Building jEdit from scratch

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I’ve been using jEdit for decades as it provides a nice text editor with similar feature set as something I used at Raytheon called SlickEdit:

  • easily records a macro of all actions in the editor
  • easily playback the recorded macro
  • save the macro and map to keyboard shortcut
  • vertical selection

But lately some of my favorite plugins have stop working due to an old plugin that hasn’t been recompiled.  So I’ll try to document the process of checking out the jEdit code to recompile it from scratch and recompile the plugins I depend on.

If I have time, I might make a Docker image to do this so it’s easily repeatable for others too.

Getting the jEdit code

To checkout the jEdit code do:

Building jEdit

Now that we have the latest trunk code do:

Oops, I guess I need a java compiler.  I tried to install openjdk-9-jdk but got an error.  Stackoverflow suggested the command below.

This problem turned out to be a bug in apache ant 1.9.6.

Upgrading Apache Ant on Ubuntu 16.04

I couldn’t find an existing .deb package so I installed the binary from I used the following recipe:

Now jedit builds!


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One Response to Building jEdit from scratch

  1. Björn Kautler says:

    You should have installed openjdk-8-jdk instead of openjdk-9-jdk. Java 9 is not yet released. The package in the repository is just an early-access preview build. I don’t know why Canonical considered it a good idea to put that in the repository without any warning to the state of the software.

    If you would have used openjdk-8-jdk, there would not have been the installation problem that only exists with openjdk-9-jdk, there would not have been a problem with Ant (What you have seen was not an Ant bug, they just worked around this problem in a later version of Ant. Current previw builds or Java 9 [156 as opposed to 114 in the Ubuntu repository] do not have this problem anymore so work fine with Ant 1.9.6).

    Btw. other tools in the jEdit build chain are not compatible with Java 9, or at least not with the current preview builds. If you try to do a full dist build, it will fail with current Java 9 builds.

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