I've seen a few useful plugins for Eclipse such as jshint-eclipse. However, I'm a bit leery of installing third-party code.
Is it generally safe to install Eclipse plugins without worrying about my local system being compromised?
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An Eclipse plug-in is basically a Java program, running inside Eclipse (and thus with the same credentials/permissions). Running an untrusted Eclipse plug-in is approximately as safe as running an untrusted Java program.
That said, malware authors tend not to target Eclipse.
Note that I'm assuming you aren't using some sort of weird executable plug-in installer.