CLion 2022.1 Help

Node.js

Node.js is a lightweight runtime environment for executing JavaScript outside the browser, for example on the server or in the command line. CLion integrates with Node.js providing assistance in configuring, editing, running, debugging, testing, profiling, and maintaining your applications.

If you need Node.js only as a local runtime for your application or for managing npm packages, running JavaScript linters, build tools, test frameworks, and so on, just install Node.js. If you follow the standard installation procedure, in most cases CLion detects Node.js itself.

And even if you have no Node.js on your computer, you can install it when creating a new Node.js application in the Create New Project dialog, see Creating a new Node.js application below.

If you want to switch among several Node.js installations, they must be configured as local Node.js interpreters. In most cases, CLion detects Node.js installations, configures them as interpreters automatically, and adds them to the list where you can select the relevant one.

To run a Node.js application remotely, configure it as a remote interpreter. See Node.js with Docker, Node.js via SSH, and Node.js with Vagrant for details.

Switching between Node.js versions

With CLion, you can have several installations of Node.js and switch between them while working on the same project.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open the IDE settings and select Languages & Frameworks | Node.js.

  2. On the Node.js page that opens, select the required Node.js installation from the Node Interpreter list.

    If you followed the standard installation procedure, in most cases the required Node.js installation is on the list. If the installation is missing, click the Browse button and configure it as a local interpreter manually.

Using a system Node.js version

With CLion, you can set the default system node alias as your project’s Node.js version. After that this version will be automatically used by all the tools that require Node.js and in all new run/debug configurations. In particular, this means that you will not have to update the settings for each tool if you install a new Node.js version and make it the default node alias in your system.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open the IDE settings and select Languages & Frameworks | Node.js.

  2. From the Node interpreter list, select node.

    Default system node
  3. Specify this new Node.js interpreter where applicable, for example in your run/debug configurations or settings of specific tools.

Configuring a local Node.js interpreter

You may need to configure Node.js installation as an interpreter manually, for example, if Node.js is installed in a non-default location so CLion does not detect it automatically.

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open the IDE settings and select Languages & Frameworks | Node.js.

  2. Click the Browse button next to the Node Interpreter list.

  3. In the Node.js Interpreters dialog with a list of all the currently configured interpreters, click the Add button on the toolbar and select Add Local from the context menu and choose the installation of Node.js, then click OK. You return to the Node.js Interpreters dialog where the Node interpreter read-only field shows the path to the new interpreter.

  4. In the Package manager field, choose the package manager (npm, Yarn, or pnpm) for the current project.

    See Configuring a package manager for a project for details.

When you click OK, you return to the Node.js page where the Node interpreter field shows the new interpreter.

Using Node.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux

CLion lets you run and debug Node.js applications using Node.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux. You can choose Node.js on WSL as the default interpreter for the current project or you can configure and use this Node.js version in a Node.js Run/Debug configuration.

Configure Node.js on WSL as the default project node interpreter

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages & Frameworks | Node.js.

  2. Click the Browse button next to the Node Interpreter field, in the Node.js Interpreters dialog that opens, click the Add button, and then select Add WSL from the list.

    Configure WSL Node.js interpreter: add WSL
  3. In the Add WSL Node Interpreter dialog that opens, select the Linux distribution you’re using and specify the path to Node.js.

    Configuring Node.js on WSL as the default project node interpreter

Creating a Node.js application

If you have no application yet, you can generate a CLion project with Node.js-specific structure from a template or create an empty CLion project and configure Node.js in it as described in Starting with an existing Node.js application below.

Create a new Node.js application

  1. Click Create New Project on the Welcome screen or select File | New Project from the main menu. The New Project dialog opens.

  2. In the left-hand pane, choose Node.js to create a basic Node.js application or Express to create an Express application.

  3. In the right-hand pane, specify the project folder, the Node.js interpreter, and the package manager (npm or Yarn, see npm, pnpm, and Yarn for details).

    If you have only one Node.js on your machine and you followed the standard installation procedure, CLion detects your Node.js automatically. Otherwise, choose the relevant interpreter from the list, see Configuring a local Node.js interpreter above.

    If you have no Node.js installed, select Download Node.js.

    For Express applications, specify the express -generator in the express-generator field.

    It is recommended that you use npx that downloads and runs the generator. To do that, select npx --package express-generator express from the express -generator list.

    Alternatively, open the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12) and type npm install --g express-generator and then select the downloaded generator from the express-generator list.

    Select express generator

    Select the template language and the Style Sheet language to use.

Create an empty CLion project

  1. Click Create New Project on the Welcome screen or select File | New Project from the main menu. The New Project dialog opens.

  2. In the left-hand pane, choose Empty Project. In the right-hand pane, specify the application folder and click Create.

Starting with an existing Node.js application

If you are going to continue developing an existing Node.js application, open it in CLion, configure Node.js in it, and download the required dependencies.

Open the application sources that are already on your machine

  • Click Open on the Welcome screen or select File | Open from the main menu. In the dialog that opens, select the folder where your sources are stored.

Check out the application sources from your version control

  1. Click Get from VCS on the Welcome screen. Alternatively, select File | Project from Version Control or <Your_VCS> | Get from Version Control from the main menu.

    <Your_VCS> stands for the Version Control System with which your currently opened project is associated.

  2. In the dialog that opens, select your version control system from the list and specify the repository to check out the application sources from. See Check out a project (clone) for details.

Configure Node.js in a project

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages & Frameworks | Node.js.

  2. In the Node Interpreter field, specify the default Node.js interpreter for the current project. CLion automatically uses it every time you select the Project alias from Node Interpreter lists, for example, when creating run/debug configurations.

    Select a configured interpreter from the list or click the Browse button and configure a new one in the dialog that opens as described in Configuring a local Node.js interpreter. If you select node, the system Node.js version is used.

Download the project dependencies

  • In the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12) , type:

    npm install

  • Alternatively, select Run 'npm install' from the context menu of the package.json file in your project root.

Project security

When you open a project that was created outside CLion and was imported into it, CLion displays a dialog where you can decide how to handle this project with unfamiliar source code.

Untrusted project warning

Select one of the following options:

  • Preview in Safe Mode: in this case CLion, opens the project in a "preview mode" meaning you can browse the project's sources but you cannot run tasks and script or run/debug your project.

    CLion displays a notification on top of the editor area, and you can click the Trust project… link and load your project at any time.

  • Trust Project: in this case, CLion opens and loads a project. That means project is initialized, project's plugins are resolved, dependencies are added, and all CLion features are available.

  • Don't Open: in this case CLion doesn't open the project.

Learn more from Project security.

Last modified: 01 April 2022