IntelliJ IDEA 2016.2 Help

Tutorial: Deployment in IntelliJ IDEA

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What this tutorial is about

This tutorial aims to take you step-by-step through configuring an managing deployment of your code to remote hosts, using IntelliJ IDEA.

Before you start

Make sure that:

  • You are working with IntelliJ IDEA version 15.0 or higher. This tutorial is prepared with IntelliJ IDEA 2016.1.
  • You have access right to a remote host you want your code to be deployed on.

Also note that this tutorial is created on Windows 10 and makes use of the default keyboard shortcuts scheme. If you are working on a different platform, or use another keyboard scheme, the keyboard shortcuts will be different.

Configuring a deployment server

On the main toolbar, click settings to open the Settings/Preferences dialog, and choose the page Deployment (actually, you can access the same page by choosing Tools | Deployment | Configuration on the main menu).

Click add, then in the Add Server dialog box, type your server name (MyRemoteServer) and select its type (in our case, this is Local or mounted folder):


OK, the new server is added, but it is still void... It only shows the Web server root URL http://localhost, where you will actually browse your uploaded files.

What is specified in the Connection tab?

Select the directory where the project files will be uploaded. In our case, this is the local folder C:\xampp\htdocs (You can either type this path manually, or press Shift+Enter to open the Select Path dialog.)


What is specified in the Mapping tab?

Next, choose the Mappings tab. By default, the Local path field contains the project root. However, you can select any other directory within your project tree. Let's assume the default value.

In the Deployment path field (which is by default empty), you have to specify the folder on your server, where IntelliJ IDEA will upload data from the folder, specified in the Local path( in this example, it's ij\MetersToInchesConverter ). This path is specified relative to the folder C:\xampp\htdocs!

And, finally, let's accept the default value for Web path on server 'MyRemoteServer':


OK, apply changes, and the server is ready to use.

Browsing remote hosts

You can easily make sure your server is up and running. Just choose the command Tools | Deployment | Browse Remote Hosts on the main menu, and the Remote Hosts tool window appears at the right edge of the IntelliJ IDEA's frame:


Deployment tools

Next, let's perform some actions, and see what happens.


First, let's upload one of the files to the remote server. This how it's done...

In the Project tool window, right-click a file you want to upload. In our case, let it be the file MetersToInchesConverter . On the context menu, choose Upload to MyRemoteServer, and see the upload results!


You can also upload contents of each directory within your project. For example, right-click the parent directory of the MetersToInchesConverter , namely, src , choose Upload to MyRemoteServer on the context menu. Wow! We have the entire directory uploaded to the server:


Comparing remote and local versions

There is a local and a remote copy of the file MetersToInchesConverter , and they are identical. Let's change the local version.

To do that, place the caret at the method declaration, and press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T (or choose Refactor | Refactor This on the main menu). The popup menu shows all refactorings, available in the current context. Let's choose Rename refactoring, and rename a method:


Perform refactoring and see the method name and its usage changed.

OK, now we've changed the local version. Let's make sure IntelliJ IDEA knows about these changes. To do that, again go to the Remote Host Tool Window tool window, and right-click MetersToInchesConverter. On the context menu, choose Compare with Local Version. IntelliJ IDEA opens the differences viewer, where you can accept changes or reject them, using the buttons icon_InsertReplace, icon_InsertReplace2, arrowRightDown, arrowLeftDown, close1:



In the Remote Host Tool Window tool window, right-click the file MetersToInchesConverter, and choose Tools | Deployment | Download from here on the main menu. IntelliJ IDEA immediately shows a warning:


Do not be afraid, and click Continue:


You can also download an entire directory, if it has been previously uploaded to the server. For example, if you click the parent directory src and choose the same command, all nested files will be downloaded from the server.

Synchronizing changes

Make a preliminary step - roll the changes to the MetersToInchesConverter file back (Ctrl+Z). You again see the class MetersToInchesConverter with the renamed method.

Next, click MetersToInchesConverter , and on the main menu choose Deployment | Sync with Deployed to MyRemoteServer:


IntelliJ IDEA shows differences viewer, where you can accept individual changes or reject them, using the buttons icon_InsertReplace, icon_InsertReplace2, arrowRightDown, arrowLeftDown, close1.

Automatic upload to the default server

When a user needs to have the exact same files on the server as in a IntelliJ IDEA project, automatic upload can be of help. Automatic upload means that whenever a change is saved in the IDE, it will be deployed to the default deployment server.

Defining a server as default

A deployment server is considered default, if its settings apply by default during automatic upload of changed files. To define a deployment server as the default one, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the desired server in the Deployment page (in our case, MyRemoteServer). You can open this page it two possible ways: either Settings/Preferences | Build, Execution, Deployment | Deployment, or Tools | Deployment | Configuration on the main menu.
  2. Click icon_use_web_server_configuration_as_default.

Enabling automatic upload

As soon as the default server is set, you can make upload to this server automatic. This can be done in the following two ways:

  • First, open the deployment Options (Settings/Preferences | Deployment | Options or Tools | Deployment | Options on the main menu), and in the field Upload files automatically to the default server choose Always, or On explicit save action. The difference between these two choices is explained in the field description.
  • Second, on the main menu, select the check command Tools | Deployment | Automatic upload. Note that automatic upload in this case is performed in the Always mode.

It is worth mentioning that the option Always is not recommended for deployment to production: incomplete code can be uploaded while developing, potentially breaking the production application.

Uploading external changes

By default, IntelliJ IDEA uploads only the files changed by itself. If the files are changed by some other process, such as a VCS branch change, transpilation of SASS or LESS or a File Watcher, they are not automatically uploaded. To change this behavior and autoupload these changes as well, enable the Upload external changes option:



Congrats! You've passed this very basic tutorial. What you've done?

  • Created and configured a server of your own.
  • Uploaded and downloaded files and folders.
  • Compared local and remote versions.
  • Configured the server as default.
  • Enabled automatic upload of external changes.

See Also

Last modified: 23 November 2016