How to Install Aptana IDE on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope CodeUnit 16 JUL 2009

Aptana LogoAptana is a pretty decent Eclipse-based web development IDE with a horde of plugins and features that really does make it one of those tools to use or at least pretend that you know of.

Naturally, in the Windows world installing the IDE is a breeze, but here in Ubuntu Linux land, things aren’t quite that bright and breezy.

So let’s get to it then shall we?

Step 1, install Java and the other required dependencies in one fell swoop: sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin xulrunner from a terminal window.

Step 2, download and extract the latest linux release from the Aptana website ( Watch it though, it is a big file so this step might actually take quite a while longer than what you thought to actually complete!

Right, once the archive is down, unpack it to your home folder and then bring up your favourite text editor and add the following lines in a new text file:

export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=/usr/lib/xulrunner
/home/craiglotter/aptana/AptanaStudio #the filepath to the AptanaStudio executable

Save this file in the same folder where your AptanaStudio executable file resides as and then right-click on it and head to the Permissions tab where you need to check the box labelled ‘allow executing file as program’.

At this point you’ll be pleased to know that you are actually finished. Simply double-clicking and selecting the run in a terminal option will bring up the Aptana IDE, exactly what you were aiming for in the first place! :)

If however you would like to make life just that little bit easier, why don’t we continue and create a system menu item and desktop shortcut icon while we’re at it?

Right, first off, right click on the menubar and select Edit Menus. Locate the Programming entry and click on it. Now click on the New Item button to the right and enter in the required details on the input form. (You can even grab the correct item from the official icon set available here: …

Close all the windows and you’ll see that you now have a nice and shiny menu entry under the Programming sub-menu item. Nifty.

To create a desktop shortcut, it’s a simple matter of dragging the Aptana launcher that you just created off from the menubar and dropping it on the desktop. Naturally this also applies to any dock applications that you might currently being using as well.

And that’s it. You should now be the proud owner of a shiny new installation of the Aptana IDE. Nice.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.