Arduino Programming Environment Vanishes

I am working my way through the tutorials and having an odd problem. Beginning yesterday afternoon, the Arduino programming environment simply disappears for no apparent reason.

I'll be typing in code and suddenly the program just vanishes. It has also happened when I resize or move the Arduino program to a different part of the desktop, or when I click on the save or save as choices in the file menu.

Sometimes it happens as soon as I begin typing in the editing window, other times it happens when I try to save, but when it happens, it closes every sketch I have open on the desktop and all edits are lost.

I have begun clicking "Save" every time I edit a line, but this does not help when the act of clicking save closes the program!

I'm running Arduino on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) and until yesterday there had been no problems since I began my Arduino adventure in mid March.

Did you update not long before this issue started to occur? Might help in finding the root of the problem..

Thank you for replying.

I do run update manager weekly (on Thursdays) however, the Arduino environment was working properly on Friday and yesterday morning. The odd vanishing behavior began last night and continued this morning...

...but oddly, the problem has not recurred since I wrote the initial post in this thread (during which time I have written 3 sketches).

And now, it just happened three times in 10 minutes. Very strange behavior, almost like it is deliberately playing with me. It goes a couple of hours without shutting down, and then, about the time I decide that there is not a problem, it does it again.

Sounds like an old windows installation I used to have.. Not even a fresh install would fix it on that bucket :-/

I'm clueless, sorry.

Thank you for the try anyway.

During the last upload of a sketch, I did notice that there was a lengthy list of Java errors appearing in the error window beneath the editing window.

Program crashed just as I was trying to copy the text to a place where I could print it out and study it. Despite the errors, the sketch did run properly.

Well, it’s still doing it. Sometimes it shuts down in the background while I am doing something in another program, for example, I was clicking back and forth from the Arduino environment to a Firefox window this morning and Arduino blinked out while I was in the middle of reading something on the Arduino website.

I guess no one else is having this problem.

I read this whole thread. I don't see anywhere where you mentions what operating system you are using, or which version of the IDE.

psst, Ubuntu 9.10, in the OP

At least I didn't day that I read all the way to the end of each post...

At least I didn't day that I read all the way to the end of each post...

Yea, but you sure seem to scrutinize some posts pretty closely. Ah the sweet smell of justice served. ;D By the way I think day = say?


I did say I was using Karmic (Ubuntu 9.10) in my first post.

True, I didn't mention that I am using Arduino 0018.

My board is a Duemilanove, but the problem occurs regardless of whether the board is plugged in.

ctdahle: what Java are you using? In general, anything other than the Sun one usually has problems.

Install the sun-java6-jre package and make it your default java runtime

sudo apt-get sun-java6-jre
sudo update-alternatives --config java


Thank you mellis and wayoda

First I checked my java version

ctdahle@ctdahle-laptop:~$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_0"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea6 1.6.1) (6b16-1.6.1-3ubuntu3)
OpenJDK Client VM (build 14.0-b16, mixed mode, sharing)

Which seems to NOT be Sun Java.

I tried to run the Java test at Sun's website, and saw no action, so then I tried to run the code wayoda posted

ctdahle@ctdahle-laptop:~$ sudo apt-get sun-java6-jre
[sudo] password for ctdahle: 
E: Invalid operation sun-java6-jre
ctdahle@ctdahle-laptop:~$ sudo update-alternatives --config java
There is only one alternative in link group java: /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/bin/java
Nothing to configure.

It does make sense that Java is at the root of the problem. I was playing with ALICE for a while (also Java based), but it kept crashing and I wasn't finding it all that interesting, so I never chased down the problem.

Hi, sorry my fault :o That should have been

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

for installing the Sun Java Package.

Try this and the update-alternatives command should offer the Sun-java package.


Thank you Eberhard,

I did figure out that I needed to add "install" to the code, and did so, but then all action stopped in the terminal when the EULA came up. Now I am getting a bunch of messages about missing dependencies...but I need to leave for work soon, so it will have to wait for tomorrow.

I'm getting ready to upgrade to Lucid, so maybe I need to just wait until I have done that first.

Anyway, thank you for your help.


OK, I couldn't just leave it alone. I fixed the broken dependencies and configured to run Sun java. Then I played around in the Arduino environment for a while. It doesn't seem to crash anymore, but I'll need to run it for a much longer time before I am sure.

Now I REALLY need to get ready for work.

I use an external editor (gvim) and it wouldn't have been affected by this problem so if you did that at least you wouldn't lose any work. Besides most any editor on Linux is better than the one in the IDE.


Probably true Jim, and if I was programmer, mathematician or EE grad, I'd jump right on that. But I've got an academic background in literature, history, and law. I've only been using Linux for 6 months. Four months ago I didn't know the difference between an emitter, a base and a collector. Until December, the only programming experience I'd had was writing a crude program in FORTRAN, stored in a shoebox full of Hollerith cards, to solve quadratic equations.

Learning the Arduino dialect of C, wiring up various electronic parts, soldering, and converting all of our home computers to a new operating system are already pushing the capability of my old brain circuitry. I'm also working my way through the "Wizard Book" and Abelson and Sussman's videotaped lectures. It's fun, but I am close to the limits of new information that I can absorb in the time I have available within the confines of my day job. Eventually I'll take your advice to migrate to some other editor, but for now need to let the computer do as much of the grunt work as possible. I realize that IDEs, and GUIs are crutches, but lacking the luxury of extended blocks of time to simply play around at the command line, I need them.

Anyway, the fixes that Eberhard suggested seem to have corrected the crashes for now, but I won't be able to test it thoroughly until Saturday.