Installing Eclipse 64-bit on Windows 7 64-bit

I like to learn about different development languages. When I have an idea for something cool or useful, I do the research and try to do it on my own. Not every language is suited to the task I think of, as a result I have developed a varying level of fluency in multiple languages.

Learning the language is fun, but I am not a fan of having to learn a different IDE for each one. Quite a while ago, I started using Eclipse for my web and scripting projects. It has all of the capabilities I need, project management, syntax highlighting, test and debugging, publishing and much more. There are times when Eclipse cannot be the IDE of choice (*cough* Visual Studio), but for the most part it’s my first stop.

I recently installed Windows 7 64-bit on my computer and as a result needed to reinstall all of my software. When I originally had Vista on this computer, Eclipse did not have a 64-bit version released. So the install was pretty straight forward. Download Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Eclipse, it all worked nicely. Now, the interesting thing about this is that on both 64-bit versions of Vista and Windows 7 the default Internet Explorer is the 32bit version. When you download Java, it uses your browser to detect the version to install and, as a result, installs 32-bit JRE.

After downloading Eclipse 64-bit, I unzipped it and double clicked the application. I then received the following message:

A Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development Kit (JDK) must be available in order to run Eclipse. No Java virtual machine was found after searching the following locations:

C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin
javaw.exe in your current PATH

I tracked down javaw.exe in a different folder, C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin, and added that folder to my path and classpath environment variables.  Running Eclipse again presented an error about a javavm.dll.  So, my favorite programming tool is being difficult… Interesting.

Now, before any Eclipse users decide to flame me about changing my path statements, I know it’s not the right way to do it.  Eclipse has an ini file that is the correct place to make this change.  Setting the -vm arguement in eclipse.ini can allow you to quickly change the Java version you are working with.  There are a few rules around the format of eclipse.ini as well as the plaement of the -vm arguement.

Format Rules

Each option and each argument to an option must be on its own line.
All lines after -vmargs are passed as arguments to the JVM, so all arguments and options for eclipse must be specified before -vmargs (just like when you use arguments on the command-line)

Placement Rules

The -vm option and its value (the path) must be on separate lines.
The value must be the full absolute path to the Java executable, not just to the Java home directory.
The -vm option must occur before the -vmargs option, since everything after -vmargs is passed directly to the JVM.

As a personal rule, before I edit any file, I make a copy of it and add the date to the name.  This way I can recover if I mess things up completely.

When you are ready, locate your eclipse.ini.  It should be in the same folder you unzipped Eclipse into.  Open it using Notepad and add the following lines above the -vmargs line.

-vm
C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe

Note that your path to javaw.exe might be different, and that the path does not have quotes in it.

Save the file and launch Eclipse.

Nothing happened.  Eclipse did not open.

Here’s why:  You have Eclipse 64bit and the Java installed was 32bit.  (remember the default browser is IE 32bit).

The fix for this is pretty simple.  In your All Programs menu, you have an option for Internet Exporer (64-bit).  You need to run it and got to http://www.java.com and download the 64bit Java.  The page will have 64-bit listed in several places.

Once you go through the install, you should have a new Java folder in your C:\Program Files. This is the 64-bit version of Java.

Now we need to go back to the eclipse.ini and point the -vm to the correct javaw.exe.

Once again, open the file in Notepad and change the -vm option so that it reflects your 64-bit javaw.exe location.

-vm
C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin\javaw.exe

Save the file and open Eclipse.

If everything worked correctly, you should now see the splash screen and the prompt to configure your workspace.  If not, check the path to your javaw.exe and the format of your eclipse.ini.

References
Java Install Website:  http://www.java.com
Java Version FAQ:  http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/java_win64bit.xml
Eclipsepedia (eclipse.ini):  http://wiki.eclipse.org/Eclipse.ini
Eclipse Download:  http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/

Posted in Development Tools, Programming | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

A Tablet For Business Users

In a previous post, I discussed my experience setting my iPad up for use at work.  As a result of that experience, I concluded that the iPad is not something many businesses would be able to set up  and save money.  I do believe that there is a need within business for mobile employees to have a tool that is more portable than a laptop.  Something running Windows would certainly integrate into my workday much more easily.  But sadly, the Microsoft camp has been very slow to produce anything with the portability and power that comes even close to the iPad.  Maybe that’s about to change.  There is much talk from Dell, HP and other vendors that they are releasing various tablet platforms, but they have been very slow to release a viable product.  When they do, each and every one is being compared to the iPad and falling very short.

I recently learned of a new “tablet” running Windows 7 called the nPad made by Nexocial.  It is the first Tablet PC, that I have seen, that truly is designed to have the touch screen be the primary source of interaction.  Based on the technical specs, the speed and performance are roughly similar to a normal desktop computer.  I found a demonstration video YouTube that shows the capabilities and performance of the nPad.

As you can see, the performance and responsiveness of the interface appears to be very solid.  Let’s dig into the technical specs.

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Posted in Mobile, System Administration | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Ubuntu 10.4 LTS (Lucid Lynx) – Dual Booting

On Thursday Canonical released the final spin of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx).  10.04 is a major release for Ubuntu, as it is the Long Term Support (LTS) version.  This means that Canonical will support the desktop version for  3 years and the server version for 5 years.  Other versions will be released in between that time, but they are not supported for as long as the LTS versions. When it comes to Open Source Operating Systems, my favorite has clearly become Ubuntu.  I like the community, I like the company and they way it works fits with the way I think.

I do consider myself an early adopter, so when the new versions are out, I do upgrade.  By jumping in early, I see aspects of the OS that I can learn from and can sometimes contribute back when the final version is released by helping others overcome similar problems.  Having said that, I did start using Lucid when Beta 1 was released.  Do I always upgrade my main computer right away?  Not every time, I have several older computers that I have tried upgrades and install on, so that I can make sure I am familiar with the process.  In addition to the old computers, I have a fair bit of experience with Virtual technology and do spin up virtual systems to test and play with an OS or application.

I have been known to put some peer pressure on my friends to live on the edge with me.  Yesterday was one such day.  I convinced Rich to upgrade his 9.10 install to Lucid.  He runs a dual boot system and has Windows 7 as his other OS.  Many people dual boot, there are certainly times when Windows is the only option (iTunes) and it is necessary to use it.  There is a problem here that the upgrade to Lucid is not overly intuitive when the Grub2 update is installed, nor does it explain what to do very well.  In fact, I would hazard to say that the instructions provided actually cause the wrong decision to be made.  Selecting the wrong options, will break your ability to dual boot into Windows.  I selected the wrong options when I upgraded my system, resulting in a blinking cursor when I wanted to boot to Windows.  I decided to give up Windows on my main computer, and just run Ubuntu.  I’ve running this way for a while now, and am quite happy without Windows here.

When Rich was upgrading, I advised him as to what happened to me – and believed that I had the correct options identified.  Long story short, the install broke his dual boot as well.  Rich needs his Windows install, so fixing him up is my priority.  Researching the forums, shows that many people have run into the exact same issue, and there seems to be a variety of suggestions on how to fix it.  Unfortunately, it seems as though some of the suggestions conflict with each other.  So the trick now is coming up with a plan and following it.

  • Fix the system so it boots into Windows
  • Repair or replace Grub or Reinstall Ubuntu

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on fixing Grub, however I will be writing another article on how to set up Windows to give an Ubuntu option on its boot menu.

Let’s get started…

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Posted in System Administration, Ubuntu | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments