CMake 3.20 is supported and bundled in CLion 2021.2. This version includes CMake Presets, major updates to the CMake File API, support for C++23 compiler modes, and many updates for CUDA developers.
Store your project build configuration in new and universal CMake Presets, and CLion will automatically detect and import the necessary CMake Build Presets.
It will notify you and suggest reloading the presets if any changes are introduced to them, either in the editor or externally.
You can manage the imported presets in Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | CMake.
Additional templates for creating new CMake projects are available in the New Project wizard. They cover C and C++ libraries and executables, CUDA libraries and executables, and Qt projects.
You can find and edit the templates in Settings | Editor | File and Code Templates | Other.
In the Before Launch section of the Run/Debug configuration, users can now specify CMake Target tasks, both built-in and user-specified. These tasks will be performed before starting the selected target.
CLion now automatically detects GNU Autotools, Kbuild, and PERL MakeMaker projects. When these projects are loaded as Makefile projects, CLion automatically detects preconfiguration scripts and executes them to get the Makefile and load the project from it.
CLion 2021.2 detects whether the project has any configure.ac or configure scripts required to create its Makefile. On project load, CLion executes these preconfiguration steps automatically by using the command set in Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Makefile settings.
If you open a project in CLion without loading the Makefile project model, you can still load it later. This might happen if your project requires some custom preconfiguration steps and no final Makefile is available until those steps are finished. To load it, call the context menu on the project's top-level Makefile and select Load Makefile Project.
When you use the Microsoft Visual C++ toolchain on Windows, CLion provides its own LLDB-based debugger. Data rendering in this debugger was improved in v2021.2:
Postmortem debugging with core dumps is now supported on Windows. Use the Run | Open Core Dump action to start a core dump debug session.
Instead of the internal console used by CLion, on Windows, it’s now possible to switch to the cmd.exe console to run and debug applications. Use the Run in external console checkbox in Run/Debug configuration to change the behavior.
There are cases with breakpoints when path mappings are too complex to fill them in in the debug configuration, or when the
-fdebug-prefix-map option is set in the debugger. In these situations, it's now possible to use just the file name instead of its absolute path during debugging sessions.
While stepping through assembly code, you can now add/remove breakpoints on instruction lines. For non-default configuration of these address breakpoints, use the right-click context menu menu.
To avoid cluttering the editor with many tabs during stepping, consider enabling the preview tab. In CLion 2021.2 it works during debug sessions and allows you to view files in a single tab one by one, without opening each file in a new tab.
To improve debugging with LLDB, LLDB v12.0 is now bundled. Remote debugging of any arbitrary executable from CLion is now possible with LLDB (in addition to GDB). Use the new Remote Debug configuration to provide arguments to connect to the remote host. On a remote host, you'll need to launch lldb-server/debugserver. Check out our web help for more details.
Diagnose common cases of dangling pointers and escaping from a local scope by using static analysis. This capability is made possible by the Lifetime Safety proposal that CLion has partially implemented. GSL annotations are also supported to let you mark your code and make local analysis more accurate.
Cling is an interactive C++ interpreter built on top of Clang and LLVM. It allows you to run code without building the project, which can be especially useful for prototyping and learning C++.
Install Cling on your system and benefit from its integration with CLion:
Profiling is now possible in remote mode and on WSL. In both cases, the Perf backend is required. Find the instructions in our web help on how to install the Perf tool for your particular kernel release.
You'll also need to configure the path to the Perf tool in CLion Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Dynamic Analysis Tools | Perf.
For Docker containers with mapped volumes, remote development without source synchronization is now available in CLion. This mode removes the code duplication and the initial project upload step. Learn how to configure this mode in Docker and in CLion.
WSL configuration in CLion has become much easier, as you no longer need an SSH server inside a WSL distribution to work with WSL in CLion. CLion now uses a dedicated WSL API.
CLion now supports WSL whether it's installed from the Microsoft Store or a custom distribution.
Text search through file revisions in Local History appeared in CLion 2021.2, helping you locate the point you want to roll back to more easily.
In v2021.2, we expanded the list of possible pre-commit actions with the ability to execute tests. Tick the Run Tests checkbox and select the configuration to run.
We also added the ability to customize the Analyze code and Cleanup options by clicking Choose profile next to them.
CLion shows the difference between the initial and changed files in the editor by default, no matter where you invoke the Show Diff action. If you prefer to track changes in a separate window, simply drag the desired file outside the editor.
CLion 2021.2 offers a way to secure your commits. To enable Git commit signing with GPG, go to Settings | Version Control | Git, click Configure GPG Key, and then select it from the drop-down list.
Do you use the Toolbox App to manage CLion installations and updates? Now you won't miss any critical product updates from it. Your IDE will alert you if there is a new version available for download and give you the option to upgrade right from CLion.
Some other useful improvements and enhancements in CLion 2021.2 include:
Data flow analysis (DFA) tracks the flow of data in your code and detects potential issues based on that analysis. In addition to the local DFA (which works within a single function), CLion 2021.1 includes global DFA (which takes a whole translation unit of a program as a single unit for analysis). Global DFA not only enriches the already existing checks but also adds several new unique inspections.
The list of current DFA-based inspections that benefit from global DFA includes:
A few new inspections have been added that only make sense when analyzing globally – running DFA on a whole translation unit of a program:
CLion 2021.1 also optimizes many steps in DFA. The performance measurements on Postgres, Eigen, and Clangd projects, among others, show that the overall performance is good and that some characteristics have improved (such as the number of files where DFA execution was terminated by CLion because of a timeout).
In addition to line coverage, CLion 2021.1 can now also calculate Branch Coverage. This method takes into account all the branches of each control structure. Run your CMake application or tests with coverage and check out the new column that’s been added to the Coverage tool window.
Branch coverage is enabled by default and can be adjusted in Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Coverage, but it only works with GCC/gcov or version 12.0.0 and higher of LLVM/llvm-cov.
In order to reach feature consistency across all toolchains, project models, and configurations, CLion 2021.1 makes it possible for Google Sanitizers, Valgrind Memcheck, and Code Coverage to work with remote toolchains.
Postfix code completion for C and C++ lets you add code around an expression you’ve just typed. It can wrap an expression with a frequently used language construct, or pass the expression as the first argument of a free function.
Postfix templates can help you with common language constructs. Type an expression then a dot, and then add the postfix template abbreviation and press the expansion key, or select the required template from the completion list that appears. The expanded template will wrap the given expression. Find the full list of templates in Settings | Editor | General | Postfix Completion.
Use postfix code completion to pass the expression you’ve just typed to a free function as the first argument. Type an expression, then a dot, and select a free function from the completion list that appears.
CLion 2021.1 allows you to work with Makefile projects on a remote machine. Change the toolchain in the Makefile settings to a remote one, then reload the project and it will synchronize with the remote machine. Compile, run, and debug your application remotely from your locally running CLion.
The Makefile Language plugin (previously 3rd-party) is now maintained by the CLion team and comes bundled in CLion. The plugin provides make syntax highlighting, quick documentation, Find Usages for targets, and a variety of navigation and code completion actions for Makefile.
CMake Profile settings in CLion are now stored in a cmake.xml file in the .idea directory and can be shared in the VCS along with the project. Simply select the Share option in Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | CMake.
CLion 2021.1 bundles CMake 3.19. In addition to the other changes it introduces, this is the first CMake version to support Apple Silicon (M1 chip).
CMake 3.19 features for CUDA are now supported in CLion, which includes autocompletion for a few new CMake variables.
Clazy, a Qt-oriented static code analyzer, is now integrated into CLion’s Clangd-based engine. CLion currently uses version 1.8. Checks are displayed in the editor and quick-fixes are also available.
Users can configure CLion’s severity level and the level of the Clazy checks in Settings | Editor | Inspections | C/C++ | General | Clazy.
For those used to the key bindings in QtCreator, CLion now bundles the QtCreator keymap. You can switch to it in Settings or via a Quick Switch Scheme action (Ctrl+`).
The Set Execution Point action lets you jump to an arbitrary line of code in the editor during a debug session and set the execution point there, skipping all the other commands in between. It now works in the disassembly view, so you can move the execution point while stepping through the assembly code.
When debugging core dumps in CLion 2021.1, users can now set sysroot in the corresponding run configuration. This will help localize library symbols when debugging core dumps from binaries built on other systems.
Explicitly setting symbol files when debugging a core dump for non-symbolized binary with LLDB now also provides necessary information about the symbols to CLion. With this fix, GDB and LLDB have reached feature parity for core dump debugging in CLion!
A new Tools | Open Remote Host Terminal action opens the project directory on the remote host if it exists. The remote host corresponds to the remote profile that is currently selected, or if a local one is selected, the first remote profile found in the project.
Source files located outside of the project root are now grouped under the External Sources node in the Project tree. This helps prevent the top-level crowding of these files.
CLion can inspect your code before you commit it to help you make sure there are no bugs. Choose a code inspection profile before committing changes to VCS – click the gear icon to display the commit options, select the Analyze code checkbox, click Choose profile, and select the desired profile.
You can create a custom commit message template in Git and CLion will display this text as an initial commit message.
A new Save to Shelf action allows you to copy your changes to the Shelf while keeping them in the local changes. You can access this action by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A and typing ‘Save to Shelf’.
Learn more about other VCS improvements across all IntelliJ-based products.
IntelliJ Rust now provides a structured view for the compiler’s build output. The tab opens automatically in the Build tool window when you call a Cargo command that includes a build step. This new feature works with Cargo versions 1.48.0 or later.
Another significant update is the new Change Signature refactoring. It helps you modify a function/method signature, affecting all references. You can quickly change a function’s name or return type, reorder or add/remove parameters, and add an async or unsafe prefix.
The Rename refactoring now gives renaming suggestions for elements like structs, functions, and local variables when you change a name in the editor.
Conditional compilation support has been improved. Find Usages is now available for
Cargo features, and completion works for the
feature argument in the
cfg_attr attributes. Also, if there are nested attributes
cfg_attr, the plugin takes that into account during name resolution and
Code With Me, a new JetBrains service for collaborative development and pair programming, is now bundled with CLion.
Set the required level of access to your project and share the link with your guests. Your peers do not even need to have an IDE of their own installed to collaborate with you. Embedded audio and video calls, along with chat messaging, will help teams discuss the code, share their knowledge, and cooperate more efficiently.
To learn more about the availability of Code With Me with your current JetBrains license, check out the pricing page.
CLion 2020.3 can run and debug your application with root privileges – you just need to select this option in the corresponding Run/Debug configuration. This works for CMake, Makefile, Gradle Native, Custom Build, and CTest applications.
A new Run | Open Core Dump… action available for Linux and macOS allows you to open an existing core dump of a crashed process in CLion and debug it there. Users can inspect the frames and variables view, check the memory and disassembly view, evaluate expressions, and run debugger commands from the debugger console. Read more about this feature’s configuration process and known limitations.
With a new Set Execution Point to Cursor action, you can move back and forth
though your program’s execution while debugging, break loops or restart them,
select another branch in an
if-else clause or
statement, and even skip loops completely. It is as simple as dragging-and-dropping
an arrow in the gutter to the line you are interested in.
Now when the application is running in debug mode, the editor displays clickable inline hints that you can expand to see all the fields belonging to a given variable. Moreover, you can change the variable values inside the drop-down list or add an arbitrary expression as an Inline Watch to this place in the code.
In CLion, you can now use a script to specify the environment in which a Run/Debug configuration will be launched. You'll find the new setting for this in all Application and Unit Testing configurations.
No more waiting! Run/Debug configurations can be edited while the project is being indexed.
CTest, a CMake-specific test runner, is now supported in CLion. This means the list of tests that are run with CTest is detected, and the IDE automatically creates run/debug configurations for them. When tests are launched, the results are presented in the built-in test runner, from which you can debug tests, rerun only failed tests, and much more.
Version 2020.3 enhances CLion’s support for Google Test, the most popular C++ unit testing framework in the world (Developer Ecosystem Research in 2020 shows that 31% of C++ developers use Google Test).
DISABLEDprefix in their names) are now also shown in the test tree with the corresponding icon.
CLion 2020.3 brings partial support for MISRA C 2012 and MISRA C++ 2008, guidelines used widely in embedded development and especially in the automotive industry. This support speeds up the development of such projects by revealing incompatibilities earlier in the development cycle. The list of currently supported checks is available on CLion’s Confluence page.
CLion 2020.3 improves the Unused Value inspection, which catches situations where a variable value is never used after it has been assigned. It can now also be tuned to follow the style that recommends using default variable initializers. A new option to turn the inspection off in such cases has been added to the settings.
A new Extract Lambda Parameter refactoring has been added to CLion. It extracts an expression or statement into a new parameter with a lambda expression passed as a corresponding argument. The statement could, for example, be a comparator passed to a sorting function.
Clang completion snippets help you insert common constructs when C++ keywords are typed.
In some cases, when completing a
typedef keyword, for example, code completion
can suggest not only the keyword itself but also stubs for the type and the new name.
CLion 2020.3 improves code completion, as it now works much more accurately with template types. For example, completion options are displayed for container elements and iterators in the function template.
The New Project dialog suggests the Qt Console Executable and Qt Widgets Executable project types. You can also select the Qt CMake prefix path, the C++ language standard to be used in the project, and the Qt version. The new project is generated using the corresponding templates.
A new QT UI Class item in the New menu (Alt+Insert) helps you
simultaneously create a Qt class along with a .ui file. Fill in the class name
and select the parent class (
QDialog). .h/.cpp/.ui files will be generated using the Filename base
as their file names. The generated files follow the templates listed
in Settings/Preferences | Editor | File and Code Templates – Qt Class,
Qt Class Header, and Qt Designer Form.
Signals and slots are central features of Qt, as they are the entities used for communication between objects. CLion now understands when signals or slots have to be completed, and it filters only the corresponding members in the completion dropdown.
Auto-import suggestions in Qt projects in CLion 2020.3 are tuned to follow the most commonly used style for Qt.
Makefile projects using various wrappers like ccache, libtool, dolt, slibtool, and jlibtool can now be successfully loaded in CLion. Read more about some of the limitations that remain.
Setting up a Makefile project in CLion is now even easier – the Run/Debug configurations are created automatically for the targets in the top-level Makefile when loading the project. Now to run and debug, you just need to point the configuration to the built executable.
The Recompile action (Ctrl+Shift+F9) helps speed up the development process by compiling a single file without building the whole project. It now works for Makefile projects, too!
With CLion 2020.3, it’s now possible to keep several CMake profiles configured in CLion while disabling the ones that are not currently in use. This improves the project loading times and saves from the redundant failures from temporarily unavailable profiles (like for the remote configurations which are currently shut down). The option is available from the CMake tool window and the CMake Profiles settings dialog.
The Search Everywhere dialog now includes a Git tab. It helps with finding commit hashes and messages, tags, and branches. You can also perform simple mathematical calculations in the search field.
The VCS menu is now named according to the version control system in use. We’ve made the menu more concise, removing all but the most useful actions for versioning your project.
Additionally, now the two most popular buttons – Commit and Commit and Push… – are explicitly shown on the Commit screen.
You can now stage changes directly from CLion. To enable this feature, go to Preferences/Settings | Version Control | Git and tick the Enable staging area checkbox. Click the + icon to add your files to the new Staged node in the Commit view. You can also stage changes right from the gutter or in the Diff view. To learn more, read our blog post.
Directories marked as Excluded locally are now automatically marked as Excluded paths for remote toolchains when they are initially being configured. And when changes are made to an already synchronized project, CLion shows an update notification and suggests updating the list of Excluded paths.
CLion 2020.3 supports Code With Me (EAP), a new service from JetBrains for collaborative development and pair programming. Code With Me enables you to share the project you currently have open in your IDE with others, and work on it together in real time. You can download it today from the plugin marketplace (Preferences / Settings | Plugins | Marketplace). Check out these posts to learn more about Code With Me.
CLion 2020.3 gets a revamped Welcome screen. The new layout puts the most common operations at your fingertips and gives you immediate access to recent projects, customization options, and plugin settings.
It’s now possible to split an editor by dragging and dropping a tab to the side of the main editor window. The Open in Right Split action splits the editor vertically upon opening a file.
You can invoke the action from the Project view or from other navigation popups, such as Recent Files and Search Everywhere (Shift+Enter).
CLion can now synchronize with your OS theme. To enable this feature, go to Settings / Preferences | Appearance & Behavior | Appearance and tick the Sync with OS checkbox. Click the gear icon next to Sync with OS to select your preferred theme.
IntelliJ Rust now fully supports Cargo features and allows you to configure them with a smart new UI. Features of a workspace can be toggled on and off with a single click, and the plugin’s code assistance will take these settings into account. Check out the details in this blog post.
Also, the plugin now allows using Rustfmt as the default code formatter. Just set the corresponding checkbox in Settings / Preferences | Languages & Frameworks | Rust | Rustfmt, and the whole file reformatting will employ Rustfmt. For now, if you call Reformat Code on a selection, the IDE’s formatter will be used instead.
The plugin’s project wizard has been enhanced with more templates and the option to use custom cargo-generate templates.
Other updates include the introduction of WebAssembly project support and a new experimental engine for name resolution.