I am recovering from a hardware failure that resulted in the loss of my encrypted home partition, so I had to install Isabelle. Here are quick notes on what is needed on Ubuntu 12.04.
1. Download Isabelle. The installation is just unpacking to the directory of your choice, I unpacked it to ~/bin. That created a directory ~/bin/Isabelle2012.
2. Edit ~/bin/Isabelle2012/etc/settings file to change the default logic to ISABELLE_LOGIC=ZF.
3. Run “build ZF” in the ~/bin/Isabelle2012 directory. This builds the ZF heap image. Isabelle ships with only HOL image precompiled.
4. Install openjdk-6-jre, texlive-latex-base and texlive-latex-extra packages. It’s the first time I am using openjdk instead of Sun Java, but so far I haven’t noticed any issues. The texlive-latex-extra package is for comment.sty file that is needed for LaTeX processing of proof documents.
5. Start Isabelle jEdit interface with ~/bin/Isabelle2012/bin/isabelle jedit and correct the font size in Utilities/Global Options/jEdit/Text Area/Text font. Isabelle ships with the font size 18.
That’s pretty much all that is needed to have Isabelle ready for IsarMathLib contributions.
Update Aug 10th 2012: Turns out installing Java is not necessary as the bundle already contains a suitable JDK.