IntelliJ IDEA 14.0.0 Web Help

Installing and Removing External Software Using Node Package Manager

A number of tools are started through Node.js, for example, the CoffeeScript, TypeScript, and LESS transpilers, YUI, UglifyJS, and Closure compressors, Karma test runner, Grunt task runner, etc. The Node Package Manager (npm) is the easiest way to install these tools, the more so that you have to install Node.js anyway.

On this page:

Installing Node.js and Node Package Manager (npm)

  1. Download and install Node.js. The framework is required for two reasons:
    • The tool is started through Node.js.
    • NPM, which is a part of the framework, is also the easiest way to download the tool.

  2. If you are going to use the command line mode, make sure the following paths are added to the PATH variable:
    1. The path to the parent folder of the Node.js executable file.
    2. The path to the npm folder.

    This enables you to launch the tool and npm from any folder.

  3. Install and enable the NodeJS repository plugin.

    The plugin is not bundled with IntelliJ IDEA, but it is available from the JetBrains plugin repository. Once enabled, the plugin is available at the IDE level, that is, you can use it in all your IntelliJ IDEA projects. See Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Repository Plugins and Enabling and Disabling Plugins for details.

Installing an external tool

The easiest way to install a tool is to use the Node Package Manager (npm), which is a part of Node.js.

Depending on the desired location of the tool executable file, choose one of the following methods:

  • Install the tool globally at the IntelliJ IDEA level so it can be used in any IntelliJ IDEA project.
  • Install the tool in a specific project and thus restrict its use to this project.
  • Install the tool in a project as a development dependency.

In either installation mode, make sure that the parent folder of the tool is added to the PATH variable. This enables you to launch the tool from any folder.

IntelliJ IDEA provides user interface both for global and project installation as well as supports installation through the command line.

Installing an external tool globally

  • Run the installation from the command line in the global mode:
    1. Launch the embedded Terminal by hovering your mouse pointer over show_tool_window_bars in the lower left corner of IntelliJ IDEA and choosing Terminal from the menu (see Working with Embedded Local Terminal for details).
    2. Switch to the directory where NPM is stored or define a PATH variable for it so it is available from any folder, see Installing NodeJs.
    3. Type the following command at the command line prompt:
      npm install -g <tool name>

      The -g key makes the tool run in the global mode. Because the installation is performed through NPM, the tool is installed in the npm folder. Make sure this parent folder is added to the PATH variable. This enables you to launch the tool from any folder.

      For more details on the NPM operation modes, see npm documentation. For more information about installing the tool, see https://npmjs.org/package/.

  • Run NPM from IntelliJ IDEA using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
    1. Open the project settings and then click Node.js and NPM.
    2. On the Node.js and NPM page that opens, the Packages area shows all the Node.js-dependent packages that are currently installed on your computer, both at the global and at the project level. Click add.
    3. In the Available Packages dialog box that opens, select the package.
    4. Select the Options check box and type -g in the text box next to it.
    5. Optionally specify the product version and click Install Package to start installation.

Installing an external tool in a project

  • Run the installation from the command line:
    1. Launch the embedded Terminal by hovering your mouse pointer over show_tool_window_bars in the lower left corner of IntelliJ IDEA and choosing Terminal from the menu (see Working with Embedded Local Terminal for details).
    2. Switch to the project root folder and type the following command at the command line prompt:
      npm install <tool name>
  • Run NPM from IntelliJ IDEA using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
    1. Open the project settings by choosing File | Settings or pressing Ctrl+Alt+S, see Accessing Settings for details. Then click Node.js and NPM under the Languages & Frameworks node.
    2. On the Node.js and NPM page that opens, the Packages area shows all the Node.js-dependent packages that are currently installed on your computer, both at the global and at the project level. Click add.
    3. In the Available Packages dialog box that opens, select the required package.
    4. Optionally specify the product version and click Install Package to start installation.

Installing an external tool as a development dependency

  • In the command line mode, switch to the project root folder and type the following command at the command line prompt:
    npm install --dev <tool name>
  • Run NPM from IntelliJ IDEA using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
    1. Open the project settings and click NPM and Node.js.
    2. On the NPM and Node.js page that opens, the Packages area shows all the Node.js-dependent packages that are currently installed on your computer, both at the global and at the project level. Click add.
    3. In the Available Packages dialog box that opens, select the package.
    4. Select the Options check box and type --dev in the text box next to it.
    5. Optionally specify the product version and click Install Package to start installation.

See Also

Last modified: 12 November 2014
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