Upgrading Eclipse 3.2 to 3.4

I was installing Eclipse via Synaptic Package Manager and loaded the PHPEclipse extension afterwards. Unfortunately there was a bug that prevented the PHP Editor from working. And as I saw there was an Eclipse 3.4 (codename: ganymede) release, I thought it is about time to upgrade. But how to do without the help of our beloved package manager? Too easy, really.

WARNING! Unfortunately it does seem to cause trouble with at least one installation so far. Please be aware this is no official upgrade guide but a workaround that worked for me and a lot of others, but no guarantee is given it will be working on your system. You take the risk and should at least backup folders that will be changed due to this guide. Also have a look onto the “Eclipse crashes on Ubuntu” story in my blog about ways to solve issues mainly related to default Ubuntu JAVA versions and incompatibility with Eclipse.

During that procedure I lost some of my previously installed plugins, but did not mind as they were not working properly anyway or I could easily install them again. Make sure you don’t have any important or personal files / projects in the eclipse folder. Normally the workspace is set to a separate folder by default.

  1. First of all you download the latest release from the eclipse download site.
  2. For the installation you simple copy the new eclipse package contents of the existing eclipse installation in /usr/lib/eclipse. Two choices here.
    1. Once that has finished you extract it in you download folder and than copy the folder to /usr/lib/.
      cd /home/daniel/Downloads
      tar xvzf eclipse-java-ganymede-linux-gtk.tar.gz
      sudo cp -Rf /home/daniel/Downloads/eclipse /usr/lib/
    2. Or you extract it into /usr/lib/ right away.
      cd /usr/lib/
      sudo tar xvzf /home/daniel/Downloads/eclipse-java-ganymede-linux-gtk.tar.gz
  3. Restart eclipse and that should give you a all new Eclipse experience.

I am still examining the features, but am pretty pleased so far, especially as PHPEclipse works again.


14 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I fallow steps below, and when i launch eclipse i get this error message :

    The Eclipse executable launcher was unable to locate its
    companion launcher jar.

    I’m under ubuntu Feisty

    Any ideas

  2. Great job. Thank you.

    I would have never expected such an easyness in upgrading eclipse, but didnt want to crash my old 3.2 on ubuntu hardy x64, so i’ve never tried … but it works, out of the box.

  3. Thank You. Now my Eclipse crushes every time just after the splash screen appears, and now even when I delete and reinstall it from the repository I cannot run it again. It looks like I’ll have to reinstall my system to get it back to work. THANK YOU.

  4. Hi Wojtek,

    sorry to hear this destroyed your Eclipse environment. In a previous post I had described how I got to get Eclipse working in first place as there were issues due to JAVA version. I had to reinstall recently and ran into the same problems again, but when I got rid of the GNU JAVA versions and installed SUN JAVA 6 it did work for me again. Read it here, maybe helps: https://atentia.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/eclipse-crashes-on-ubuntu-804/

    Also try sudo update-alternatives –config java
    to configure the version of JAVA to be used as default.

  5. To people having problems with this, try deleting the .eclipse folder in the ~ ( home ) directory of the user.
    Worked for me.


  6. Hi,
    My officemate upgraded to Eclipse 3.4 as you said in this post on our server.
    Today I deleted my workspace and wanted to create a new workspace, but Eclipse started with an empty window.
    I tried to remove eclipse:
    sudo apt-get autoremove eclipse
    and reinstall it:
    sudo apt-get install eclipse
    But I got an error that “the framework core cannot be started”.
    Finally, I got the solution:
    sudo rm -rf /usr/lib/eclipse
    And I have my old Eclipse 3.2 working.
    I guess one can follow the instructions above to upgrade again to 3.4, but I think I will stick to 3.2 until I need some features that I can find only in 3.4
    I hope this post will help the other people in the future.

  7. […] repository Eclipse version is 3.2, but 3.4 is available from the Eclipse website.  Following this guide, it seems that you can override the /usr/eclipse directory with the new version if you want to […]

  8. Wojtek seems like one of those guys who would try to sue Garmin because he blindly followed his GPS until he drove into a lake.

    Does nobody have an answer to Jack’s question? I’m having the same problem

    • Sorry bookmunkie, havent’ found an answer to Jacks and your problem yet. Probably because it did not occur to me, so hard to find something. Would apprecieate if you’d let me know when you got an answer to it.


  9. Atentia,

    I got an idea from another website that I’ve already forgotten the address of to replace the script /usr/bin/eclipse with a script with the same name that launches /usr/lib/eclipse/eclipse

    This had the dual benefit of fixing the link in the launcher menu as well

  10. I’ve found the URL of the other site I used: http://flurdy.com/docs/eclipse/install.html

  11. Works fine with Ubuntu 9.04 on Dell XPS M1530 System …Thanx

  12. i noticed that there was a ‘startup.jar’ file in my eclipse folder in /usr/bin/eclipse, but NOT one in the unzipped eclipse 3.4 folder. I deleted everything in the /usr/bin/eclipse except for the jar file, copied the new stuff in, and it works!

    if someone can explain how to remove an older version of eclipse in the repository, that would probably help the new people. they could then install a new version

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