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Subversion Support for Eclipse, The Easy Way

Posted on Jul 23rd 2009

I recently noticed a blog post from Nick Boldt about his “love-hate” relationship with SVN. After reading it I found it hard to believe that Subversion support was really as difficult to install has he makes it sound, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I would like to point out, however, that this solution won’t work for Nick or for other folks that need to use nightly builds of Eclipse. If you fall into that category, you will have to go read Nick’s blog or use the archived update site he so kindly created for you. Fortunately, most of us use released versions of Eclipse and don’t need nightly builds. So, I put this tutorial together for the “rest of us” that just want to use Eclipse Galileo with a Subversion repository to get our jobs done.

It’s really easy to configure your Eclipse tools using Genuitec’s free Pulse service. We’ve already got hundreds of thousands of developers using it, and it continues to be one of the highest rated Eclipse products on EPIC. So, if you haven’t given Pulse perhaps this little walk-through will convince you to.

First, you’ve got to download the tiny Pulse installer from the website’s download page. Pulse is supported on Windows, Linux, and OS/X but for this example I’ll be using Windows. I’m sure you all know how to download software and run it, so I’m not going to belabor the point. Once the installer completes the Pulse Explorer will open and it will look like this.

Figure 1. Pulse Explorer

Figure 1. Pulse Explorer

Since a lot of us are Java developers I’m going to create my custom profile based on the standard distribution “Eclipse 3.5 IDE for Java”. That’s really easy to do by either dragging the profile from the ‘Popular’ section to the ‘My Profiles’ area in the navigation tree or by right-clicking on the profile and selecting ‘Add to my profiles…’ from the context menu. Since drag-and-drop is a bit tricky to illustrate with a screenshot, I chose the latter technique for Figure 2, below.

Figure 2. Creating a Custom Java Development Profile

Figure 2. Creating a Custom Java Development Profile

Now that I’ve got my Java development environment created I, just need to install support for using Subversion repositories. The easiest way to do that is to search the Pulse catalog to see what plug-ins are available. I did that below by selecting ‘Browse Categories’ in the navigation tree and entering ‘subversion’ in the search box. As you can see in the screenshot both Subclipse and Subversive are available. I decided to use Subversive (since the whole point of this blog is to show it’s easy to install) and added it to my profile.

Figure 3. Search and add Subversive

Figure 3. Search and add Subversive

Once my Java profile is configured with Subversion, I just have to install and run it. Both of those operations are handled by Pulse when I simply click one of the green ‘Run’ buttons, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Run My Custom Profile

Figure 4. Run My Custom Profile

After a bit of automatic validation and and optimized download work my development environment is lauched and Subversion repository support is now enabled, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Eclipse with Subversion Support

Figure 5. Eclipse with Subversion Support

Well, that’s about it. I could certainly add a lot more to my profile if I needed more tools for Java development or even set up any number of additional profiles for other types of work (like for C++). We’ve got some Pulse users that set up lots of profiles that are very targeted and others that configure complex environments that seem to contain everything (like this one). How you like to work is your choice. Pulse will simply make it easier; even if you have to install Subversive.