Free IDE

Eclipse IDEDoug wrote in and asked, “What is the Best IDE? I’m looking for a Free IDE that allows me to program in Java, C++, Python and PHP. I’ve tried a bunch of open source IDE’s and was looking for your opinion. Is it worth spending money on a Programming IDE like Coda?”

For anyone that doesn’t know, IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. To put it more simply, an IDE is used to write computer programs. They are used to help developers avoid syntax errors and for debugging purposes.

I have used, and like Coda very much. However, I use a Free IDE called Eclipse for most of my programming. There are many reasons to develop with the Eclipse IDE:

  • It’s a Free IDE
  • It is available for Unix, Mac and Windows
  • You can program in multiple languages with Eclipse
  • It is easy to add additional languages to it, through plugin’s

The Different Eclipse IDE’s

The version of Eclipse you choose to use, will depend on which (language / languages) you will program in.  If you will mainly program in one language, choose one of the following, based on your chosen language:

If the language you wish to program in is not listed, or if you want to program in multiple languages from one IDE, your covered. Download Eclipse Classic instead! Eclipse Classic comes with the Java Environment pre installed, but it’s easy to add additional language support.

Adding Additional Language Support

You can add additional languages to your Free IDE. You will probably need to install both the language itself and the IDE plugin. I provide links to both below. Here is a list of the most popular languages, minus those listed above:

Installing Language Support on Eclipse

This is how you install your language plugins, on Eclipse:

  • Open the Update Manager (Help – Software Updates – Find and Install)
  • Click Search for new feature to install and Click Next
  • Click New Remote Site
  • Fill in the name of your plugin, in the Name field
  • Type the URL of the plugin, in the URL field
  • Select the features you want to add and click Next
  • Accept license terms and click Next
  • Install the chosen plugins
  • Restart Eclipse
  • Open the manage configuration view (Help – Software Updates – Manage configuration)
  • Expand the tree on the left, and you will find the new features you installed

If you install multiple language plugin’s, you can easily switch by clicking on your language of choice in the upper right hand corner of the IDE. You can also add additional languages there in two ways:

  • By clicking on the New Perspective button in the upper right hand corner
  • By clicking Window – Open Perspective – Open

That’s All Folks

I hope you enjoy your new IDE. I didn’t go into how to use Eclipse, because tutorials on its use are available by clicking Help – Welcome – Tutorials. If you have any questions, or comments leave them in the comment section below.

Till Next Time

Think Tank

32 Responses to “Free IDE”

  1. Indra Raja says:

    Thanks for posting the video tutorial on Youtube..Part 1.. I am stuck on installing the plug.. I have already installed Eclipse 3.7
    and i check the Already installed.. and it is not..
    I get an error message it says ” Some sites could not be found. See the error log for more detail.
    No repository found at
    Unable to read repository at is not a valid repository location.
    No repository found at
    No repository found at

    **************** It seems like somebody moved the cheese ? *** it it true ?

    • admin says:

      To install PyDev you need to do the following in Eclipse:

      1. Click Help > Install New Software
      2. Next to Work With click on Add and type in Location
      3. Enter Pydev and Pydev Extensions for the name
      4. Click ok
      5. On the next page select PyDev for Eclipse and Finish a bunch of times

      That should do it

      • Indra Raja says:

        THANKS… that did work.. On my computer the it did update did not popup I config like you told use to do.. And now I am creating my first variable in pythong.. WALA..

        But i do not get the output you are getting..
        This is what I have got in my file name test
        #! /home/puter/Desktop/Build_SearchEngine/
        integerEX = 8
        LongInt = 2000000000000.000
        print type(integerEX)
        print type(LongInt)

        # When I click on Run it runs the test file.
        I get following in my console
        Finding files… done.
        Importing test modules … done.

        Ran 0 tests in 0.000s


        # # on my right side there is outline and it says outline not aviable. >>

        • admin says:

          What is the first line of code? That is supposed to point at your python interpreter. It actually isn’t normally needed, but if you want to use it it can be found by typing dir C:\py* into the dos prompt.

  2. Indra Raja says:

    Thank I change that to the first line #! usr/bin/python2.7 and that seems to work but my other example do not work.. Do I have to have that in each file that I write my code in ..

    Here is what I have..
    PyDev Package Explorer –>
    >Udacity ( Folder)
    -Quiz5.6 (Filename)
    -Test2 (Filename)–The one with IntergerEX = 8 that produces output
    -Time_execution (filename) This one calls for import time and its gives me load of errors

    >folder_iconSubfolder_iconSubfolder_icon< System Libs
    -subfolder_icon< External Libs
    -subfolder_iconSubfolder_icon <Forcebulltins

    • admin says:

      I think you have this all fixed now based on the emails I sent right? I’ll answer any other questions I can both here and by email. Thanks

  3. Don says:

    Hi Derek:

    I’m trying to install pydev into Eclipse per your instructions – both here and the video – and when i choose ‘Preferences” and chose the Python Interpreter, it can’t seem to find the python file on my computer.

    It exists, as I’ve used Python 2.7 many times before on here. I also selected ‘Auto Config” but that resulted in an “Error: python stdlib not found…”

    I really would like to start using Eclipse as I move forward with python, so any additional help on getting it running would be terrific.

    • admin says:


      Have you tried this? PyDev needs the location of the python lib folder to get this directory location on your computer try running this command in the terminal. python -c “from distutils.sysconfig import get_python_lib; print get_python_lib()” And add that directory to your PYTHONPATH location in PyDev in Eclipse.

      I hope that helps

  4. Don says:

    Thanks. I found a solution on StackOverflow that worked, but that was fast!

    Couple of issues: I don’t need the #! hashtag for python to work, which tells me something’s wrong. Also how do i set up the console like you have in the video?


  5. Ki says:

    Hi Derek,

    So I followed your tutorial step by step. When I go to Preferences -> Interpreter Python, the files doesn’t show. I read Don’s post above, and your reply to him as well. But I am stuck at how I can add the directory to your PYTHONPATH location in PyDev in Eclipse. Any suggestions?


    • admin says:

      Are you on a Mac, PC, or linux machine? I’ll do my best to help

      • Ki says:

        I am on a mac!

        • admin says:

          My interpreter is located at /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.1/bin/python3.1 on my Mac. Yours should be very similar. To locate the place to put the interpreter in Eclipse click – Preferences – PyDev – Interpreter and then New… and the name and location.

          You may need to upgrade pyDev? If so click : Help – Install New Software – Click the Add… button and type in:

          Name: Pydev and Pydev Extensions

          Hit OK and then check the PyDev checkboxes and hit Next > Next > Finish

          I just did a clean install of Eclipse and PyDev on my computer and this worked. Tell me what happens


    • Krishna says:

      I got stuck at the same point as you. When I read through, I came to know that the system needs atleast Java 7 and above. Get your Java updated and Pydev should show up in Eclipse.

  6. Ki says:

    It works perfectly!

  7. TP says:


    I also encountered the error of stdlib not found but i am on a windows 7 environment. Could you suggest how i could fix this issue? I installed python in the D:\ directory, and i could see some .py files in D:\python\lib …

  8. Dr Ebby Sargunrar says:

    Hi Derek

    I an trying to find what version of Eclipse I need for develop programs in Python 2.7 with WxPython.I cant get a clear answer from so many web pages. I can you tell how to do this? I am following your YouTube for ExPython. Please help

  9. Dr Ebby Sargunrar says:

    WxPython ot ExPython – Sorry

  10. Domi says:

    Hi Derek,

    I installed PyDev through Eclipse, and restarted. When attempting to configure Eclipse to find my installed Python, (Window -> Preferences) the list that appears does not contain PyDev. If I go back to Help -> Install New Software to check what has been installed, PyDev appears as having been installed. Please help.

  11. Abhishek Kumar Singh says:

    hey Derek, can u please explain me about “github” and how to use it.

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