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Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian, has commented that package management is "the single biggest advancement Linux has brought to the industry". (Wikipedia)

But for some reason I'm forced to install eclipse manually if I want the most recent version, rather than the ancient eclipse 3.5.2 from the Debian package directories. Why?

Is there a more convenient way to get the newer version?

(I know the manual install is very little work, but I still think it should be unnecessary)

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Note that Eclipse itself is currently recommending to distros not to include Juno. Fedora is an exception, presumably because of its commitment to being bleeding edge. –  Simon Hoare Sep 15 '12 at 9:01

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Check the testing and unstable repos. Both have eclipse 3.8rc4 (it could be worst...)

EDIT: Sorry, if you want more up-to-date you'll have to manually compile.

There are advantadges of using debian, but everything has disadvantages. That is the disadvantage of a "rock-solid" system.

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To expand on @Claudiop's answer, edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list. You should have something like:

deb http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian squeeze main
deb-src http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian squeeze main

deb http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian squeeze-updates main
deb-src http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian squeeze-updates main

deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main

Debian has 4 main repositories (5 if you count lenny) stable (squeeze), testing (wheezy), unstable (sid) and experimental, each of which contains progressively newer software versions. So, to use, for example, the unstable repository, change you /etc/apt/sources.list to:

deb http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian sid main
deb-src http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian sid  main

deb http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian sid-updates main
deb-src http://ftp.br.debian.org/debian sid-updates main

deb http://security.debian.org/ sid/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ sid/updates main

The run sudo apt-get update or refresh the sources through synaptic. You can now install a newer version of eclipse by running sudo apt-get install eclipse.

For more information on debian releases, have a look at this page.

For the cutting edge, latest release you will, as @Claudiop also said, have to download the release from the eclipse downloads page and follow their instructions to compile and install.

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