Installing Eclipse Kepler (4.3.2) on Ubuntu 13.10

Posted on Thu 03 April 2014 in misc

Recently I have been making the switch back to Ubuntu after a year of pretending I was ok with using Windows 8. It so good to have an OS that actually puts me in control. Anyway enough evangelising.

I recently posted about getting Dropbox up and running on Ubuntu 13.10 which required a bit of gentle nudging to get it working. Well another program that needs a bit of nudging is the latest build of the Eclipse IDE.

The Ubuntu repositories have an old version of (3.8.1) of Eclipse, so if you want the latest bleeding edge build (currently 4.3.2) then you have to download the program as a tar.gz file from the Eclipse Foundation website.

Also before you start make sure you have the Java Development Kit (JDK) installed. You can do this through the Ubuntu software centre by searching for "openJDK".

Once you have the eclipse tar.gz file extract it to your current folder (double click on it and use the default archive manager). You then need to move the extracted "eclipse" folder to the /opt folder in the root directory. To do this use the terminal to cd into the directory holding the "eclipse" folder and run:

$ sudo mv eclipse /opt/

The next step is to make a symbolic link so that you can call the executable without specifying the path each time. This link needs to go in your bin folder so first cd into that:

$ cd /usr/local/bin

and then make the symbolic link to the executable:

$ sudo ln -s /opt/eclipse/eclipse

The next step is to create an eclipse.desktop file (like a program shortcut in windows), this needs to do in the /usr/share/applications directory so run:

$ sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

and copy the following into gedit:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Eclipse
Type=Application
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 eclipse>
Terminal=false
Icon=/opt/eclipse/icon.xpm
Comment=Integrated Development Environment
NoDisplay=false
Categories=Development;IDE
Name[en]=eclipse.desktop

Save the file and close gedit.

The =env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 statement is very important as this fixes an issue with the current build of Eclipse on Ubuntu 13.10 where the menus will not show at all.

After this you should just be able to launch eclipse by pressing the windows key on the keyboard (to call up the search scope) and type "eclipse". The icon should pop up and you can click on it to start the program.

I have read on the forums that sometimes (depending on how you installed it and the setup of your system) your system might use the eclipse.desktop file in /.local/share/applications/eclipse.desktop. So if your eclipse is launching fine but the menus still don't work you should try opening the .local version and add =env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 after the Exec in that eclipse.desktop file.