James Selvakumar’s Blog

February 4, 2009

Getting NetBeans ready for work on Ubuntu 8.10

Filed under: netbeans,ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:39 pm
Tags: ,

Now that you have upgraded from Windows to Ubuntu (like me ๐Ÿ™‚ ), let’s see how to setup NetBeans quickly on your new Ubuntu machine without wasting much time.

Step 1: Install JDK

Install jdk on your machine using the super easy install option in Ubuntu. Open the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

This will install the latest jdk available in the Ubuntu repository. This is cool because, you need not worry about updating your jdk whenever a new release is available. Your system’s “Update Manager” will take care of the rest.

Once the jdk is downloaded, you will be prompted to agree a license agreement in the terminal. Press “TAB” key to select the “Ok” option and then press “Enter”.

Next you will be shown another prompt, use your “arrow” keys to select “Yes” option and press “Enter” to start the install process.

Step 2: Install NetBeans

Verify whether jdk is installed on your machine by typing “java -version” in the terminal. If everything is ok, go and get yourself a copy of netbeans installer.

Once the netbeans installer is downloaded, right click the downloaded file (which should have “.sh” extension), click “Properties”, go to the “Permissions” tab and check the “Allow executing file as program” checkbox.

Now double click the file and click “Run” to start the installation process.

Step 3: Start NetBeans with Nimbus Look and Feel

Let’s face it. The default look and feel (GTK) of NetBeans on Ubuntu (and that of Ubuntu too) sucks. You probably don’t want your friends to ridicule your IDE and say “Is this NetBeans 1.0?”. You don’t want that, right?

But fortunately, there is a saviour in the form of “Nimbus” which is available from JDK 6 Update 10 onwards. And instructing NetBeans to start with “Nimbus” look and feel is very easy. Just right click your “NetBeans” icon on your desktop and click “Properties”. In the “Command” text field add the word ” –laf Nimbus”.

In my case, it looks like:

/bin/sh “/home/james/netbeans-6.5/bin/netbeans” –laf Nimbus

Now restart NetBeans to see your IDE skinned in Nimbus.

     If you want NetBeans to look like other apps on your system, skin your Ubuntu with Nimbus theme too.

Step 4: Configure your video driver to ensure that NetBeans displays large files properly

In a perfect world, you don’t need this step but unfortunately you might need to configure your video driver properly to ensure that NetBeans displays large files properly. Otherwise, your IDE editor might display large files like this when you scroll your mouse:

Relax, this is not a bug in NetBeans but rather it’s just a little misconfiguration by Ubuntu. Fortunately, there is a solution to this issue and follow this netbeans wiki page to solve this.

Step 5: Choose the right font for your editor

Some of you might not like the default font used by the NetBeans editor on Ubuntu. For example, I like the crispy “Bitstream Vera Sans Mono” font with font size “13”. But if you are satisfied with the default editor font, it’s fine.

Step 6: Install path-tools plugin to integrate NetBeans with your filesystem browser

I strongly recommend you to use the excellent “path-tools” plugin which help you to integrate your NetBeans IDE with the nautilus file manager in Ubuntu. With this plugin, you can easily navigate to your netbeans projects located in your filesystem. Go grab it from the plugin portal.

And don’t forget to install your favourite version control system like subversion, mercurial, git etc to enjoy the benefits offered by your IDE.

That’s it for now. It will be great to see your suggestions, comments and tips you employ on your Ubuntu machine. Enjoy..!


  1. […] the original post: Getting NetBeans ready for work on Ubuntu 8.10 02-4-2009 8:39 Uncategorized No […]

    Pingback by Getting NetBeans ready for work on Ubuntu 8.10 | ReSTYLE — February 4, 2009 @ 5:11 pm | Reply

  2. After having done all this, I’m still having trouble debugging PHP on Netbeans.
    Mostly because my PHP installation didn’t have a /bin/ map for some reason…

    Comment by Vordreller — February 4, 2009 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  3. I work some weeks with NetBeans 6.5 and 8.10 – it runs very well. And now I’ve installed JDK 1.6u12 – with the GTK+ laf the editor works without any problems. No GUI glitches and fast ๐Ÿ™‚
    best regards, josh.

    Comment by Aljoscha Rittner — February 4, 2009 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  4. Actually I like GTK look and feel. On Ubuntu 8.10 there are some glitches with the default human theme, mostly visible on tabs and progress bar, but if you switch to Human-Clearlooks theme everything is pretty, especially with Java 6 update 12 where they fixed the combo box look.

    Comment by Laszlo Kishalmi — February 4, 2009 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  5. Just take care of what you install from universe or multiverse

    sun-java6-* comes from https://jdk-distros.dev.java.net/
    and since this packages come from ubuntu multiverse means that the package is Community supported and no officially supported
    as you can see in :

    the current version is java6 u10 and sun have released the u12

    If you want an officialy supported java you must go with openjdk
    http://www.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-713-1 <– this shows the last security update for openjdl

    Comment by leonel — February 5, 2009 @ 2:54 am | Reply

  6. I agree with Laszlo. Once you tweak the System–>preferences–>appearance settings in Ubuntu 8.10, you get a very good look and feel for NetBeans, Firefox or for any other display.

    Comment by Karthikeyan C — February 5, 2009 @ 5:53 am | Reply

  7. Note that it is ‘–laf Nimbus’ and not ‘-laf Numbus’ for the command line

    Comment by Allan C — February 13, 2009 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  8. Aagh, two dashes (i.e. – followed by -) seem to be merged into one (–) by this blog! Hence my comment above

    Comment by Allan C — February 13, 2009 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  9. this helps me lot
    i am thanked to you providing this

    Comment by vamshi — March 22, 2009 @ 4:17 am | Reply

  10. With regards to Step 4:

    I made this adjustment shortly before upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10, all was well. After the upgrade I had a strange flickering black-green-red line problem which prevented me from doing anything (I was unable to even login “blind” so to speak).

    Using the install CD, I was able to edit xorg.conf and comment these lines out.

    Good news is, this doesn’t seem to be required any more ๐Ÿ™‚

    Comment by Jamie — April 30, 2009 @ 9:05 am | Reply

  11. Hey! there is an easier way to do this!, Just don’t use apt-get because it is not good in handling dependencies, therefore use aptitude install netbeans and it will resolve deps automatically and you just need to wait to downloads and the system does the job! so no worries to install jdk,etc.you can use Synaptics package manager in Ubuntu or kpackage in Kubuntu (also found in most KDE using systems).

    Comment by Darshana — June 27, 2009 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  12. Hi
    I want run this program with Netbeans
    class Pass {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
    System.out.println(“This is what the main methde recive”);



    Thank you

    Comment by marjan — April 19, 2010 @ 7:49 am | Reply

  13. very good documentation. a precise and exact outline to get the Java and NetBeans running.
    Keep up good work

    Comment by zaman — July 1, 2010 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  14. […] secondo, ho fatto una modifica all’icona di lancio, cosi’ da avere un tema migliore. La procedura completa e’ spiegata qui, quella breve consiste nel lanciare NetBeans aggiungendo il parametro –laf Nimbus, […]

    Pingback by Installazione Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick 64 bit e configurazioni varie | Rainbowbreeze — October 27, 2010 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  15. Netbeans is a free and open source application, available for all systems like Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Netbeans 7.0 is the Latest Stable Version. It s very popular among Java EE developers, due to its features and simplicity. It supports: Java, JavaScript, C/C++, PHP, Python, Groovy and others
    Drawback : Slower performance compared to Eclipse.NetBeans IDE Ubuntu : Ubuntu Development Environment

    Comment by abhilash — July 30, 2011 @ 6:05 am | Reply

  16. great points altogether, you simply won a brand
    new reader. What may you suggest about your publish that you just made a few days in the past?
    Any sure?

    Comment by Randi — May 19, 2013 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

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