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So the new version of Eclipse, Helios, has been released. The Ubuntu repository has the previous version. I understand you can make packages yourself (ie create an eclipse.deb) so that your system has as much knowledge as possible about what's installed, even if it came from a manual download.

  1. Is that a good idea?
  2. Can anyone tell me how to do it?

(And if anyone knows of a premade Eclipse package do tell me, but I'm still kinda interested in the answers to the above questions;)

Thanks all,

Andy

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sadly, you'll still miss some of the nicer sides of packages. First, you obviously won't get automatic updates for it. Second, if you are thinking that when doing a clean install you can just print the list of your apt-based packages and get the same ones when installing the new system, forget it. The list will contain not only the actual manually installed packages, but also all dependencies set to manual, so you cannot just take a look of all installed software. I found it best to make such a list manually in gedit. Third, you'll still have to take care of dependencies, just it will happen at the time of making the package instead of the time of compiling manually. The same goes for things like a main menu item. So in some cases, the added complexity of making a package just isn't worth it.

On the other hand, if the eclipse authors haven't provided a way to uninstall your built-from-source eclipse, it is a very good idea to make a package first so apt can remove it for you later. Also, if you will be installing it on more than one PC, a package will be very handy.

There is a tool which will create a package for you, but I've read that it isn't very good with resolving dependencies. Never tried it myself, but if you want to give it a try, here's the link: CheckInstall

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Thanks for those points. You've nudged me towards thinking I don't really have much to gain from it; I think I'll just leave it manually installed, unless anyone can give me some killer pros for making/using a package. –  Andy Jun 24 '10 at 13:03
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IBM DeveloperWorks Documentation is usually very well written: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-debpkg.html

If Google doesn't know of a eclipse-helios.deb, you'd be doing a Good Thing by creating one.

I've created less complex .deb for exactly the reasons you want. The creation is easy, for eclipse, getting the dependencies will be harder. Rip apart the Galileo package to give yourself a starting point.

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Thanks for the links, tho I'm a bit busy at the mo to put much time into investigating this. –  Andy Jun 24 '10 at 13:01
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Packaging Eclipse for Debian (or Ubuntu) is not a trivial task. Debian requires that all packages are built from source, an in the case of Eclipse it's a considerable effort that a few people have been making for several months. If you want to help and feel up to the challenge, go to http://wiki.debian.org/Java to get started, and register on the debian-java mailing list.

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Thanks, don't have a free second in the day at the moment :/ –  Andy Oct 11 '10 at 13:55
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