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Our group is currently has a solaris server with eclipse installed on it. However, we need to run this from out desks using an xterm window. There is a delay with every action due to the weight of eclipse. Are there any other decent unix IDE's out there that are more forgiving on Xterm? The IDE is mostly used with our php projects (Though we do perl,ksh,python as well).

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So you run Eclipse on a central server using a X11 server on your local computer?

This can run well, if there is sufficient power and bandwith.

Could you elaborate on how you get the xterm connection to your server? Please list all steps.

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I use PuTTY to establish my connection via SSH and I have a session of Hummingbird Exceed 8.0 running in the background to act as my X. I could simply use Exceed except that I have one of my three monitors in portrait mode which does not play well with the way exceed defines a desktop workspace. – Kavet Kerek Oct 29 '10 at 19:51
Do Putty tunnel the X-session or do you use xhost to open up for direct access? – user1249 Oct 29 '10 at 20:07
Putty forwards the x-11 session – Kavet Kerek Nov 1 '10 at 16:30
This will be slower than direct access to your X session. If you cannot avoid going through the tunnel, then at least compress the content AND go to the lowest possible encryption level on the server. I have noticed quite a difference using blowfish. – user1249 Nov 1 '10 at 16:40
Thanks, I think this ultimately answers my question for what I'll need to do. – Kavet Kerek Nov 3 '10 at 12:50


Never had any issues with it in xterm.

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yeah VIM is nice, I would not count it as an IDE without any plugins though. – Kavet Kerek Oct 29 '10 at 19:46
Just add the plugins then. – Edson Medina Feb 20 '13 at 11:37

First suggestion would be not to use a graphical IDE. At all. Emacs or Vim, pick your favorite.

Second suggestion would be to switch from X as the network transport to VNC. VNC is far less network intensive and your windows don't close when you are disconnected. Assign one VNC port to each user, and you're done.

Third solution is to export via NFS or SAMBA your project directories and mount them on your workstations. You can then install eclipse on our desktop and use it from there.

Best solution is to get rid of the central server alltogether and let everyone work disconnected. Going from a fresh out of the box Mac to having all my code checked out and running takes me less than an hour, and most of this time is used to download and install XCode... From then on I have a laptop with all my code I can work on from everywhere in the world.

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+1 Nice summary of options. I prefer sharing the filesystem via sshfs (a la #3) if I can't just work locally. To let everybody work locally, try a DVCS. – grossvogel Oct 29 '10 at 17:50
Seriously, it's a wonder people are still Java-y enough to even consider using a graphical IDE nowadays. SSH, tmux, git, vim. It's not that hard, guys. – ELLIOTTCABLE Nov 5 '11 at 6:01

You can just use emacs or vim. If you are willing to climb the steep learning curve, then you will be able to do pretty much everything that you can do with eclipse.

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I've used a similar setup using JEdit over an Xterm window, but I wouldn't recommend it for general IDE usage.

That said, I would guess that whatever you're trying to do can be done better in a more traditional fashion. I struggle to imagine a usage case where everyone needs to use a remote version of Eclipse that doesn't start with "Well, the person making decisions is an idiot...".

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haha, yes you make a good point. It was originally placed on our server because it provided a simple to use debugger. – Kavet Kerek Oct 29 '10 at 19:47

You are aware that with NetBeans IDE you can do remote development and debugging on Solaris ? What this means is that you use e.g. Windows as your frontend and the IDE then performs building, execution and debugging tasks 'remotely'. The feature is not limited to Solaris but works with Linux as well.

This way you get a very responsive development environment. No need for X Server, etc.

Admittedly the feature exists because of C/C++ development but I would assume it will work for your use case as well as behind the scenes it is really just a lot of ssh stuff.


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