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.
Note that on recent versions of Mac, a full JDK needs to be installed, not just a JRE; see instructions below.
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 usually won't hurt.
- If you're using Mac, and you don't have a JDK installed, you may get a bogus message from the OS stating that you should "install the legacy Java SE 6 runtime". Installing that will not solve the problem, because recent versions of Eclipse require a higher version. If you install just a JRE, and not a full JDK, that error message will persist. You must install a full JDK.
- If using Linux, read this
- GCJ will NOT work.
Eclipse 4.7 (Oxygen)
Eclipse 4.7 (Oxygen) was released on June 28, 2017. Oxygen.2 is the supported release. See Oxygen schedule.
Consider using the Installer. Please see 5 Steps to Install Eclipse.
A Java 8 or newer JRE/JDK is required to run all Oxygen packages based on Eclipse 4.7, including running the Installer. The reasoning behind requiring Java 8 are discussed here.
Eclipse 4.6 (Neon)
Eclipse 4.6 (Neon) was released on June 22, 2016. See Neon schedule.
Consider using the Installer. Please see 5 Steps to Install Eclipse.
A Java 8 JRE/JDK is required to run all Neon packages based on Eclipse 4.6, including the Installer. The reasoning behind requiring Java 8 are discussed here.
Eclipse 4.5 (Mars)
Eclipse 4.5 (Mars) was released on June 24, 2015.
Consider using the Installer! Please see 5 Steps to Install Eclipse.
A Java 7 JRE/JDK is required for all Mars package downloads based on Eclipse 4.5, including the Installer. Information concerning tested configurations for Eclipse 4.5 is provided here.
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. 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.
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.
To open "Eclipse" you need to install the legacy Java SE 6 runtime
On more recent versions of the Mac, if you don't have a full JDK of an appropriately high version installed, the OS produces this bogus message. Installing any JRE will not eliminate this problem. A full JDK needs to be installed on the Mac.
Extraction requires a password or otherwise fails on Windows.
Eclipse downloads are not password protected. This is a known problem with the built-in decompression utility on all current versions of Windows. We recommend that you either download the installer or 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)