The Problem

Many students prefer to work at home than in the UW CSE instructional labs. But the nice thing about a UW CSE machine is that it already has all of the necessary software for CSE331 installed and is properly configured whereas your computer at home probably is not. Although the CSE331 staff will not personally provide support for setting up the CSE331 tools on your own machine, we provide these instructions to help you set up the CSE331 tools on your own machine, if you like.

Note that even if you choose to work at home, you will still need to complete the Initial Setup on attu.

Step 1: Get Sun's Java Development Kit (JDK)

You want to download Sun's J2SE v6.0 JDK from their web site. This is somewhat tricky because there are a lot of things on the download page with nearly the same name. For example, the JRE is the Java Runtime Environment which lets you run Java programs, but does not provide the tools for Java development.

Thus, go to and make sure that you follow the link labeled Download JDK.

Step 2: Setup the JAVA_HOME Environment Variable

Create an environment variable called JAVA_HOME that points to the directory in which you installed the JDK. To get javadoc to work correctly, you also need to add the bin directory of JAVA_HOME to your PATH environment variable.


To set environment variables on Windows, select System from Control Panel, go to the Advanced tab and hit the Environment Variables button. Add a new variable to the System variables called JAVA_HOME. Its value will be the location of the SDK (which is most likely C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_18). Then append %JAVA_HOME%\bin to your PATH environment variable under System variables. This will put the executables associated with the JDK in your path. On Windows, PATH elements are separated by semicolons, so you may have to add a semicolon to the end of your PATH variable before appending %JAVA_HOME%\bin.


To set environment variables in bash, add the following lines to your .bashrc file:

export JAVA_HOME wherever you installed the JDK
export PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin

Step 3: Get Eclipse

In CSE331, we will use version 3.5 of Eclipse.

Where to Put Eclipse on Your Machine

Eclipse does not come with an installer, so this confuses many people. Basically, you download it, unzip it into a directory, and then run the executable in that directory to start Eclipse. There are some small bugs in Ant within Eclipse that manifest themselves if it is installed in a directory with spaces in its name, so instead of installing it into a directory such as:

C:\Documents and Settings\Joe User\Desktop\eclipse


C:\Program Files\eclipse



Setting the JDK in Eclipse on Windows

If you are using a Windows, setup your Eclipse workspace to use the JDK as described in the Tools: Editing, Compiling, Running, and Testing Java Programs handout.

Step 4: Use SVN


Install Subclipse SVN Plugin

In CSE331 we use the Subclipse SVN Plugin for Eclipse to manage the problem sets. Follow the official installation instructions here to install the Subclipse SVN Eclipse plugin.

Checkout a Problem Set

When the first problem set has been released, you can check out the cse331 project from your SVN repository by following the checkout instructions for Windows.

Command Line

The command line should function the same as in the Allen Center software labs, with the exception that when you checkout, you must specify the repository URL as svn+ssh:// For example, to checkout the cse331 directory you should run:

svn checkout svn+ssh:// cse331

Step 5: Turn in a Problem Set

Once you are done with a problem set, you must commit it to SVN, because we collect the problem set by retrieving whatever is in your SVN repository at the deadline. (However, it is recommended to commit frequently, not just when you have completed the problem set.) Also, it is highly recommended to validate the problem set on attu.

  1. In the Package Explorer window, right-click on "cse331" in the directory structure (the one representing the entire project). Choose Team >> Commit...
  2. On attu, first make sure you have followed the checkout instructions to get a cse331 directory. Then, validate your problem set.

Connecting to attu from home


  1. Open a console/terminal
  2. Enter the command:
    where YourUserName is your CSENetID.
  3. If you encounter a server authenticity warning, refer to the Server Authentication Warning Section in the Tools Overview handout.
  4. When prompted for a password, enter the same password you use to login to the Linux machines in the Allen Center software labs.


  1. Download an SSH client. A great (and free) one is PuTTY.
  2. Connect to using your CSENetID account. Use the same password you use to login to the Linux machines in the Allen Center software labs.
  3. If you encounter a server authenticity warning, refer to the Server Authentication Warning Section in the Tools Overview handout.

Disclaimers About Using Your Own Tools

All code that you turn in must run on attu using the staff-supported version of Java. You are permitted to use any version of Java to develop your code (generally speaking, any version of Java 6 will work well), but the CSE331 staff provides technical support only for the staff-suppported version, and resolving any discrepancies between Java versions is your own responsibility.

You may use whatever tools you like to develop your code. The CSE331 staff provides technical support only for using Eclipse at UW CSE. This is not because we think that this setup is the only way (or even the best way) to develop Java code, but because we cannot be expected to be familiar with every operating system or text editor that you might choose to use.

If you choose to use Eclipse on your own machine instead of on a UW CSE workstation, and you have problems, then you are generally on your own (The CSE331 staff will try to help you, but only if you are running either Linux or Windows XP, and we make no guarantees.) That being said, it is generally safe to expect Eclipse to behave the same way on all operating systems on which it is supported (which currently includes: Windows 98 and later, Mac OSX, Linux, Solaris 8, AIX, and HP-UX). We know that the UW CSE workstations are not the most powerful machines in existence, so you may find that Eclipse works much better when you run it from your own computer.

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