With IntelliJ IDEA, you can run Grunt tasks from tasks trees in the dedicated Grunt tool window, or using a Grunt run configuration, or as a before-launch task. IntelliJ IDEA shows the result of executing a task in the Run tool window. The tool window shows the Grunt output, reports the errors occurred, lists the packages or plugins that have not been found, etc. The name of the last executed task is displayed on the title bar of the tool window.
Before you start
Download and install Node.js.
To use Grunt in a IntelliJ IDEA project, you need two packages:
A globally installed grunt-cli package (Grunt command-line interface) for executing Grunt commands.
A grunt package installed as development dependency to build the project tasks tree and provide coding assistance while editing the Gruntfile.js or Gruntfile.coffee file. Learn more about Gruntfile.js from the Grunt official website.
To install grunt-cli globally
To install Grunt in a project
Running Grunt tasks from the tasks tree
IntelliJ IDEA lets you run Grunt tasks easily and fast right from the tasks tree in the Grunt tool window. IntelliJ IDEA automatically creates a temporary run configuration which you can save and use later, if necessary.
To open the Grunt tool window
When you build a tree of tasks for the first time during a IntelliJ IDEA session, the Grunt tool window is not opened yet.
To build a tree of tasks from the Grunt tool window
In the Grunt tool window, click on the toolbar and choose the required Gruntfile.js file from the list. By default, IntelliJ IDEA shows the Gruntfile.js file in the root of your project.
If you have another Gruntfile.js file, click Choose Gruntfile.js and select the Gruntfile.js file you need in the dialog that opens. IntelliJ IDEA adds a new node with the path to the chosen Gruntfile.js file on its title and builds a tasks tree under the new node.
To re-build a tree
To sort the tasks in a tree by their names
To run a task or a target
Double-click the task or target.
Select the task or target in the tree and press Enter or choose Run <task name> from the context menu.
Note that when you run tasks from a tasks tree, the force execution and verbose mode options are not available. As a result, you cannot configure IntelliJ IDEA, for example, to ignore warnings or provide a detailed log. To use these options, run tasks or targets from a run configuration as described in Running and debugging tasks according to a run configuration below.
To run the default task
Select the root node in the tree, and choose Run default from the context menuu of the selection.
To run several tasks or targets
To jump to the definition of a task or a target
Running and debugging tasks according to a run configuration
Besides using temporary run configurations that IntelliJ IDEA creates automatically when you run tasks or targets from tasks tress, you can create and launch your own Grunt.js run configurations.
To create a Grunt.js run/debug configuration
Click on the toolbar and select Grunt.js from the list. The Run/Debug Configuration: Grunt.js dialog opens.
Specify the name of the run configuration, the tasks to run (use blank spaces as separators), the location of the Gruntfile.js file where these tasks are defined, and and the path to the globally installed grunt-cli package.
- Specify the Node.js interpreter to use. This can be a local Node.js interpreter or a Node.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux.
To run the tasks
Select the newly created run configuration from the list on the main toolbar and click next to the list. IntelliJ IDEA displays the task output in the Run tool window.
To debug the tasks
Create a Grunt.js run/debug configuration as described above.
Open the Gruntfile.js file in the editor and set the breakpoints in it where necessary.
To run a Grunt task as a Before-Launch task
Open the Run/debug configurations dialog dialog by selecting from the main menu, and select the required configuration from the list or create it anew by clicking and choosing the relevant run configuration type.
In the dialog that opens, click in the Before launch area and choose Run Grunt task from the list.
- In the Grunt task dialog that opens, specify the Gruntfile.js where the required task is defined, select the task to execute, and specify the arguments to pass to the Grunt tool.
Specify the location of the Node.js interpreter, the parameters to pass to it, and the path to the grunt-cli package.
Running Grunt tasks automatically
If you have some tasks or targets that you run on a regular basis, you can add the corresponding run configurations to a list of startup tasks. The tasks will be executed automatically on the project start-up.
On the Startup Tasks page that opens, click on the toolbar.
From the list, choose the required Grunt run configuration. The configuration is added to the list.
If no applicable configuration is available in the project, click and choose Edit Configurations. Then define a configuration with the required settings on the Run/Debug Configuration: Grunt.js page that opens. When you save the new configuration it is automatically added to the list of startup tasks.