Setup Eclipse on Linux and WSL with GTK2

The packaged version of Eclipse 3.8 does not work anymore on Ubuntu 18.04, thus a manual install of a newer version is required. Requirements: C++, Python, Git, SVN. I prefer the GTK2 version here as it is much more responsive than the current GTK3 version (Eclipse IDE 2019-09 R).

Basic Installation

  1. Install a JDK: sudo aptitude install default-jdk
  2. Install basic C++ development tooling: sudo aptitude install gcc g++ make
  3. Install GTK2 libraries: sudo aptitude install libgtk2.0-0
  4. Get one of the last GTK2 versions of “Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers”
    1. Eclipse IDE Photon R (4.8)
    2. Eclipse IDE 2018-09 R (4.9)
  5. Extract to /usr/local: sudo tar -C /usr/local/ -xf eclipse-cpp-2018-09-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz
  6. Link executable to a known search path: sudo ln -s /usr/local/eclipse/eclipse /usr/local/bin/eclipse
  7. Set default GTK version via eclipse.ini by adding the following lines before the “appendVmargs” section (otherwise GTK3 will be used by default if libgtk3 is installed):
  1. Install libwebkitgtk to display markdown documents correctly: aptitude -R install libwebkitgtk-1.0-0


  1. Install python interpreter: sudo aptitude install python python3
  2. Install PyDev plugin: sudo unzip -d /usr/local/eclipse/dropins/pydev-7.4.0 “PyDev”
  3. For XML processing install lxml: sudo aptitude install python-lxml python3-lxml

Git + SVN

  1. Install versioning tools and required libraries: sudo aptitude install subversion git
  2. Install EGIT and Subclipse plugins (4.2.4 is the last with SVN 1.9 support):
    1. sudo unzip -d /usr/local/eclipse/dropins/egit-5.5.1
    2. sudo rm -v /usr/local/eclipse/dropins/egit-5.5.1/*.*
    3. sudo unzip -d /usr/local/eclipse/dropins/subclipse-4.2.4
    4. sudo rm -v /usr/local/eclipse/dropins/subclipse-4.2.4/*.*
    5. sudo aptitude install libsvnkit-java
  3. set GIT_SSH to local ssh binary to make it use the authentication agent in .basrc: export GIT_SSH=/usr/bin/ssh

Shell scripts

Install the dynamic languages toolkit (dltk) 5.10 for shell syntax highlighting: sudo unzip -d /usr/local/eclipse/dropins/dltk-R-5.10

Eclipse 4.13 + GTK3

Install GTK3 libs (sudo aptitude install libgtk-3-0), rest as above.

Eclipse 4.17 (2020-09-R)

Tested on Ubuntu 20.04: with PyDev 8.0.1 & Subclipse 4.3.2

  • Sublipse does not seem to pickup any SVN interface
  • No separate EGIT installation required anymore
  • dltk releases 6.* do not contain ShellEd anymore, but re-using release 5.10 seems to work as well