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Subclipse and Unable to load default SVN client

09-05-2008 80,630 views Development 31 Comments

I recently had to reinstall Eclipse (for the 10th time) and I ran into a problem when trying to open a repository with Subclipse. Every time I went to open a repo, I got:

Unable to load default SVN client

This didn't make sense to me. I knew I had SVN installed (I used it at the command line a few minutes before). A quick Google search turned up this this thread where I found the issue was simply that Subclipse was now wanting SVN 1.5, not SVN 1.4 (the default in OSX). For a quick way to grab SVN for 1.5, go here. I'm not sure what I did wrong in my Subclipse install for it to require 1.5, maybe it was the mix of Eclipse 3.4 as well, but either way, this is the solution if you run into the same problem.

p.s. I've twitted, ranted, etc, a lot lately about Eclipse. I don't know why, but for a month or so now Eclipse has been so flakey I've almost been tempted to switch to Dreamweaver. Shoot, I've almost been tempted to run my Windows VM just to get HomeSite+. I'd like to blame my troubles on the new plugins I've added for Groovy/JBoss development, but things were flakey before that as well. My new plan of attack though is to have one Eclipse 3.4 install just for work, and just with the Groovy/Java/Flex plugins, and a 100% separate Eclipse 3.3 install with CFEclipse/Adobe CFML Plugins.


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  • Anthony Hixon, Jr. #
    Commented on 09-05-2008 at 9:50 AM
    I had that same problem not long ago before finding a similar thread as you did. Even after fixing it, I finally gave up on all the little bugs I kept running into with 3.4 (especially trying to get the Flex 3.0.1 plug-in to work) and decided to go back to 3.3 so I could get some work done.

    Hopefully, everything will smooth out in 3.4 in a few months.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 9:55 AM
    FWIW, I'm using Dreamweaver CS4 Beta largely for its native SVN support and its familiarity and I have no complaints.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 9:56 AM
    This may help you out:

    You need to the Java HL Adapter for Subclipse to work in Gandymede.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 10:00 AM
    @greg - I'm pretty sure I did have the JavaHL adapter. For me at least nothing worked until I got SVN 1.5. Since we have 1.5 at work anyway, this is probably better for me all over.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 10:11 AM

    Oooh SVN in Dreamweaver - superb. I've always loved DW - using it since V1.01 but moved to Eclipse for CF work last year.. I still go back to it for working with ASP though and do like it's feel.
    SVN support is a great addition. I don't think I'll switch from Eclipse just yet (I have become dependent on the different workspace feature and the ability to have multiple editor windows open - each one holding it's own set of files).
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 10:41 AM
    Have both Eclipse (in the form of FlexBuilder) and DW installed - and have SVN capability from each - but still have to go back to HomeSite+ to get my code printed out in COLOR!!! Wish SOMEONE at Adobe would hear the cries of this one lone programmer who actually likes to print his code in COLOR (makes tracing easier sometimes)
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 10:45 AM
    Eclipse can be a beast sometimes, but I've had very few actual problems with it. I installed 3.4 with FlexBuilder 3.0.1 and Subclipse and everything worked fine. I do have the 1.5 SVN bits installed locally though, not sure if that made the difference.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 10:59 AM
    What?! Going back to Dreamweaver? But there's no mxunit plugin for that (just kidding).

    I've been using Ganymede for a while now, and it's actually been really stable for me. The big issue for me is that lots of plugins need to be updated in order to work correctly. A lot of them work for the most part, but it can certainly be frustrating when a part of a plugin doesn't function correctly.

    Case in point - the Adobe plugin won't connect to an rds server that I can tell. I wrestled with it for a while, but finally gave up. The debugging, however, does work and is one of the tools I really use a lot. I can't imagine going back to not being able to step through code to find problems.

    I actually found the svn support in dwcs4 to be pretty awkward and wound up back in tortoise more often than I would have liked.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 11:00 AM
    This is a shot in the dark but, FWIW ... I've have had similar problems with plug-ins referencing their previous versions after an update. The solution in my case was to go in to the plugin's main directory under (eclipse root)/plugins/(plugin_name)and change out the plugin.xml line at the head of the document to reflect the new plugin ...

    I did this for the CFEclipse plug-in ... for a reference .... check out


  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 11:22 AM
    yeah I never used to have any issues with Eclipse, then in the past few months on new installs it's been extremely flaky in general.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 11:53 AM
    @Dana: OSX by any chance?

    @Edward Beckit: Interesting - I'll give this a try if my new 3.4 gets flakey again.

    @James Allen: Yep, SVN in DW. And to be honest, as much as I give DW a hard time, the new version has some wicked cool features in it. Wicked cool. One example - you can move all inline JS, even event handlers, into external scripts with one button click. That's just one new feature. I'm considering getting more familiar with DW (once the new one is final) just so I can use tools like that from time to time.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 12:12 PM
    Also, to be fair to the Eclipse developers, the problems people have are almost universally problems with plugins, not with Eclipse itself. If there is a problem with a plugin, the blame for that really lies with the plugin developer not Eclipse.

    Case in point are the CF Eclipse plugins. If RDS doesn't work, that's Adobe's fault, not the Eclipse Foundation's. I mean, builds of 3.4 were available for many months before it was officially released.

    It's up to the plugin developers to test things and update them as necessary, since clearly there is no way the Eclipse folks themselves can possibly test every combination of platform, JRE, and plugin set. Many times the issue is even a conflict between plugins.

    The same thing happens to Microsoft. Sure they've done some stupid things and written crappy code in their time, but a huge number of Windows issues are actually driver bugs, or conflicts between a particular set of drivers running together. But if something crashes, people instantly point the finger at Microsoft even though chances are good that they actually had nothing to do with it.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 12:43 PM
    @BK: I had a inside connection to the guys who worked on the CFML Plugin, but that person moved on. I'll have to bug them again to see if they can ping the new folks.

    Also - while I'm complaining - I find 3.4's way to install stuff a bit confusing. You add the site, and you look for Next, Finish, whatever, but you have to hit Install instead. More than once now I've accidentally forgotten to install something I thought I had installed.
  • Anthony Hixon, Jr. #
    Commented on 09-05-2008 at 1:30 PM
    @Brian K: All of your points are right on and I didn't mean to imply that 3.4 was a bad product on its own in any way. All of my problems were with the plug-ins I was trying to use and I should have been more clear.

    In fact, even though the Flex 3.0.1 plug-in is supposed to be compatible, it never would show up as a selectable perspective and I spent more than half a day scouring the Internet trying this and that with no luck.

    As far as CFEclipse, I think it even states on their download page that they compatibility issues with 3.4.
  • Jeremy Prevost #
    Commented on 09-05-2008 at 3:30 PM
    I switched to the Subversive plugin for SVN after fighting with Subclipse one day. I mostly like it better than Subclipse. It ties in pretty nicely with Mylyn and seems to be destined to be a default feature of Eclipse at some point. It does a weird thing though when you are doing a checkin and want to compare a file from the checkin dialog to the repo in that it drops it behind the window with the list of files. I've had to modify my workflow to do any compares I'm not sure of before I get to the commit dialog...that annoys me.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 4:27 PM
    Here is an FAQ that explains some of the JavaHL stuff:

    You need the Subclipse JavaHL Adapter AND the native code bits.
  • Commented on 09-05-2008 at 5:30 PM
    when i first installed 3.4, i struggled mightily trying to get svnant to work (i rely on it heavily). what finally worked was to scrap the latest subclipse and install the old 1.2.x version, my svn/eclipse troubles went away.
  • Commented on 09-06-2008 at 7:26 AM
    I should note that when I had to reinstall Subversive, I had problems because an older version of some dependent was not updated. Took me quite a while to track down the solution - see my bog.
  • Commented on 09-06-2008 at 4:46 PM
    yeah osx and windows xp. On XP I had to go with Europa last time just to get eclipse to work at all. I've never ran into that before
  • Commented on 09-08-2008 at 3:56 AM
    SVN interface == SVNKit (works for me)
  • Commented on 09-08-2008 at 9:46 AM
    It's flakey on Windows too. I went back to 3.3, much more stable with SVN and CFEclipse.
  • Commented on 09-08-2008 at 5:12 PM
    Installing the (BETA) SVNKit parts of Subclipse solved this problem for me (yes, I just ran into it too as I started my move to Eclipse 3.4!).
  • Jeremy Peterson #
    Commented on 09-09-2008 at 11:19 AM
    What version of CF Eclipse plugin are you all using. I just did a fresh install of Eclipse 3.3 last week and got the latest CF Eclipse plugin (beta) and several of the interface buttons seem to flake out a lot. I also don't have the option in the properties of a project to setup "CFM Rendering". I am brand new to CF Eclipse and these glitches are confusing. Can anyone recommend a particular version of CF Eclipse that is more stable?

  • Alan #
    Commented on 09-27-2008 at 5:50 PM
    Just did the same thing myself, installed june 10th realease - needed SVN 1.5, I have 1.4 - is this not configurable.... switched back to the old one....
  • reset #
    Commented on 10-14-2008 at 4:02 AM

    Existing Subclipse users should read the upgrade instructions for important information on changes you to need to make to your Eclipse preferences to see the new version in the update manager." target="_blank">

    The recommended procedure to upgrade Subclipse to a new 1.x to 1.y release is to follow the first-time install instructions. Enter the update site URL for the new release stream into the Eclipse update manager and this will install the new version on top of your existing installation. This process works more reliably than asking Eclipse to check for updates.
  • a newbie coder #
    Commented on 11-02-2008 at 10:06 AM
    thanks, this worked perfectly :)
  • Commented on 11-06-2008 at 9:28 AM
    You can use SVN within Dreamweaver now with this extension:
  • Commented on 11-06-2008 at 9:29 AM
    Or use DW CS4. :)
  • Commented on 11-06-2008 at 12:48 PM
    Try building an eclipse distro without the WST and Mylyn crap, using Yoxos. You'll find it a lot more stable:
  • Commented on 01-07-2009 at 11:20 AM
    for me works when i install all packages of subeclispe
  • Commented on 03-17-2010 at 12:53 PM
    worked great for me thanks!