Sunday, January 15, 2012

You Love Unity You Love Eclipse, A Love Triangle

You love unity you love eclipse, opps that's a a love triangle isn't it. Expect some conflict...
I have been using eclipse for about ten years, in fact I love the technologies it has most people never heard of or used, like EMF, Teneo, RAP. I developed a number of eclipse plugins, did a whole project using eclipse technologies discarding J2EE altogether. So I love it *almost* as much as I love my wife.

On the other hand I was a keen KDE user for a long time. But change is always good. And recently I had been seeing this person here, that person there using the kid on the block - unity desktop thanks to ubuntu.

Unity attracted me with its simplicity (err, I think I am getting older) and giving a large domain to do actual work. Ask an eclipse user, every pixel counts! I also liked the idea of  "Keep in launcher". However this didn't allow me to start another eclipse from the launcher, rather I had to go all the way to the programs menu and type eclipse and run it - developers are lazy and that's why they became developers, I am one of them.

The solution was to create my own launcher that allows to launch a second, third etc. eclipse. For this create a launcher file in ~/.local/share/applications, i.e. ~/.local/share/applications/eclipse.desktop and add the following:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open

[Desktop Entry]
Name[en_US]=Eclipse Modelling
Name=Eclipse Modelling

[New Shortcut Group]
Name=Launch Another Eclipse

The trick here is having X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts and defining it in  [New Shortcut Group].

The next post will be about how I brought my plasmoids back and ask them to live in "peace with unity".

Live in unity!


  1. You can launch multiple copies of Eclipse using the middle/scroll button on your mouse.

  2. The problem for me is that when I run eclipse from Dashboard or from terminal, it loads another entry in the launcher even though I added eclipse to usr/bin
    Do you know how to allow only one entry to be displayed in the launcher?

    1. Hey Hanynowsky,

      I do not get that behaviour. Are you using the Eclipse that comes with Ubuntu or as manual installation.

      In my case it is manual installation and works like a charm.


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