Eclipse Line Numbers Not Scrolling On OSX

Eclipse 3.5 Galileo OSX Cocoa version released June 24th fixes line numbers, breakpoint markers and cold folding regions scrolling problems that appear after upgrading OSX to 10.5.6 or greater.

eclipseIf you’re using the fantastic Eclipse IDE on OSX then you may have come across a small but highly annoying issue whereby the line numbers, breakpoint markers and cold folding sections in the left hand gutter do not scroll when you move through a long page you’re working on.

I discovered this happened only after upgrading to OSX 10.5.6, and there was a number of blog entries across the web that talked about how OSX 10.5.6 had broken the Dvorak keyboard layout but very little about Eclipse line numbers not scrolling. Most of the articles I did manage to find didn’t mention that the problem didn’t exist on 10.5.5 and previous. One that did, suggested waiting until 10.5.7 for a fix.

Unfortunately 10.5.7 does not fix the Eclipse line numbers not scrolling issue.

The good news is that there is a solution. Over at the Aptana support forum I came across an article talking exactly what I was experiencing – and someone commented that Eclipse 3.5 Galileo was to be soon released and that they couldn’t reproduce the problem on that version. After more digging – and this is where the Dvorak keyboard issue came up – I discovered that OSX 10.5.6 made some changes to the Carbon Framework libraries. Eclipse 3.4 was built using the Carbon Libraries.

Eclipse 3.5 comes in 2 flavours now (actually, 3, but only 2 32 bit flavours). There’s the original Carbon Framework version, and the shiny new Cocoa Framework version. The Cocoa Framework is the newer OSX programming framework and the good news is, the line numbers, breakpoint markers and code folding icons all scroll correctly with Eclipse 3.5 Galileo on 10.5.5, 10.5.6 and 10.5.7.

So if you’re on OSX Leopard, 10.5.6 or above and having issues with Eclipse, I highly recommend Galileo Eclipse 3.5 which was released on June 24 (though I’ve been using a release candidate for a month or so now with no issues).

Author: Steve Brown

Steve is a paramedic in Victoria, Australia who is also an ex-IT Consultant and currently uses all manner of MacOS software in his everyday life. So he usually tends to write about his experiences with that. But sometimes he'll write about medical, political or other stuff that might (or might not!) be of interest

8 thoughts on “Eclipse Line Numbers Not Scrolling On OSX”

  1. I’ve experienced a similar issue on OSX Snow Leopard using Eclipse 3.5 Galileo with Carbon bindings. The reason is that Snow Leopard ships with a 64-bit version of Java 1.6 and the Eclipse carbon version only supports 32 bits. The solution is to edit the eclipse.ini file (in and add the following parameter to vmargs: -d32. Hopefully this helps other users.

  2. Thank you Steve and thank you Richard. Switching to the 32-bit JVM on Snow Leopard cleared up the issue. I started using the Carbon build last month after experiencing random freezes and sluggishness with the Cocoa release. Thanks again!

    1. Hi guys,
      Thanks for the comments – after reading Jose’s comment I decided to give the Carbon release of Galileo a go on SL and following Richard’s advise for using the 32bit Eclipse I’ve discovered that the line numbers are indeed scrolling with the latest Galileo using Carbon.

      The part that intrigued me most was Jose’s notice that he’d experienced random freezes and sluggishness with Cocoa, as I’d experienced the same. Indeed, I’d even begun contemplating upgrading the Hard Drive in my MBP. The Carbon release seems to be SIGNIFICANTLY snappier, and uses a LOT less memory. Heap usage is hovering around the 72M mark at the moment, compared to over 200M on Cocoa. I’ll play some more as that may be an aberration simply because I normally use Eclipse all day and it’s only been running for half an hour so far.

      Of course, part of that could well be switching from 64bit to 32bit too since that’ll use smaller memory pointers and such like.

      But it definitely feels a LOT quicker. And Subclipse without a shadow of a doubt runs faster – it used to sit for ages checking the status of my projects and took about 3 seconds on the Carbon build. No idea why that would be the case!

      Thanks for the comments guys.

  3. It’s been years, we’re up to OSX Mountain Lion and Eclipse Kepler. And this problem has not been fixed. I don’t know when or why it happens, but it happens sometimes and a restart is needed.

    Maybe in 2009 it was considered “fantastic”, but these days Eclipse is a complete mess.

    1. To be honest, I’ve since dumped Eclipse and now use NetBeans. The latest NetBeans are much nicer than they used to be and I actually prefer it to Eclipse.

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