Installing Eclipse + Aptana + Subclipse SVN

Recently I’ve updated my Eclipse version and I installed certain plugin which has created some kind of conflict and confusion in my workspace. What I was trying to do was installing an SVN plugin in order to work on a google code SVN repository, but I had several errors and I lost several hours trying to figure out what was wrong. So I decided to do a fresh and clean installation, once understood the problem. So, I would like to write a sort of tutorial which will explain how to get a sound and working installation of Eclipse, Aptana and Subclipse (which as far I read, is actually the best plugin available for SVN on Eclipse).

Install Eclipse

If you have already Eclipse installed, backup your workspace folder somewhere, then delete eclipse installation folder and the old workspace (you will use the old projects folder after by skipping the “.metadata” folder that is the place where Eclipse stores informations about settings and plugins installed). Go to http://eclipse.org/downloads/ and download the Eclipse edition you prefer (I use Eclipse Classic), after extracting the archive, place folder “eclipse” where you like (usually “Programs” folder on windows and “Applications” on Mac). Create a link to the executable file on your desktop (or Mac OS X dock), then launch the program. Since this is the first time you run Eclipse, it will ask where to locate the workspace, choose the destination and folder name you prefer (I use “eclipse-workspace” under my documents). Ok, at this point you should see a welcome screen, close it and choose Help > Install new software… from the top menu (we are going to install Aptana).

Install Aptana

Click on Add… and paste this url in the “Location” field: “http://download.aptana.org/tools/studio/plugin/install/studio” (don’t paste quotes!), write a name for the location entered (I simply called it “Aptana”). Go on, selecting Aptana packages check-boxes and clicking on Next, then accept the terms and click on Finish. It will takes several seconds, then Eclipse will inform you that installation is complete and it will suggest you to restart the program… obey!

Install Subclipse (through Aptana)

Ok, we have Aptana installed and running into Eclipse, now we can select Help > Install Aptana Features from the top menu, then select Others > SCM Plugins > Subclipse and from here select the following package: Core SVNKit library, Optional JNA library, Subclipse. After the routine “next, agree, finish, restart” we have now our beloved ide ready to be used!

IDE configuration

Now that all the stuff is installed, we should spent some time to configure it properly, depending on our needs and taste. Eclipse is a complex and powerfull software and is it possible to set a lot of options: font used, colors, code suggestion, indentation, code collapsing, autoupdate, file encoding, workspace and a lot more. If you never take an in depth look at the preferences panel, I suggest you to spent at list 5 minutes… it deserve the time spent!

Possible issues and resolutions

– If during installation an alert saying “WARNING: you are installing software that contains unsigned content” will appear, just choose ok and you shouldn’t get any problems.

– If you get problems to download from the update site(s), maybe you are blocked by a firewall, you should go to Window > Preferences > General > Network and set the right proxy configuration. If you don’t know how to configure it, you can download the archive version (a .jar or .zip file containing all plugin’s packages) from vendor site.

– If you are trying to add a new SVN repository (by using the installed Subclipse plugin) and you get an error saying “RA layer request failed“, go to Window > Preferences > Team > SVN and in the “SVN interface” choose SVNKit as client instead of JavaHL (default option)… this should solve the problem (in my case it did). If you still get that error or a similar one, maybe is due to firewall limitations, if you can’t change the configuration properly… google and good luck :^)