CLion Help

Installation and Licensing

On this page:

Downloading and installing CLion

You can download the latest version of CLion from the JetBrains website. (There are the versions for Windows, OS X and Linux.)

Depending on your operating system:

  • Windows: Run the .exe file and follow the instructions of CLion Setup wizard.
  • OS X: Open the .dmg package, and drag CLion to the Applications folder.
  • Linux: Unpack the .tar.gz archive into any directory within your home directory.

Refer to the section Starting CLion on the various platforms for details.

Starting CLion on the various platforms

Starting CLion on Windows

If during the installation you selected to create a shortcut on your desktop, double-click that shortcut.

Otherwise, go to the <CLion>\bin folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\JetBrains\IntelliJ IDEA 14.0.2\bin) and run idea.exe or idea.bat.

See also, Importing CLion usage preferences from a previous version.

Starting CLion on OS X

If you are using the versions of Java over 6, then note that Java version specified in the file idea.propereties takes precedence over that specified in info.plist. If you want to change the Java version without modifying the file info.plist, you can just change the value of JVMVersion property as required, for example, JVMVersion = 1.6+.

Thus the entire procedure is:

  1. Make sure that you have an appropriate version of Java (JRE or JDK) installed. This may be Java 6 from Apple, or Java 7 or a later version from Oracle.

    (You can try to start CLion right away. If there is no Java on your computer, CLion will notify you about that.)

  2. If necessary, do the following:
    1. Copy the file from /Applications/CLion<version>.app/Contents/bin to ~/Library/Preferences/CLion<version>
    2. Open ~/Library/Preferences/CLion<version>/ for editing.
    3. Change JVMVersion=1.6* to JVMVersion=1.6+.
    4. Save and close the file.
  3. Go to your /Applications folder and run the CLion application.

See also, Importing CLion usage preferences from a previous version.

Starting CLion on Linux

Before you start

Make sure that you have an Oracle JRE or JDK version 6 or later installed on your computer. Refer to the section Installing Oracle JDK.

Launching CLion

To launch CLion on Linux, follow these steps:

  1. Download the clion-*.tar.gz file from the Download page.
  2. Unpack the clion-*.tar.gz file using the following command:
    tar xfz clion-*.tar.gz
  3. Because running CLion from wherever you downloaded the file to may be inconvenient, it is recommended that you move the extracted or unpacked archive folder to the desired location using the mv command in one of the following formats:
    • mv <path to extracted archive folder> <new archive folder>
      For example:
      mv /downloads/clion-* my/desired/location
    • mv <path to clion-*.tar.gz> <new archive folder>
      For example:
      mv /downloads/clion-*.tar.gz my/desired/location
  4. Switch to the bin directory in the new location:
    cd <new archive folder>/clion-*/bin
    For example,
    cd my/desired/location/clion-*/bin
  5. Run from the bin subdirectory.

Installing JDK

Do one of the following:

Additional launchers

Additionally, you can create a desktop shortcut and a command-line launcher, and use them to start CLion:

See also, Importing CLion usage preferences from a previous version.

Creating a desktop shortcut

To create a desktop shortcut for CLion, use the Create Desktop Entry command. This command is available:

  • In the Customize CLion wizard - when you run CLion for the first time.
  • On the Welcome screen: Configure | Create Desktop Entry.
  • In the main menu: Tools | Create Desktop Entry.

You can choose to create the shortcut:

  • For all of your computer users: In this case, the jetbrains-idea.desktop entry file is created in /usr/share/applications.
  • Only for yourself: The jetbrains-idea.desktop entry file is created in ~/.gnome/apps and ~/.local/share/applications.


CLion provides several types of licenses, to flexibly meet the demands of the customers. In particular, there are such licences as:

  • Personal (for individual developers)
  • Commercial (for companies and organizations)
  • Students (for students and teachers)
  • Classroom (for education and training)
  • Open-source (for open-source projects)

Besides that, CLion provides additional licensing options.

Find the detailed information about licensing terms and additional options on the Licensing&Renew page.

Registering your license key

To register your license key

  1. On the main menu, choose Help | Register. Note that Help | Register menu action is not available for EAP builds.
  2. In the CLion License Activation dialog box, select the desired option:
    • Enter license key: specify the user name and license key.
    • Enter license server address: specify the license server. If you don't know the address, click Discover.
    • JetBrains Account: specify the user name or e-mail address and enter the password.
    • Evaluate for free for 30 days: select this option to get free evaluation license.
  3. Click OK.

License tickets from the License Server

If you are using a license distributed with the JetBrains License Server, you can get two types of license tickets. By default, the server issues a floating license ticket for you, which lasts as long as you are connected to the server. If you need to work offline, you can get a permanent license ticket.

The table below describes the differences between the two types of the license tickets.

Floating license ticket(default)At startup, CLion finds the License server in the local network and requests a ticket, which is returned to the server and becomes available to other users when CLion is closed. Both obtaining and returning of the ticket are done automatically.Number of licenses on the license server can be less than the number of CLion users. For example, if there are 60 engineers who use CLion but only a maximum of 50 of them can use CLion concurrently, then 50 licenses on the license server would be enough.Connection to the License Server via a local network or VPN is required to start CLion.
Permanent license ticketOnce obtained, a permanent ticket stays on a client machine. It is not available to other users until it is returned from the client. Both obtaining and returning of the ticket are done manually on the client or by a license server administrator.The client do not need network connection to start CLion.The license obtained with a permanent ticket remains unavailable for other users even if the client do not use it.

Getting a permanent license ticket

To get a permanent license ticket

You need a permanent license ticket to be able to work with CLion offline (or outside the local network) with a license from the License Server. After specifying the license server address, the Obtain Permanent License command appears on the Help menu.

  1. On the main menu, choose Help | Obtain Permanent License.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, type your email address, to which your activation key will be sent.
  3. Click OK.
    As soon as the permanent license ticket is successfully obtained, you can return it back to the server with the Return Permanent License command that appears in the Help menu.


A license key can be rejected by the software in certain cases. The table below outlines the reasons of license rejections, and the possible ways to solve the problem.

Wrong user nameMake sure that you are using the User Name which is specified in your license certificate email. If a license is registered in your company name, it will not work with your personal name.
Misspelled User Name/License KeyTo avoid misspellings, we recommend that you copy your User Name and license key from the license certificate e-mail rather than enter them manually in the software. You can do so by using the Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V shortcuts.
A license key does not qualify for upgrade to a higher versionIf your license key does not work with the newly installed version of the software, please make sure that your current license key allows you to upgrade for free to the latest version. If it does not, please contact sales ( in order to upgrade your license.
Concurrent use of a license keyMake sure that your license key is not being used by another developer in your company at the same time. Concurrent use of a single license on multiple instances of the software is restricted by our software license agreements (unless you have obtained a floating license) and is prevented by software functionality.

Importing CLion usage preferences from a previous version

When you start CLion for the first time, the Complete Installation dialog opens, and you have an option of importing CLion usage preferences and license information from a previous version.


Select one of the following options and click OK.

  • I want to import my settings from a previous version (<path>). If this option is present in the dialog, the directory that contains the CLion settings and license information is found at its default location. (The corresponding path is shown within the option name in parentheses.) Most likely, this is the option that you want.
  • I want to import my settings from a custom location. You may have the directory with the settings and license information available but not at its default location. If the option discussed above is missing, CLion doesn't know where this directory is; the path initially shown in the field is just a guess, and there's no guarantee that the necessary folder is really there. To import the settings in this case, you can specify the folder with the settings (if you know where it is) , or an installation folder of the previous CLion version. To do that, click browseButtonOneDot and select the folder in the dialog that opens .
  • I do not have a previous version of CLion or I do not want to import my settings. If this is your case, select this option.

See also, Exporting and Importing Settings.

See Also


Last modified: 22 October 2015