Eclipse integration for Isabelle proof assistant

Getting started

Isabelle/Eclipse provides user interface (prover IDE) to work with Isabelle proof assistant. It integrates with Eclipse IDE, thus users familiar with Eclipse will feel at home using Isabelle/Eclipse.

To get started with Isabelle/Eclipse, open Isabelle perspective, create projects for your Isabelle theory files, launch the Isabelle prover and start proving! Read on for more details.

Starting Isabelle/Eclipse

Download Isabelle/Eclipse IDE and unpack the archive. Launch the application by double-clicking the executable file:

  • isabelle-eclipse.exe on Windows
  • isabelle-eclipse on Linux
  • on Mac OS X

Isabelle/Eclipse is based on Eclipse IDE, so refer to information on running Eclipse for details on allocating available memory, indicating Java executable, etc. For configuration, use the corresponding isabelle-eclipse.ini file instead of eclipse.ini.

Troubleshooting startup

When downloading, make sure to select a correct version for your system (32-bit or 64-bit), otherwise the application will fail.

Java 7

Make sure Java 7 is used to start Isabelle/Eclipse. If the application does not look correct, or Isabelle/Eclipse views and perspective are missing, it is most likely that Java 7 is not available. If the correct Java runtime is not detected automatically, indicate it explicitly. On Mac OS X we recommend installing Java 7 JDK.

“Damaged” application on Mac OS X

If you encounter the “Isabelle/Eclipse is damaged and can’t be opened” message when starting Isabelle/Eclipse on Mac OS X, adjust your Gatekeeper settings temporarily to allow the application to run. You only need to do this once.

Isabelle perspective

To use Isabelle/Eclipse, switch to Isabelle perspective: Window > Open Perspective > Other… > Isabelle or use the perspective selector in the top-right corner. This will open and arrange all Isabelle/Eclipse views.

Open Isabelle theory files

Isabelle/Eclipse supports editing files in the workspace and external ones.

To follow Eclipse IDE conventions, create a project in the workspace using File > New > Project > General > Project. You can place the project wherever you want (e.g. select an existing directory containing your theory files by deselecting Use default location). The project files will then be available in the Project Explorer view.

Open your theory files by double-clicking them in the Project Explorer view. Create new theory files by selecting File > New > File and entering a file name with *.thy extension.

To open external files, use File > Open File… menu option. Note, however, that some features (e.g. problem markers) are not as well supported for external files.

Configure and launch Isabelle prover

To start proving, you need to select, configure and launch the Isabelle theorem prover. Isabelle launch configurations can be managed by selecting Run > Isabelle > Isabelle Configurations… or the corresponding toolbar buttons Isabelle launch.

Create a launch configuration for your operating system (e.g. Isabelle Mac App for Mac OS X) and provide the location of Isabelle installation. Then choose the main session (e.g. HOL) below and Run the Isabelle prover. Read more about Isabelle launch configurations and further options in Launch configurations page.

After the first launch, select Run > Isabelle or click the toolbar button Isabelle launch to launch the last Isabelle configuration. You will need to launch the prover again when you restart Isabelle/Eclipse.

Start proving

To start proving, open your theory files. The visible file contents are automatically sent to the prover. The progress and results are displayed in the editor. Use the Prover Output view to inspect the outstanding goals and other results for commands selected in the editor.

Read more about various Isabelle/Eclipse features in the Features section.