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Installing and Running Aptana on Ubuntu 8.10 (Ubuntu Intrepid)

Since Linux distributions started shipping with Firefox 3 Aptana has become harder and harder to get running error free. After getting a nice fresh Ubuntu 8.10 install running my first task was to get Aptana running so that in a pinch I could belt out some code and get myself paid.

There are only a couple of steps required to get Aptana running on Ubuntu 8.10. Install Java and install Firefox 2. Don’t panic I have never had trouble doing this despite the warning bells you are probably hearing. Firefox 2 and 3 can happily be installed on the same machine without argument.

Step 1: Install Java on Ubuntu

Simple, hardly requires a step.

  1. Go to Applications -> Add/Remove
  2. Change the Show drop down to read “All Available Applications”
  3. Search for Java
  4. Tick and Install Sun Java 6 Runtime – feel free to use one of the others, your choice but I can’t vouch for them working – Aptana says they prefer Sun and that is good enough for me.

Step 2: Install Firefox 2 on Ubuntu 8.10

The theory here is simple. Change your package sources to Ubuntu 7.10 (Gusty Gibbon) ones, which make Firefox 2 available, install Firefox 2, and then revert your package sources.

Back up our existing source list to make it easy to revert later.

sudo mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.original

Create a new package source list

gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Paste the following list of package sources into this new file and save and close it.

deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu hardy partner
deb http://br.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy main universe restricted multiverse
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-security universe main multiverse restricted
deb http://br.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ hardy-updates universe main multiverse restricted
deb http://packages.medibuntu.org/ hardy free non-free

Update using the new (well technically old) package source and install Firefox Two.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firefox-2

Step 3: Cleaning up the mess and getting the system back to usable

Copy back our original package source list

sudo mv /etc/apt/sources.list.original /etc/apt/sources.list

Update your package sources for next time.

sudo apt-get update

Step 4: Downloading and Running Aptana on Ubuntu 8.10

  1. Download Aptana from http://aptana.com/studio/download
  2. Create a script to launch it with the correct settings
    1. Create a new text file called startAptana in your home directory
    2. Add the following
    3. #!/bin/bash
      export MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=/usr/lib/firefox
    4. Make the file executable by running
    5. sudo chmod a+x startAptana
    6. from the Terminal

All things being equal you should now be able to ./startAptana and away you go.


If you get Java errors and can not find JRE messages change



/usr/local/aptana/AptanaStudio -vm /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun-

(or whatever the path to your Java runtime is) in your startAptana file