Installing Eclipse on Linux

Eclipse is an amazing example of an open source project that easily dwarfs its commercial competition.  Does an IDE make you a weaker programmer?  I don’t think so.  If it makes you more productive, help you with syntax, or speeds up repetitive tasks then it is simply one more tool in your toolbox. Depending on what you are developing it may your go to tasks for debugging or refactoring code.

I wanted to do some restful web services and a number of the examples are described using eclipse.  In order to get a good starting point, I needed to install a copy Eclipse.

Depending on your level of familiarity with the Linux command prompt, the process of setting up Eclipse on your system is fairly trivial.

Unpack file

I wasn’t setting up eclipse for all users on a system but rather just one user for this virtual machine.  So I copied it to ~myuser/tmpdir and used both gunzip and tar to decompress and extract the files from the tar.

cd ~myuser/Downloads

mkdir ~myuser/tmpdir

mv ~myuser/Downloads/eclipse-jee-neon-2-linux-gtk.tar.gz .

gunzip eclipse-jee-neon-2-linux-gtk.tar.gz

tar -xvf eclipse-jee-neon-2-linux-gtk.tar

Move to final location

mv ~myuser/eclipse /opt/eclipse

It doesn’t really matter where you put eclipse.

Setup environment

The last step is to make the executable available.  If it isn’t in one of the directories that is part of you path simply add it to your path.  This could be done in a couple of different ways.

One way would be to add eclipse to your path.

export PATH=$PATH:~myuser/eclipse

Another way would be to create a symbolic link from the eclipse directory to the /usr/bin directory to eclipse.

It might not be so important when a computer is only used by one person but by placing the link in the /usr/bin directory then eclipse is available for all users.


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