5) or Neon (v4.6)
Java version 1.7 or later installed
Network access to one or more F5 Networks BIG-IP systems (TMOS version 12.1+)
F5 Programmability for Eclipse, version 1.0, has been tested for compatibility with the following configurations:
|OS||Eclipse Version||Java Version||TMOS Version|
|Linux (CentOS 6.3)||Mars 4.5.1||1.7.0_70||12.1|
|Linux (CentOS 6.6)||Mars 4.5.1||1.7.0_79||12.1|
|Linux (CentOS 6.7)||Mars 4.5.2||1.7.0_101||12.1|
|MacOS (v10.8)||Mars 4.5.2||1.8.0_91||12.1|
|MacOS (v10.11.5)||Mars 4.5.2||1.8.0_91||12.1|
|MacOS (v10.11.5)||Neon 4.6||1.8.0_91||12.1|
|Windows (v7)||Luna 4.4.2||1.8.0_91||12.1|
|Windows (v7)||Mars 4.5.2||1.8.0_91||12.1|
|Windows (v7)||Neon 4.6||1.8.0_91||12.1|
To install the F5 Programmability for Eclipse plug-in,
Start the version of Eclipse that you installed.
Click on Help > Install New Software…
Verify that the Mars or Neon release URL is listed in the Works with drop down. If you are running the Luna version, or the release URL is not listed,
Type the text “http://download.eclipse.org/releases/mars” into the Location field (omit the quotation marks)
Type the text “http://cdn.f5.com/product/f5-eclipse/v1.0.0” into the Location field (omit the quotation marks)
After you add the repository, F5 Networks or F5 Programmability for Eclipse should apppear in the Available Software dialog. Check the box next to the F5 item.
Check the Contact all update sites box and click Next
After you review the installation items, click Next.
Read the License Agreement, check I accept the terms of the license agreement, and click Finish
When prompted to restart Eclipse, click Yes
Select the F5 perspective
To use the F5 plug-in, you must activate the F5 perspective. In Eclipse,
Click on Window > Perspective > Open Perspective > Other…
Find and select the F5 perspective
Connect to a BIG-IP system
In the F5 perspective you chose there are three views: Explorer pane on the left hand side, Editor pane on the right hand side, and a Log panel along the bottom. The Explorer pane includes a toolbar with 3 buttons. On the iRules & iRuleLX tab,
Click the New BIG-IP Connection toolbar button (at the top of the Explorer pane)
When prompted, provide the IP address and credentials for the BIG-IP system. You may store your credentials in a secure store. If you use the secure store, you must enter a master password for each session.
When you connect to a BIG-IP system, all LTM iRules, GTM iRules, and iRuleLX workspaces are loaded. The process may take a few seconds. When the process completes, you can expand the connection folder and subfolders. You can connect to multiple BIG-IP systems simultaneously. Note that folders exist for provisioned product modules on the BIG-IP system to which you connected. If you have not provisioned GTM or iRuleLX, no folder appears for that module.
Note: To access a Big-IP system remotely via Eclipse, the user account must have been assigned a role of administrator. Every Big-IP system includes a user with the name admin which has an administrator role. For creating additional users with an administrator role, refer to the BIG-IP guide for User Account Administration.
Change the BIG-IP partition
The default partition Common is loaded when you connect to a BIG-IP system. If you would like to use a different partition,
In the Explorer, select the BIG-IP Connection
Click either the Gears toolbar button, or use the context menu (right click) to open the Project Properties dialog.
Select a new partition
Click OK. Content will be loaded from the BIG-IP partition you selected.
Open an iRule or iRuleLX file to view or edit
Add or delete iRules, ILX workspaces, extensions, and files
Saving an iRule or iRuleLX file
Reloading an iRules or iRuleLX file
Reloading all BIG-IP content
The editor used for editing iRules includes code completion and hover documentation for iRule commands and events. Consistent with the default Eclipse behavior, typing Ctrl-Space will check for available completion proposals for the current word being type. Also, completions will be invoked after adding a colon (“:”) to a word. This is handy for completions of namespaced iRule commands, e.g. TCP::. The same completion popup documentation can be seen by hovering over an iRule command or event.
The F5 plug-in does not include the man pages for the standard Tcl commands. To enable hover documentation for those standard Tcl commands, you can download the man pages and link them in to the Tcl and iRule editors. The manual pages can be downloaded from here: Tcl. Once uncompressed, the containing directory can be linked to Eclipse via the global preferences dialog (Window > Preferences for Linux and Windows, Eclipse > Preferences for MacOS). Under the Tcl > Man Pages section, click Configure…, then click Add. Specify a name of your choosing for the documentation set and add the file path to the local directory which contains the docs.