Installing Eclipse Galileo on Mac OS X

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Installing Eclipse Galileo on Mac OS X

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I wrote two articles on this issue in the past and I'm still get a lot of search hits everyday for people searching for answers, which means it is still a hot topic. Things changed a bit since I wrote the articles, so it's worth brining this update.

If you check the Eclipse download page, you will notice that there are plenty of options to choose from. 

Eclipse Downloads

The purpose of this post is to help you make the best selection and install it properly. It applies to all the Eclipse packages, including Java, JEE, PHP and C++. I did my best to assume little knowledge with Eclipse. If you still have questions, please ask in the comments.

Leopard (10.5.x) Users

Download the Mac Cocoa 32-Bit version.  

The Carbon version is there in case you encounter compatibility issues with older plugins. The 64-Bit is there in case you need to run a plugin which requires Java 1.6, since Leopard Java 1.6 is only 64-Bit. Otherwise, I don't see a real reason to use it (although not everybody agrees) and you will be wasting RAM and machine resources.

Read the original post for more details. 

Snow Leopard (10.6.x) Users

Download the Mac Cocoa 64-Bit version. 

Again, the Carbon version is there in case you encounter compatibility issues with older plugins. The main reason you would want to use the 32-Bit version is because of plugins which are incompatible with 64-Bit. This time, the 32-Bit version will waste your resources because you will cause the OS to start a whole bunch of 32-Bit services.

Read the original post for more details. 

The 64-Bit Eclipse will consume more memory than a 32-Bit Eclipse of Leopard. There's a small tweak you can use to reduce the memory consumption of the 64-Bit Eclipse: add the UseCompressedOops flag to the Eclipse JVM. Here's how:

  1. After you downloaded the Eclipse package, decompress it. Locate your Eclipse.app.
  2. Right-click it and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Under Contents/MacOS, locate the eclipse.ini file. Open it with a text editor.
  4. At the end of the file, add two lines:
  5. Save and close the file.

Full explanation on the UseCompressedOops switch can be found here. Note that this option may not be the most stable: if you experience crashes, remove it.

Installing Eclipse

After you downloaded Eclipse and untar/ungzip it, you will get a folder called eclipse. Several people asked my what's the best practice for installing Eclipse. Eclipse is a bit different than other Mac applications. It needs to stay in the same folder with all the files that came along with it. So, naturally, installing the Eclipse.app directly in your Applications folder is a bad idea. 

My favorite is this:

  • Create a folder inside your Applications folder called Dev. This folder hosts all my development related applications.
  • Copy the eclipse folder to the Dev folder.
Note that there's no limitation on the number of Eclipse installations you can have in this Dev folder. For example, I have both Eclipse 3.4 and 3.5 installed. I even have Eclipse 3.5 Carbon which I use for testing. You can rename the eclipse folder after unzipping the downloaded zip: I usually use the full name of the zip (sans the suffix) as the name of the folder.

Your Workspace

The default Eclipse distribution will ask you for a workspace by default. I have a number of workspaces and I switch between them. I keep my workspaces under ~/dev/workspaces/<my workspace>

Final Thoughts

Installing Eclipse on Mac OS X is a simple task. If you want to simplify it even further, including ease the installation of Plugins (like nWire :-), I suggest looking into a more user friendly and powerful distribution like Pulse.

From http://blog.zvikico.com/


Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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