Cannot Install Extensions in SQL Developer 4 on Mac OS X

Today I could not install any SQL Developer extension on my Mac OS X machine. I did not get an error message during the installation. After a restart of SQL Developer the extension simply was missing. When I tried to re-install it – selecting “Check for updates…” in the “Help” menu – I’ve got the following message:

sqldev4.1.19.07

Restarting SQL Developer did not help. This message was shown again and no extension was installed. I’ve tried to remove the $HOME/.sqldeveloper directory and reinstalled SQL Developer, but the problem persisted. I’ve tried SQL Developer version 4.0.3.16.84 and the brand new version 4.1.0.19.07. Same result.

What was the problem?

After some analysis I found the root cause. SQL Developer creates a file named jdeveloper-deferred-updates.txt in the directory $HOME/.sqldeveloper (e.g. /Users/phs/.sqldeveloper). This file is read and copied into a temporary directory as part of the installation process. On non-Windows platforms the name of the temporary directory is $TMPDIR/$USER (e.g. /var/folders/lf/8g3r0ts900gfdfn2xxkn9yz00000gn/T/phs). If a file with such a name already exists, the directory cannot be created and the whole installation of the extension fails.

What is the solution (workaround)?

Open a terminal window (e.g. type terminal in the spotlight window) and execute the following command to delete the existing temporary file, which is causing the name conflict:

Afterwards restart SQL Developer and install the extension. Restart SQL Developer once again to complete the installation.

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