Manually install Eclipse on Ubuntu and add Eclipse to Ubuntu Unity launcher

Build Project shortcut not working in Eclipse 4.2

There is a problem with Eclipse 4.2 and 4.2.1 whereby the “build project” keyboard shortcut does not work when editing text. The bug report is here with a candidate patch, which works for me.

Git diff not working in Eclipse

After manually installing Eclipse 4.2.1 on a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04 I found that the Team -> Commit command complained that it couldn’t launch a browser to display the git diff. I’ve documented the (simple) fix on the Ubuntu Wiki.

Setup Eclipse for use with Arduino

Great guide for setting up Eclipse for use with Arduino. Some slight modifications for Ubuntu 12.04 and Eclipse Juno:

  • arduino_base_path is /usr/share/arduino/. So the two directories to add to the ArduinoCore are

  • in the step which starts “In Eclipse right click on the “ArduinoCore” project, select “Properties” and then “C/C++ Build” you need to then click on “Settings” and you’ll find the “Directories” setting within the “Tool Settings” tab
  • Some code includes pre-processor directives like #ifdef ARDUINO to check whether the user is using the Arduino IDE. If you want add this ARDUINO symbol then right click on the Arduino project go to C/C++ build -> Settings and add “ARDUINO=100” to “Symbols” under both AVR Compiler and AVR C++ Compiler.
  • My “Olimex AVR-ISP500-TINY” programmer settings in the “Edit AVRDude Programmer Configuration New Configuration”: Programmer Hardware (-c)=Amtel STK500 Version 2.x firmware; override dafault port (-P) = /dev/ttyACM0
  • If you need the SPI library: Create a new C++ project in a similar way to the ArduinoCore library, with the same include paths. In your actual project, make sure that the ArduinoCore library comes last in C/C++ Build -> Settings -> AVR C++ Linker -> Libraries.
  • On avr-gcc 4.7 (default on Ubuntu 12.10) I had to remove the --cref option. Seems to work fine. With the --cref option in place, the linker exits with an error avr-g++: error: unrecognized command line option ‘–cref’. I’ve struggled to find what the “–cref” option does. The only hint of an explanation is that it tells the linker to “add cross reference to map file”. looking at the Eclipse (4.2.1) console after I build my project, I see this still includes “-Wl,-Map,.map,–cref” which seems to work fine. So I guess it is still using the –cref option, it’s just that the syntax for the –cref option is slightly different.
  • The Arduino IDE 1.0.1 creates significantly smaller binaries compared to the Eclilpse setup. I examined the arguments the Arduino IDE sends to g++ (turn on “show verbose output during compilation”) and found some differences. To create smaller binaries on Eclipse, do this on every AVR project (including ArduinoCore): go to C/C++ Build -> Settings -> AVR Compiler -> Optimization and add -ffunction-sections -fdata-sections to “Other Optimization Flags”. Do the same for the AVR C++ compiler. In all AVR application projects (i.e. not static libraries) go to AVR C++ Linker -> General and add -Wl,--gc-sections to “Other Arguments”. Clean and re-build. My binary went from 26kbytes (81% full) to 14kbytes (43% full). For more info on what these switches are doing, see “function sections” on and Stack Overflow: Query on -ffunction-section & -fdata-sections options of gcc

Eclipse incorrectly claims things cannot be resolved

If Eclipse claims that includes and classes cannot be resolved (but the project compiles fine) then take a look at the StackOverflow question Eclipse CDT: Symbol ‘cout’ could not be resolved and my answer about fixing this for projects with two target architectures each with their own build configuration.

Eclipse code checking does wierd stuff but code compiles fine

I was finding that sometimes Eclipse would claim there were issues with my code (e.g. incorrect arguments being supplied to functions) even though the compiler was entirely happy. This seems to be fixed by deleting the project from Eclipse (but leave it on disk) and then re-importing the project.

User dictionary woes

See the comment on this SO post about using a user dictionary with C++

UPDATE 2nd July 2012

The notes below are now out of date.  I now use Workspace Mechanic to record and synchronise my Eclipse settings.  My Eclipse settings are on github.  Settings which can’t be stored on Workspace Mechanic are in a file called “prefs_which_need_to_be_manually_installed.txt”.

Keyboard shortcut for building

  1. Window > Preferences > General > Keys
  2. Select “Build All”
  3. Change “When” to “C/C++ Editor”

Save automatically before build

General > Workspace > Save automatically before build

Configuring Eclipse to parse Boost.Test output:

Colour preference settings

  • Line / selection background colours: General > Editors > Text Editors > Appearance color options
  • General > Appearance > Colors and Fonts
  • Aptana Studio > Themes (I like Sunburst; and make sure “Apply to all (non-Studio) editors” is checked to apply these colours to PyDev

Aptana Studio

Aptana Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for building web apps. It’s based on Eclipse and is free.  This blog post is simply a list of configuration options that I use to make Aptana Studio 3 comfortable for me:


  • Aptana Studio → Editors → JavaScript → Indentation → Tab policy = Use Spaces, Tab size = 4
  • Aptana Studio → Editors → HTML → Content Assist → Unselect “Automatically insert closing tags”
  • Aptana Studio → Themes → Suburst (change “selection” colour to something a little brighter so you can see the results of a ‘find’ operation)
  • Aptana Studio → Content Assist → Unselect “Insert single proposals automatically” and set “Auto-display content assist” to off
  • General → Editors →  Text Editors → unselect “Highlight current line”; select “Insert spaces for tabs”; tab width = 4
  • General→ Keys → Scheme = Emacs

Keyboard shortcuts (by no means exhaustive!):

  • alt + / = content assist
  • ctrl + shift + f = indent entire file
  • Add comment block = Ctrl+Shift+/
  • Toggle comment = Ctrl+/
  • Undo = Ctrl+X+u
  • Redo = Ctrl+C+r
  • Format (correct indentation) = Ctrl+I (this needs setting manually)

Quietening down content assist

  • uncheck PyDev > Editor > Code Completion (ctx insensitive and common tokens) > “Use common tokens auto code completion”