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Theses instructions should work fine on any Debian based distribution such as Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, Xubuntu, Kbuntu and others.
There is 2 ways to download and install Eclipse IDE in your Linux box, you can do it automatically from the comfort of your software center or the Linux terminal with few commands or manually downloading and installing Eclipse IDE from the Eclipse project website.
NOTE: This method is the most recommended because you will have the benefits of automate all the installation process and get automatic security and bug fixes updates when the software is installed from the repositories.
sudo apt-get install eclipse
cd ~/Downloads/eclipse/ eclipse
NOTE: For manual download and installation you got to have JAVA runtime previously installed or Eclipse IDE will not run, when you install eclipse from terminal all the packages and dependencies are automatically downloaded and installed.
To install java runtime on your Linux box open a terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install sun-java6
Wait until installation process finish and try to execute Eclipse IDE again.
Eclipse IDE is not just a editor it is a platform and can be used to many thing, that is why it implement a very flexible philosophy to denominate and describe the way it display and organize the information, the most relevant parts of eclipse interface are:
Is important to understand how this perspective philosophy works, for example The "PHP perspective" is used to edit PHP code so is coherent to display views related to the PHP code edition, views to manage the project files and views to navigate trough the code, the following is a typical "PHP perspective":
In the other hand the "Debug Perspective" share some views with the "PHP perspective" but have a different arrangement of views and got more different views related to the code debugging operations such as:
You can switch betweend perspectives selecting them at "Tool bar --> window --> Open perspective" or you can click in the perspective buttons located at the far right of the "The tool bar with buttons"
If you don't feel happy with any of this perspective configurations and how their views are arranged, you can create your very own perspectives and add as much views as you want and arrange them the way that makes you feel good, you just got to:
So far you should be able to know how to play with Eclipse IDE and understand it interface philosophy, if you want to see a video demonstration about Eclipse IDE to get a preview and taste some of it powers check this out Webinar: Using Eclipse for Joomla! Development
For your PHP