Install NetBeans on Ubuntu 10.04

Why should one do a description of installing NetBeans on Ubuntu - it's in the repositories and just a few clicks?

The reason is: Installing it through the repositories you will get problems later when trying to upgrade NetBeans with the builtin-update tool. Apart from this I prefer to download the full package from http://netbeans.org/downloads/index.html and deactivating the modules I do not need - at the moment. I always make sure that the sun (or now Oracle) JDK is installed (there were problems in the past with OpenJDK - and although they should be solved I still go with the Sun/Oracle one.

  • You can install the Sun/Oracle JDK through the repositories or do the manual install.
  • To make sure, the correct Java is used, install galternatives (then available through Applications-System Tools-Alternatives Configurator) and then go through each item in the list on the left. There are quite many Java related tools that - after installing the Sun/Oracle JDK now offer that one as second alternative. For all the Java related tools select the new alternative from Sun/Oracle JDK.
  • If you manually installed new JDKs - e.g. after an update has been released, you might have to change the symlink accordingly at /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun using the ln command, eg:
    cd /usr/lib/jvm
    sudo ln -s java-6-sun- java-6-sun

So here are my steps for the NetBeans installation:
  1. I create a folder under opt for NetBeans:
    sudo mkdir /opt/netbeans
    I don't use the profile folder for installation because this reminds me too much of Windows. In the profile folder there should only go data and I backup this folder more often than other ones. It does not make sense backup the programs all the time.
  2. Then I set the permissions for the normal user:
    sudo chgrp theuser /opt/netbeans
    sudo chmod ug+rwx /opt/netbeans
    If you want to have more users work with NetBeans then replace theuser with a group that all the users are member of - however this solution is only if you trust those users regarding updating and activating plugins etc. Otherwise install as a user with sudo permissions and do not set the permissions above to prevent other users from updating.
  3. Then I install all NetBeans components (running the installer as normal user) in that folder (/opt/netbeans). There will be usually a subfolder for netbeans (including version in the folder name) and also for Tomcat and Glassfish.
  4. I also extract the javadoc downloaded from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html into /opt/netbeans as jdk-6-docs or so. In former times I put it under the jdk folder but as I upgrade the JDK itself more often than the documentation this always needed additional work to move the doc to the new folder or change links when they got broken after deleting older javadoc.
  5. To make the javadoc available in NetBeans launch NetBeans and go to Tools-Java Platforms, switch to the javadoc tab and add the javadoc root folder - in my case /opt/netbeans/jdk-6-docs.
  6. When I add external libraries (Tools-Libraries) I also save/extract them previously to another folder - not within my profile (for reasons I mentioned earlier) - of course an option would be /opt/libs or so - I have a completely different separate folder for shared data and libraries that I backup from time to time (less often than profile data).
Related posts: The IDE and the libraries, The programming language.

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