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.

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.