IntelliJ IDEA 2016.3 Help

Installing and Launching

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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

Since 2016.1 IntelliJ IDEA uses Java 1.8.

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 2016.3\bin) and run idea.exe, idea64.exe, or idea.bat.

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

Starting IntelliJ IDEA on OS X

See Importing IntelliJ IDEA usage preferences from a previous version.

Also, if you wish to change JDK IntelliJ IDEA is running on, use the action Switch boot JDK. To invoke this action, use Searching Everywhere or Find Action.

Starting IntelliJ IDEA on Linux

  1. Download the <ideaIC or ideaIU>-*.tar.gz file from the Download page.
  2. Unpack the <ideaIC or ideaIU>-*.tar.gz file to a different folder, if your current "Download" folder doesn't support file execution:
    tar xfz <ideaIC or ideaIU>-*.tar.gz <new_archive_folder>

    The recommended install location according to the filesystem hierarchy standard (FHS) is /opt. For example, it's possible to enter the following command:

    sudo tar xf <ideaIC or ideaIU>-*.tar.gz -C /opt/
  3. Switch to the bin directory:
    cd <new archive folder>/<ideaIC or ideaIU>-*/bin
    For example,
    cd opt/<ideaIC or ideaIU>-*/bin
  4. Run from the bin subdirectory.

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.

Importing IntelliJ IDEA usage preferences from a previous version

When you start IntelliJ IDEA for the first time, the Complete Installation dialog opens, and you have an option of importing IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA 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, IntelliJ IDEA 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 IntelliJ IDEA version. To do that, click /help/img/idea/2016.3/browseButtonOneDot.png and select the folder in the dialog that opens .
  • I do not have a previous version of IntelliJ IDEA or I do not want to import my settings. If this is your case, select this option.

For Eclipse and NetBeans users

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

See Also

Last modified: 22 December 2016