Where to install Eclipse on Ubuntu

If you’re like me, accustomed to installing most packages via Ubuntu’s package manager, you might be a bit confused as to where to install Eclipse since it should be in a place thats accessible by every user on your system.  Sure you can install it in your user home directory but that wouldn’t be very tidy.

I extracted part of these instructions from: http://flurdy.com/docs/eclipse/install.html

These instructions assume you’ve downloaded and extracted the Eclipse tarball:

sudo mv eclipse /opt/eclipse cd /opt sudo chown -R root:root eclipse
sudo mv eclipse /opt/eclipse cd /opt sudo chown -R root:root eclipse
sudo chmod -R +r eclipse
sudo chmod +x `sudo find eclipse -type d`

Then create an eclipse executable in your path

sudo touch /usr/bin/eclipse
sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/eclipse

sudoedit /usr/bin/eclipse

With these contents:

export ECLIPSE_HOME=”/opt/eclipse”
$ECLIPSE_HOME/eclipse $*

Now you can execute Eclipse from anywhere in your bash shell. Check out the original article for generating a desktop icon. In the tarball I downloaded, it didn’t come with the icon.xpm that contains the Eclipse icon but no worries for me.

The take-home lesson here is that /opt is meant as a place to install application software packages. The topic is Filesystem Heirarchy Standard (FHS) .. these folks seem to be the standard authority on it:


However it’s not to say that this standard is the most progressive one we have today.  I found GoboLinux to be particularly interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoboLinux#The_GoboLinux_hierarchy

Installing Eclipse IDE and Android SDK on Ubuntu 8.10

This blog gives pointers on getting the Android development environment working on a base Ubuntu 8.10 installation.

This assumes you’re familiar with google’s installation instructions (see http://code.google.com/android/intro/installing.html) and might still be having some problems.

This also assumes you’ve installed Sun JDK 1.6.

So here are some tips and gotcha’s:

  • Don’t install Eclipse with Ubuntu’s package manager. At time of writing, Eclipse is in the distro. Make you sure have the latest Eclipse version by downloading directly from Eclipse’s site. See http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/
  • With most (if not all) base Ubuntu installations, java-6-openjdk or java-gcj is used, not Sun’s JDK. You don’t want to uninstall java-6-openjdk either because other apps in your system will be uninstalled along with it. In your Ubuntu filesystem, JVM tools (e.g. javac, javah, javadoc, java) are actually symlinks to the actual JDK. So what you want to do is update these symbolic links. There are at least 2 tools I’ve come across to help do this. I found the following:
  • sudo update-alternatives –config java
  • sudo galternatives
  • In Eclipse, for some reason I’ve not been able to add the ADT plugin via add site.  I had to download the SDK zip file and install as a local archive.
  • If you don’t know where to install Eclipse, check out my post on where to install eclipse since we’re not using the comfy package manager to take care of things for us. 😉

That’s it for now.