Fix “JavaHL (not available)” problem with Subclipse 1.8 in Ubuntu

Since good ol’ SVNkit is no longer an option when choosing the client with which subversion operations are to be done within Eclipse, we’re left with native library dependent JavaHL. Not being the awesome pure-Java library that SVNkit is, all sorts of dependency resolution issues arise, and most probably you’ll get a “JavaHL (not available)” entry when choosing the client in Eclipse under Window/Preferences/Team/SVN.

I had to struggle a little bit on this one. If I were you I’d just download an older version of Subclipse and switch to SVNkit, but if you want to stick with the “official” client, here’s how I fixed the issue.

First of all, exit Eclipse. Then, download the right packages from here (“right” meaning “the ones for you own distribution”. Mine is currently Oneiric, so in the examples I’ll use that). You’ll need libsvn1 and libsvn-java. You can get those also with apt-get, but you’re not getting version 1.7, which is what you need for Subclipse 1.8; if you want to use a previous version and you really like JavaHL, go for it.

Once you’ve downloaded the two packages, you may have to install libserf1 as well (that I installed using apt-get, but you can also find it where the other two packages are). I also chose to install subversion_1.7.2, but I think that the repository version works anyway, so you may not have to.

So, I’m using Ubuntu Oneiric 64 bit, here’s what I did:

sudo apt-get install libserf1
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

You’re not done yet!

Open the eclipse.ini file inside your Eclipse home folder, and add this line at the very bottom (it should be listed among the vmargs, that are one per line)


Then, restart Eclipse and you’re done!

5 thoughts on “Fix “JavaHL (not available)” problem with Subclipse 1.8 in Ubuntu

    • You’re welcome 🙂
      …right now I’m trying subversive, which looks a lot better than it used to some 5 years ago (and supports SVNkit too!)..


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