Installing Eclipse is relatively easy, but does involve a few steps and software from at least two different sources. Eclipse is a Java-based application and, as such, requires a Java runtime environment (JRE) in order to run.
Eclipse 4.4 (Luna)
Eclipse 4.4 (Luna) was released on June 25, 2014.
A Java 7 JRE/JDK is required for most of the Luna package downloads based on Eclipse 4.4. More information concerning tested configurations for Eclipse 4.4 is provided here.
Eclipse 4.3 (Kepler)
Eclipse 4.3 (Kepler) was released in June 2013.
A Java 6 JRE/JDK is recommended for Eclipse 4.3. More information concerning tested configurations for Eclipse 4.3 is provided here.
Install a JVM
Regardless of your operating system, you will need to install some Java virtual machine (JVM). You may either install a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), or a Java Development Kit (JDK), depending on what you want to do with Eclipse. If you intend to use Eclipse for Java development, then you should install a JDK. If you aren't planning to use Eclipse for Java development and want to save some disk space, install a JRE.
- If you're using Windows, you may already have a JRE installed, but upgrading won't hurt.
- If using Linux, read this
- GCJ will NOT work.
- Also see: Installing JRE 1.6.0 (Update x) as the Default Runtime in Linux.
There are several sources for a JRE/JDK. Here are some of the more common/popular ones (listed alphabetically):
Download Eclipse from the Eclipse Downloads Page.
There are several package choices. Note that you can install the features from any package into any other package. If you are, for example, planning to do mostly Java development and some C/C++ development, you should download the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers and then add the C/C++ development tools via the "Help > Install New Software..." menu option.
The download will be delivered as a compressed (i.e. a ".zip", or ".tar.gz") file. Decompress this file into the directory of your choice (e.g. "c:\eclipse" on Windows) and ensure you have full Read and Execute permissions. You can optionally create a shortcut of the executable file ("eclipse.exe" on Windows, or "eclipse" on Linux).
Note that there is a known problem with the built-in decompression utility on all current versions of Windows. We recommend that you use a more robust decompression utility such as the open source 7zip when decompressing an Eclipse download. Some people report success when initially decompressing Eclipse into a root directory (e.g. c:\) and then moving it to a more appropriate home (e.g. c:\Program Files\Eclipse)
Configure Eclipse to use the JVM
It is strongly recommended to configure Eclipse with the specific JVM that you want. See the instructions at Eclipse.ini This is a very important step to be sure that Eclipse is using the JVM you intend and can't be influenced by any other software that might alter your system. The JVM used to launch Eclipse has no affect on whether it can compile Java sources for other Java language versions.
Use the Help > Install new software... menu option to add Kepler features to your Eclipse installation (you can, for example, use this option to add C/C++ development support). Additionally, you can tap into a vast collection of extensions provided by the Eclipse community and ecosystem via the Eclipse Marketplace Client (Help > Eclipse Marketplace). Note that not all Eclipse packages contain the Eclipse Marketplace Client.
Java was started but returned exit code = 13
If you've "installed" Eclipse but are having trouble getting it to run, the most likely cause is that you have not correctly specified the JVM for it to run under. You may need to edit the eclipse.ini file.
Another common mistake on Microsoft Windows is a mismatch between the "bittedness" of Eclipse and the JVM/JDK. This is the most frequent cause of an Error 13. 64-bit Eclipse requires a 64-bit JVM, and 32-bit Eclipse requires 32-bit JVM--you can not mix-and-match between 32-bit and 64-bit, so make sure the version of Eclipse you installed matches the JVM/JDK that you're using to run it (and make sure you're using eclipse.ini to specify the exact JVM used to run Eclipse, described above).
As a simple test, open a Command Prompt window, move to the directory that is pointed to by the -vm argument in your eclipse.ini, and run the intended java.exe with the -d32 switch to test if it supports 32-bit, or -d64 to test for 64-bit support. It's often simplest to download a version of Eclipse that will work with whatever Java you already have installed.