Saturday, July 17, 2010

Eclipse Helios and Java 1.6u21 deadlocks

I wanted to write a post about the new Eclipse Helios, which was just released to participate in the Helios Blogathon. So, on my personal machine, I installed the newest JDK (1.6u21), the new eclipse, started it up, tried to work with it and after a few seconds.... It just hangs!

But whait - it worked nicely on my work machine, so what's the deal? Did I install the wrong plug-ins? Tried to open up the wrong editor? I had the same problem on my work machine (Windows 7 x64 with the newest Java 64 bit (1.6u21)). On this machine I fixed it using the 32 bit Java version instead (which just happend to be 1.6u20).

After spending several hours with several 32 and 64 bit versions of Eclipse and Java, I found the deadly combination. It is:

  • Windows 7 x64 (may be unrelated to the problem)
  • Java 1.6 u 21
  • Eclipse Helios

The fix? Get an older Java Version - which is not simple - if you try to get an older version of Java, Oracle asks you to register and wants your email address. They don't tell you that there is a public archive of older Java versions. Why should they? You always want the latest version, right? Even if this means your Eclipse Helios session is limited to 5 seconds.

Helios now runs fine on an Jdk 1.5, with a separate JDK 1.6 installed to actually run my apps.

Update: 11 days after my post Slashdot has some more information: Oracles Java Company Change Breaks Eclipse. Also, there is Bug 6969236.


  1. So far my Ubuntu 9.10 still runs java6u20, so thanks for the heads-up (mental note: Should add an exception in /apt/sources.list) Too bad, Oracle wants to brand everything for themselves... :/ Also, I really dislike their fonts and the Java API has become incredibly slow ever since it's delivered from Oracle's servers. But enough ranting.

  2. You don't have to register for downloading older Java versions. Registration is optional.

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