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Headless Eclipse on Linux and OutOfMemory PermGen issues

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bug 201414 has been marked as fixed for 3.3M4, which means that (most) operating systems will be able to run headless even if the corresponding GTK libraries are not installed on the Linux boxes. Look out for that in the near future.

Also note that bug 203325 lists that Eclipse 3.3.1's detection of Java with the --launcher.XXMaxPermSize flag is no longer working with Sun VMs, and as a result frequent OutOfMemory PermGen issues have been rearing their heads recently. The workaround, if you have a Sun JVM (including Mac OS X) is to add -XX:MaxPermSize=256m on to the end of the eclipse.ini file (after the -vmargs) to resolve the issue for the meantime. This is a fairly serious regression, and it may be that 3.3.1a is around the corner.

Having said that, it appeared to be a known problem on Mac OS X before; which might explain why my Eclipse 3.3 instance ran like a dog on my machine. Also, the Mac OS X version has two eclipse.ini files; it's not clear which one's being interrogated. Given that the only Mac OS X JVM that exists is the Sun VM, it's not clear why the -XX flag isn't added by default to the eclipse.ini (for Mac OS X); if you think it should, vote for bug 250622.

The FAQ on PermGen has been updated to reflect this.