IntelliJ IDEA 14.0.0 Web Help

Using Bower Package Manager

IntelliJ IDEA provides interface for installing, uninstalling, and upgrading client-side libraries and frameworks for your project using the Bower Package Manager. Alternatively, you can use the tool in the command line mode from the embedded local terminal.

On this page:

Preparing to install Bower

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

  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 Bower package manager 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 Bower

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

Depending on the desired location of the Bower package manager executable file, choose one of the following methods:

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

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

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

See Installing and Removing External Software Using Node Package Manager for details.

Installing Bower globally

  1. 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 bower

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

  2. Run NPM from IntelliJ IDEA using the Node.js and NPM page of the Settings dialog box.
    1. Open the Settings dialog box by choosing File | Settings or pressing Ctrl+Alt+S and click Node.js and NPM under Languages&Frameworks.
    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 to install.
    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 Bower 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 bower
  • 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.

Creating a Bower configuration file bower.json

  1. In the command line mode, switch to your project directory.
  2. Type the following command at the command line prompt:
    bower init

    If Bower does not start, check the installation: the parent folder or the Bower executable file should be specified in the PATH variable.

  3. Answer the questions to specify the following basic settings:
    • The testing framework to use.
    • The browsers to be captured automatically.
    • The patterns that define the location of test files to be involved in testing or excluded from it. For more details, see
    For more details, see Bower: Configuration.

Configuring Bower in IntelliJ IDEA

  1. Choose File | Settings .
  2. In the Settings dialog box that opens, click JavaScript, then click Bower.
  3. On the Bower page that opens, specify the location of the Node.js and Bower executable files and the bower.json configuration file.

See Also

Last modified: 4 December 2014
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