Tutorial: Installing Eclipse on your Own Computer

By Jonathon Lundy and Ron Cytron


Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment, or IDE, which is software that provides all the essential tools you will need for editing, running, and debugging your Java programs.  Eclipse and all of the supporting software is already installed on CEC computers, but you may also wish to install it on your own computer, so that you are not limited to working only on CEC boxes.  (It’s free!)  Versions of the software are available for all operating systems.


I. Installing the Java Development Kit (JDK)


            Note: Mac users skip to the last part of this section.


            The Java Development Kit, or JDK, is a set of development tools used in the programming of Java applications.  The Eclipse IDE requires that a JDK be locally installed.  The JDK can be downloaded from the web at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp.  Under the header Java SE Development Kit (JDK), press Download next to the most recent update of JDK 6.



            Beware:  The CEC computers are configured with JDK 6.  You’ll also want to be using a version of JDK 6, otherwise compatibility issues may occur.  If you see that a newer JDK is listed, click the Previous Releases link at the top of the list of downloads to access JDK 6.


            On the next page select your operating system, agree to the terms, and press continue to get to the download page.  Download the executable installation file and then run to install.  Note that you will need administrator rights to install.


            Mac Users: Mac OS X comes pre-installed with JDK.  To ensure that you have JDK 6 support, download the appropriate updates from http://developer.apple.com/java/, where you can also read more about Java for Mac.


II. Installing and Starting Eclipse


Now that the Java JDK has been installed, we can now download and run the Eclipse IDE.  First, point your browser to http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/.  Then, under the Eclipse Packages tab, find the listing for Eclipse IDE for Java Developers.  Select your OS and download the appropriate archive file.



When the download is finished, extract the archive to a new folder for Eclipse in a place of your choosing (you’ll probably want to put it in whatever folder applications are usually stored on your OS).  No further installation is required.  You may wish to create a shortcut to the Eclipse executable to place on your desktop/dock so you don’t have to find the folder you installed it to each time you wish to start Eclipse.


Start Eclipse.  (Note that startup can take a while!)  You will be prompted during startup to select a folder for your workspace, which is where your Java files are stored locally.  Select a folder (preferably an empty one) to use as your workspace.  The default is usually a good choice.  Select Use this as the default and do not ask again if you don’t want to be asked this question every time on start-up.



Once Eclipse has started, you’ll be taken to the Welcome tab.  Close this tab to go to the default Eclipse perspective.


III. Installing the Subversive Plug-in


Subversive is a plug-in for Eclipse that allows Eclipse to use Subversion (SVN), which is a version control system.  Use of this system will make it easy for you to easily move from your own computer to a CEC computer, work in groups, and electronically submit your work.  However, Eclipse does not support SVN out of the box; a plug-in is required to make it work.  Details on how to use SVN with Eclipse will be explained in another tutorial; here we will merely install it.


First, open the Help menu of Eclipse and choose the Software Updates… option.

(Eclipse 3.5, it’s Help…Install New Software…)



In the resulting dialog, go to the Available Software tab:



The list of web sites you see contains locations where updates for the Eclipse software can be found.  The files for the Subversive plug-in are located on two separate, different locations on the web, both of which we’ll need to check.  To add them, press the Add Site… button.  This brings up another dialog box. (Eclipse 3.5, just paste in the URL and click Add…)



In the box, type the address http://download.eclipse.org/technology/subversive/0.7/update-site/.  Then press OK.  This will add the site to the list on the previous dialog.  Do the same thing again, but this time use the URL http://www.polarion.org/projects/subversive/download/eclipse/2.0/update-site/.  (The first site hosts the actual Subversive plug-in, while the second site hosts the Subversion adaptors, both of which are required for Subversive to run).  Your Available Software tab should now look something like this:



If it doesn’t, check that the URLs were typed properly.  Note that if they are correct, they are replaced in the list by a description of the site when the contents are loaded.  Also note that you may need to manually expand or collapse components by using the plus and minus buttons next to them.  Also, ensure that the Show only the latest versions of available software check box is checked.


Ensure that the boxes next to Subversive Site, Subversive SVN Connectors Site (mac users, see note below), and all of their children are checked, as shown in the picture above. 


We have seen problems when trying to install all of the Subversive SVN Connectors components on macs.  If you experience problems, go back to the check boxes for the Subversive SVN Connectors.  Check the boxes only for the required components and the SVNKit (latest edition) component.


Then press Install….  This will bring up the next dialog.



Ensure that all boxes are checked, and then press Next.


In the next dialog box, you will have to accept the license agreements for the components. 



Do so, and then press finish.  The plug-in will then be downloaded and installed.  Note that this process may take a while.  When prompted to restart Eclipse, do so.


Upon restarting Eclipse, the Welcome screen will appear with a new link entitled Subversive Overview.  You may wish to read this, as it will introduce you to the concepts behind Subversion and the Subversive plug-in.  Details on using Subversive in CSE131 will be presented in another tutorial.