At a glance

OpenJDK Wiki states that ZGC is:

Concurrent
Region-based
Compacting
NUMA-aware
Using colored pointers
Using load barriers

At its core, ZGC is a concurrent garbage collector, meaning all heavy lifting work is done while Java threads continue to execute. This greatly limits the impact garbage collection will have on your application’s response time.

Availability

ZGC is currently only available on Linux/x64, if you with to test it in other platforms you might use a VM or Docker, also JDK 11, JDK 12 or JDK 13 Early Access are needed.

Enabling Eclipse

My setup includes:

Please note that ZGC is available only on HotSpot JVM, OpenJ9 JVM come with different GCs.

Download and install OpenJDK and Eclipse IDE, you can simply unpack the archives in you home directory, take note of installation paths.

Eclipse startup

Locate the eclipse.ini configuration file in your Eclipse installation directory.

Add the -vm option following these instructions, you may end up with something like:

-vm
/path/to/jdk-11.0.3/bin/java

Change the line containing -XX:+UseG1GC with:

-XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions
-XX:+UseZGC

You may also change the heap size parameters Xms and Xmx to higher values, personally I have quadrupled the values, more on this here.

The result should look like:

-vm
/opt/java/jdk-11.0.3/bin/java
-startup
plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.5.300.v20190213-1655.jar
--launcher.library
plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.gtk.linux.x86_64_1.1.1000.v20190125-2016
-product
org.eclipse.epp.package.jee.product
-showsplash
org.eclipse.epp.package.common
--launcher.defaultAction
openFile
--launcher.defaultAction
openFile
--launcher.appendVmargs
-vmargs
-Dosgi.requiredJavaVersion=1.8
-Dosgi.instance.area.default=@user.home/eclipse-workspace
-XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions
-XX:+UseZGC
-XX:+UseStringDeduplication
--add-modules=ALL-SYSTEM
-Dosgi.requiredJavaVersion=1.8
-Dosgi.dataAreaRequiresExplicitInit=true
-Xms1024m
-Xmx4096m
--add-modules=ALL-SYSTEM

Enjoy

Now you can run Eclipse IDE and enjoy it with your low-pause GC equipped JVM!