Unfortunately the version of Eclipse in the Ubuntu repositories is old, almost three years to be precise; even though the latest version is 3.4.2, Jaunty Jackalope gives you — like earlier releases — 3.2. This is quite hindering because most new plugins, like the Google Plugin for Eclipse — which I wanted to try — require at least 3.3.
There was a session at Karmic’s UDS — Tuesday 17.10 in room 7 — about including Eclipse 3.4/5, but the mentioned action points are rather passive. Taking into account the fact that Eclipse is very hard to package properly, the decision was made that if Debian would drop Eclipse, Ubuntu would drop Eclipse too. The QA team was contacted to see how complaints from users about an obsolete version could be handled. The policy is to encourage community members to ix the problems.
It’s a shame that they didn’t decide to package it themselves. Eclipse is a good and often-used IDE and I think it should be included in the repositories. We don’t have to use Debian for all packages, do we?
Fortunately there is a PPA that offers 3.4, maintained by the Eclipse Team. The PPA can be found at https://launchpad.net/~eclipse-team/+archive/ppa. Unfortunately — there we go again — the amd64 build for jaunty failed. It’s still possible to get it working. Here’s how:
Using the PPA, no ‘Software Updates’ can be installed
People using 32bit can just use the provided PPA without any problems. If you are a 64bit user you’ll have to an earlier, successful build: in this case intrepid. Everything will work just fine.
So, for 32bit use this:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/eclipse-team/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
and for 64bit use this:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/eclipse-team/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
Add this line to source.list with an text-editor or use System->Administration->Software Sources.
Now add the PPA’s key to your keyring using:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 5126890CDCC7AFE0
Run the usual command: sudo apt-get update and you can install Eclipse like you usually install programs. However, the Software Updates functionality won’t work.
Using the eclipse.org download, with plugins
You thought this would be the easy way? I’ll have to disappoint you. When I tried to use the official download I ran into some problems that could only be solved by installing the latest — 3.4 — version of Eclipse. So, yes, you’ll have to go to the previous part and follow those instructions too. Install Eclipse and go to Eclipse.org and download the latest version of Eclipse, pick your flavour.
In the archive you’ll find a compiled Eclipse, which can be executed right away. The plugin/Software Updates functionality works.
However, you will have to use Sun’s distribution of Java. Install sun-java6-bin and make it default by executing the command sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun.
UPDATE: Good news! Ubuntu 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’ has got Eclipse 3.5 in the repositories, you can now just install it from the package manager.