Best Eclipse version for Java development

There are many editions of Eclipse for Java development. I am trying out MyEclipse and am pretty impressed with the out-of-box experience. Before I get too comfortable with it, I would like to find out if it is the best edition available. Feel free to list free or commercial packages, but for the sake of other readers, please mention if there is a cost.


I am mostly concerned with the code editing experience. Here is a list of some factors that would affect my decision:

  • Extensive support for refactoring
  • Code suggestions (like suggesting refactorings)
  • Easily configurable keyboard shortcuts
  • Easily configurable colours (I use dark colour schemes, and setting this up with MyEclipse was hell; that said, I only really need to do it once)
  • Excellent debugging support
  • Source control plugins (SVN or git if one exists)
  • Don't care about GUI designers

I am aware that there is a thread discussing the best IDE for Java development; however, most of the responses do not detail recommended editions of Eclipse.


all of the above except the color stuff works great with vanilla Eclipse 3.4 + Subclipse. if you find an easy way to customize colors in Eclipse, please let us know.

Until then you're stuck with having to manually change each color.

I'm always just downloading classic edition and just add plugins I need. That way I keep Eclipse as lean as possible.

Actually almost all the things you mentioned are present in the plain old "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers" (85MB) at It has a much smaller footprint than some of the others like MyEclipse. You'll need to install an SVN plugin, though.

Agree with Marko and Epaga

I have Eclipse 3.4 (Ganymede) with following additional plugins (links are the update site URLs):

  • Subclipse for Subversion
  • Spring IDE for Spring. Favourite features: Advanced spring xml completion and bean visualisations.
  • m2eclipse for Maven. Favourite features: transitive dependency tree and graph visualisations.

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