Configuring Eclipse to find the JDK

Eclipse sometimes fails to find the JDK as it does not look at the JAVA_HOME environment variable. Most likely you ran into the following error:

A Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or Java Development Kit (JDK) must be available in order to run Eclipse. No Java virtual machine
was found after searching the following locations: /path/to/eclipse/jre

Sadly, eclipse does not look for the JAVA_HOME environment variable. Instead it tries to find a JRE in the eclipse/jre directory and will use it if available. As it is rather unusual to not have the Java Runtime installed globally it is a better option to tell eclipse where to find your installed JRE. You have two options to do that:

  1. Explicitly start eclipse with the -vm argument to start it with a JVM of your choice:
eclipse -vm /opt/java1.7/bin/java  

While this is a viable solution, I prefer the solution shown in 2.

  1. It is possible to tell eclipse where the the runtime is installed through the eclipse.ini configuration file.
--launcher.defaultAction
openFile  
-vm
/opt/java1.7/bin/java
-vmargs 

This is similar to starting eclipse with the -vm argument, but by defining the option in the eclipse.ini it will automatically be loaded when you double-click the eclipse executable.

Important: The -vm option must be specified before -vmargs. Everything after -vmargs will be treated as an argument to the JVM.