It is assumed that a recent version of the Eclipse IDE is installed on the desktop, and that the user is familiar with Eclipse as a development environment. The installation instructions were tested with the Helios (2010), 4.4/Luna (2014) and the 4.6/Neon (2016) release of Eclipse but may be slightly different for other versions.

Installation & setup

In order to interact with subversion repositories, some extra plugins have to be installed in Eclipse.

  1. When you start Eclipse, note the code name of the version in the startup screen.
  2. From the 'Help' menu, select 'Install New Software...'.
  3. From the 'Work with' drop down menu, select 'Neon -' (where Neon is the name of the release, see the first step). This will populate the components list.
  4. Expand 'Collaboration' and check the box for 'Subversive SVN Team Provider' and click the 'Next >' button.
  5. Click 'Next >' in the 'Install Details' dialog.
  6. Indicate that you accept the license agreement by selecting the appropriate radio button and click 'Finish'.
  7. When Eclipse prompts you to restart it, do so by clicking 'Restart Now'
  8. An additional component is needed (an SVN Team Provider), however, To trigger the install, open the Eclipse "Preferences" menu (under the "File" menu, or under "Eclipse" on OS X) and go to "Team" and then "SVN"
  9. Select the tab "SVN connector"
  10. Then click on "Get Connectors" to open the 'Subversive Connectors Discovery' dialog.
    You will not see this button if there is already a connector installed. If you need a different one, you can still install one via "Install new software" in the "Help" menu. Search for "SVNKit" for connectors that don't need any additional software on the system (our preference), or "JavaHL" for another family that connects to the original implementation. Proceed in a similar way as below (step 13).
  11. The easiest choice is to use one of the "SVN Kit" connectors as they do not require the installation of other software on your computer, but you have to chose the appropriate version. The subversion project tries to maintain compatibility between server and client from different versions as much as possible, so the version shouldn't matter too much. However, if on your desktop/laptop you'd like to mix between using svn through Eclipse and through another tool, you have to be careful that the SVN connector is compatible with the other SVN tools on your system. SVN Kit 1.8.12 should work with other SVN tools that support version 1.7-1.9 according to the documentation (we cannot test all combinations ourselves).
    1. In case you prefer to use the "Native JavaHL" connector instead, make sure that you have subversion binaries including the Java bindings installed on your system, and pick the matching version of the connector. Also see the JavaHL subclipse Wiki page of the community.
  12. Mark the checkbox next to the appropriate version of 'SVN Kit' and click 'Next >'.
  13. The 'Install' dialog opens, offering to install two components, click 'Next >'.
  14. The 'Install Details' dialog opens, click 'Next >'.
  15. Accept the license agreement terms by checking the appropriate radio button in the 'Review Licenses' dialog and click 'Finish'.
  16. You may receive a warning that unsigned code is about to be installed, click 'OK' to continue the installation.
  17. Eclipse prompts you to restart to finish the installation, do so by clicking 'Restart Now'.

Eclipse is now ready to interact with subversion repositories.

Microsoft Windows PuTTY users only

Eclipse's SSH components can not handle private keys generated with PuTTY, only OpenSSH compliant private keys. However, PuTTY's key generator 'PuTTYgen' (that was used to generate the public/private key pair in the first place) can be used to convert the PuTTY private key to one that can be used by Eclipse. See the section converting PuTTY keys to OpenSSH format in the page on generating keys with PyTTY for details if necessary.

Checking out a project from a VSC cluster repository

To check out a project from a VSC cluster repository, one uses the Eclipse 'Import' feature (don't ask...).


Eclipse Checkout from SVN Repository Location
In the 'User' field, enter your VSC user ID.

  • Switch to the 'SSH' tab of this dialog, and select 'Private key' for authentication. Use the 'Browse' button to find the appropriate private key file to authenticate on the VSC cluster. Note that this should be a private key in OpenSSH format. Also enter the passphrase for your private key. If you wish, you can store your passphrase here at this point, but this may pose a security risk.
    Eclipse Checkout from SVN Repository Location SSH
  • You will be prompted to select a resource to be checked out, click the 'Browse' button and select the project you want to check out. Remember that if you use the recommended repository layout, you will probably want to check out the project's 'trunk'. Click 'Finish'.
    Eclipse Checkout from SVN Repository Location Select Resource
  • The 'Check Out As' dialog offers several options, select the 'Checkout as a project with the name specified' and click 'Finish' and click 'Finish' to proceed with the check out.
    Eclipse Checkout from SVN as...

Note that Eclipse remembers repository URLs, hence checking out another project from the same repository will skip quite a number of the steps outlined above.

Work cycle

The development cycle from the point of view of version control is exactly the same as that for a command line subversion client. Once a project has been checked out or placed under version control, all actions can be performed by right clicking on the project or specific files in the 'Project Explorer' view and choosing the appropriate action from the 'Team' entry in the context menu. The menu items are fairly self-explanatory, but you may want to read the section on TortoiseSVN since Eclipse's version control interface is very akin to the former.

Note that files and directories displayed in the 'Project Explorer' view are now decorated to indicate version control status. A '>' preceeding a file or directory's name indicate that it has been modified since the last update. A new file not yet under version control has a '?' embedded in its icon.

When a project is committed, subversive opens a dialog to enter an appropriate comment, and offers to automatically add new files to the repository. Note that Eclipse also offers to commit its project settings, e.g., the '.project' file. Whether or not you wish to store these settings in the repository depends on your setup, but probably you don't.