global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
This HOWTO describes a way to install the Sun JDK (JRE is also acceptable) and the Open Source TM application OmegaT (from on Debian Sarge (testing release, pre-3.1).

Installing OmegaT (+Java) on Debian GNU/Linux
Installing OmegaT (+Java) on Debian GNU/Linux

This HOWTO describes a way to install the Sun JDK (JRE is also acceptable) and the Open Source TM application OmegaT (from on Debian Sarge (testing release, pre-3.1).

The installation is performed in such a way that it can be cleanly undone.

First, collect the necessary files: Next, install Java on your Debian system:
  • Log in as root.
  • Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list, add "contrib" to your mirror definitions. Something like this:
deb sarge main contrib deb-src sarge main contrib deb sarge/updates main contrib

You will probably have another mirror which is OK. Just make sure the "contrib" is there.

  • Type "apt-get update" on the command line, and press Enter. You may also want to try "apt-get dist-upgrade" to have all packages on your system upgraded to their latest versions.
  • Do "apt-get install java-package" to get the tools needed to install Java.
  • It is assumed that the jdk-1_5_0_02-linux-i586.bin file resides in the home directory of a normal user. Otherwise, move it there.
  • Log in as the normal (unprivileged) user.
  • Do "fakeroot make-jpkg jdk-1_5_0_02-linux-i586.bin". Sun will make you jump through some more hoops. After lots of terrifying warnings and errors the file sun-j2sdk1.5_1.5.0+update02_i386.deb should have been created. If it indeed exists, forget about the warnings and stuff.
  • Log in as root.
  • Do "dpkg -i sun-j2sdk1.5_1.5.0+update02_i386.deb" to install the JDK.
  • Test (as any user) your Java with "java -version" on the command line. It will print out a message like this:
olav@dinges:~$ java -version java version "1.5.0_02" Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.5.0_02-b09) Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.5.0_02-b09, mixed mode, sharing)

Java is OK now. If you have Firefox, Mozilla or Konqueror as your browser, the Java browser plugin will probably work as well. You may have to restart your browser. Should you ever want to remove Java from your system completely, just login as root and issue the command "apt-get remove --purge sun-j2sdk1.5". It will also remove most packages that depend on Java's presence. Keep the .deb file, you can use it to install the JDK (or JRE, if that is what you picked) on other systems (and there will be no more jumping through any hoops).

Next, on to OmegaT

The standard OmegaT program comes packed in a zip file. The simplest way to use it is to just unpack the zip file in a sub directory somewhere in your home and run the program with "java -jar OmegaT.jar". There is a file called "OmegaT" that can be used for the purpose of launching the program, but it needs to be made executable first. You can type "chmod +x OmegaT" to make it an executable file, and then start the program with "./OmegaT".

Multi user

OmegaT is not really a program prepared for multiple users. So you need to give the zip file to every user of your system who wishes to work with OmegaT. They will have to extract it in their home and use it there (as described above). A future version of the program may be capable of isolating user files (like preferences) from program files. It will then be possible to install OmegaT once to make it available to all users in the system.

More information

You may wish to check out the user group at Of course, you will have to register with Yahoo to get in (hoops...). But there seems to be quite some interesting discussion going on there. -
Installing OmegaT (+Java) on Debian GNU/Linux
Author: O. Lavell
English to Dutch translator 
By O. Lavell
Published on 04/26/2005
Sign in to your account...