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Install Eclipse and PyDev on Ubuntu

6 February 2011 12 Comments
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Install Eclipse and PyDev on UbuntuHow to install Eclipse on Ubuntu? How to install PyDev on Ubuntu? It seems many people are asking these questions. With the increase in usage of open source software such as Ubuntu, people have become accustomed to writing applications in Ubuntu. Once computer language in particular that developers like to use is Python. It is easy to learn and fast to code.

Writing a Python program can be done using any editor, even a simple text editor like Notepad. If you are running your operating system on Ubuntu and you want a full-fledged IDE, you may want to invest the time to install and set up Eclipse. Eclipse is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for building, deploying and managing software. It is a source code editor and provides trace and debugging facilities.

The Eclipse Project was originally created by IBM in November 2001 and supported by a consortium of software vendors. Today, the Eclipse community consists of individuals and organizations from a cross section of the software industry.

Install Eclipse

1. Install Eclipse and Sun’s Java by running the following:

sudo apt-get install eclipse sun-java6-jdk

2. Make Sun”s Java the default by running the following:

sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun

3. Edit the JVM configuration file:

sudo -b gedit / etc/jvm

4. and add the following to the top of the file:


5. If you have 1GB or more of memory, you may want to increase the heap size for better performance. The argument Xms refers to the minimum heap size and Xmx refers to the maximum heap size. Edit the Eclipse script file:

sudo -b gedit /usr/bin/eclipse

6. and change VMARGS=”” to the following:

VMARGS=”-Xms512m -Xmx512m -XX:PermSize=128m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m”


Install PyDev

The PyDev Ubuntu setup requires some configuration in Eclipse. Installing PyDev on Ubuntu is similar to the installation on Windows or Macintosh.

1. Run Eclipse and then go to Help | Software Updates | Find and Install…

2. In the Feature Updates window, select Search for new features to install and click Next.

3. In the Install window, select New Remote Site.

4. In the New Update Site window, specify the following:

Name: PyDev

URL: http://update-production-pydev.s3.amazonaws.com/pydev/updates/site.xml
The old URL was http://pydev.org/updates

5. In the Search Results window, select both PyDev Extensions and click Next.

6. In the Feature License window, agree to the license agreement and click Next.

7. Configure the Python interpreter by going to Window | Preferences | Pydev | Interpreter – Python.

8. In the Python interpreters section, click New.

9. Locate your Python interpreter (e.g., /usr/bin/python).

10. When prompted, select your System PYTHONPATH. You can just leave the default checkboxes selected and click OK.

For further details about PyDev and additional information, visit the PyDev site.

Install Eclipse and PyDev on Ubuntu, 9.7 out of 10 based on 15 ratings

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  • Deepak said:

    Thanks a lot!!

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  • rafik said:

    Thanks for tutorial.

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  • DeepRO said:

    Thanks dude! Very helpfull!

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  • Adam said:

    Thanks for the guide\tutorial. Install went smooth and no problems occurred, so obviously it works fine! :)

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  • tier said:


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  • tom said:

    What is the Java stuff for? Is that required if you just want to learn Python?

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  • wendy said:

    @tom The Java stuff is because Eclipse itself is written in Java.

    Basically, Eclipse is a development environment which allows you to *write your own code* in a range of languages – Python, C++, Java, and many others, depending on what plugins you decide to install.

    But Eclipse itself had to be written in some language or other, and that language was Java!

    This is why you need the Java-oriented packages seen in the above install list – without them, Eclipse won’t work at all.

    In addition to this, there is also a very slight Java ‘bias’ when you first install Eclipse, in the following sense:

    If you install a default set-up of Eclipse, it will assume you want to develop in Java and will have menu items, syntax high-lighting, and so forth setup for Java. Presumably this makes sense as , after all, it was Java developers who would have first been using Eclipse a lot, so the default should be set to be the right one for them :)

    But as soon as you install a ‘plug-in’ for another language choice, such as the pydev extensions described above, you will then get offered a choice whenever you start up.

    So that you don’t have to even bother with this choice when starting up, you can also set a particular language choice for each ‘project’ (set of files) you are working on, and Eclipse will then give you the correct menu-options, syntax highlighting and so on for that particular project whenever you are working on it.

    So, in short, yes, the Java stuff is required even if you just want to learn python, but unless you also decide to do some Java work, you will never see any obviously Java-oriented stuff whilst working within the interface, except possibly once or twice right at the start whilst you are still installing and configuring your pydev extensions.


    Wendy :)

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  • Sarath said:

    Thanks. Just followed the instructions and it works.

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  • subhojit said:


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  • keif said:

    Thanks champ

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  • theo said:

    repository moved to this url.


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  • lijo johny said:

    while installing pyDev, Its showing an error
    “Unable to connect to repository http://update-production-pydev.s3.amazonaws.com/pydev/updates/site.xml/content.xml
    Connection refused”
    Can anybody help.

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