IntelliJ IDEA 14.1.0 Help

Installation and Licensing

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IntelliJ IDEA editions

There are two IntelliJ IDEA editions: Community and Ultimate.

The Community Edition is free and open source but has less features. The Ultimate Edition is commercial but provides an outstanding set of tools and features. (You can evaluate IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate for free for 30 days.)

For more information, see feature-by-feature Editions comparison matrix.

Downloading and installing IntelliJ IDEA

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

Earlier versions are available on the Previous IntelliJ IDEA Releases page.

Depending on your operating system:

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

Refer to the section Starting IntelliJ IDEA on the various platforms for details.

Starting IntelliJ IDEA on the various platforms

Starting IntelliJ IDEA on Windows

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

Otherwise, go to the <IntelliJ IDEA>\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 IntelliJ IDEA usage preferences from a previous version.

Starting IntelliJ IDEA on OS X

  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 IntelliJ IDEA right away. If there is no Java on your computer, IntelliJ IDEA will notify you about that.)

  2. If you are using Java 7 or 8:
    1. Copy the file from /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA<version>.app/Contents/bin to ~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJ IDEA<version>
    2. Open ~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJ IDEA<version>/ for editing.
    3. Change JVMVersion=1.6* to JVMVersion=1.7* if you are using Java 7 or to JVMVersion=1.8* if you are using Java 8.
    4. Save and close the file.
  3. Go to your /Applications folder and run the IntelliJ IDEA application.

See also, Importing IntelliJ IDEA usage preferences from a previous version.

Starting IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA

To launch IntelliJ IDEA on Linux, follow these steps:

  1. Download the ideaIC or ideaIU-*.tar.gz file from the Download page.
  2. Unpack the ideaIC or ideaIU-*.tar.gz file using the following command:
    tar xfz ideaIC or ideaIU-*.tar.gz
  3. Because running IntelliJ IDEA 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/ideaIC or ideaIU-* my/desired/location
    • mv <path to ideaIC or ideaIU-*.tar.gz> <new archive folder>
      For example:
      mv /downloads/ideaIC or ideaIU-*.tar.gz my/desired/location
  4. Switch to the bin directory in the new location:
    cd <new archive folder>/ideaIC or ideaIU-*/bin
    For example,
    cd my/desired/location/ideaIC or ideaIU-*/bin
  5. Run ideaIC or from the bin subdirectory.
  6. Install Oracle (Sun) JDK 1.6 or higher if your distribution does not contain it. Follow the provider's instructions at

Installing Oracle JDK

To install Oracle (Sun) JDK, do one of the following

  • Use the Debian repository. In the Command prompt, type the following sequence of commands:
    1. sudo add-apt-repository "deb lucid partner"
    2. sudo apt-get update
    3. sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin
    4. java -version to check that installation is successful.
  • Download and install JDK from Oracle official site.
    1. Download Oracle (Sun) JDK 1.6 for not RPM-based platforms.
    2. Follow the installation instructions.
    3. Specify the directory where JDK is installed through the JAVA_HOME variable.

Additional launchers

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

See also, Importing IntelliJ IDEA usage preferences from a previous version.

Creating a desktop shortcut

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

  • In the Customize IntelliJ IDEA wizard - when you run IntelliJ IDEA 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.


IntelliJ IDEA 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, IntelliJ IDEA provides additional licensing options.

Find the detailed information about licensing terms and additional options on the Buy&Upgrade page.

Getting Ultimate Edition for free

  • If you contribute to an open-source project, show us your commits and get a personal license for free!
  • If you are a student, ask your instructor or trainer to get a classroom license for free!
  • If you work for a company, convince your manager to buy a commercial license!

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 IntelliJ IDEA 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, IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA users. For example, if there are 60 engineers who use IntelliJ IDEA but only a maximum of 50 of them can use IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA.
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 IntelliJ IDEA.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 IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA usage preferences from a previous version

To make your transition to a newer version unnoticeable, IntelliJ IDEA lets you import your usage preferences from its previous installation.

When you start IntelliJ IDEA for the first time, the Complete Installation dialog opens, and you can import your usage preferences from the previous version of IntelliJ IDEA by selecting one of the following options:

  • I want to import my settings from a previous version (<path>). If this option is present in the dialog, the directory that contains the IntelliJ IDEA settings 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 available but not at its default location. 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 IntelliJ IDEA version. To do that, click browseButtonOneDot and select the folder in the dialog that opens .

See also, Running IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate for the First Time and Exporting and Importing Settings.

For Eclipse and NetBeans users

Your transition to IntelliJ IDEA may be easier, if you look at these pages:

See Also

Last modified: 14 July 2015