CLion 2018.2 Help


Whatever you do in CLion, you do that in the context of a project. A project is an organizational unit that represents a complete software solution. It serves as a basis for coding assistance, bulk refactoring, coding style consistency, etc.

CLion supports three project formats: CMake, JSON compilation database, and Gradle (see Project Formats for details).

Project files

A project in CLion is represented in the Directory Based Format. The project directory contains the .idea directory (not visible in the Project view of the Project Tool Window), with the following files:

  • *.iml file that describes the project structure.

  • workspace.xml file that contains your workspace preferences.

  • A number of .xml files. Each .xml file is responsible for its own set of settings, that can be recognized by its name: projectCodeStyle.xml, encodings.xml, vcs.xml etc.

    Thus, for example, adding a new run/debug configuration and changing encoding will affect two different .xml files. This helps avoid merge conflicts when the project settings are stored in a version control system and modified by the different team members.

All the settings files in the .idea directory should be put under version control except the workspace.xml, which stores your local preferences. The workspace.xml file should be marked as ignored by VCS.

Project root directory

Any project in CLion should be encapsulated within the project directory, a root directory of which is referred to as a project root directory and contains all the project files and subdirectories, including configuration, data, source, and other files, related to the given project.

For CMake projects, the project root directory also contains CMakeLists.txt file, which is an important element of CMake build system and describes the project configuration, source files and targets.

Last modified: 27 November 2018

See Also