Use IntelliJ IDEA features from the command line: open files and projects, view diffs, merge files, apply code style formatting, and inspect the source code.
Launcher for a standalone instance
The installation directory contains batch scripts and executables for launching IntelliJ IDEA, formatting the source code, and running inspections. To use them from the Command Prompt cmd.exe, add the location of the IntelliJ IDEA bin folder to the
PATH environment variable. For example, if you installed IntelliJ IDEA to C:\Program Files\JetBrains\IntelliJ IDEA, you can use the following command:
This command changes the
PATH environment variable for the current shell only (the current instance of cmd.exe). If you want to update it permanently for the current user, run
To update it system-wide for all users, run
setx /M instead of
After you configure the
PATH variable, you can run the executable from any working directory in the Command Prompt:
idea64.exe. Alternatively, you can use the batch script:
To run IntelliJ IDEA from the shell, use the
open command with the following options:
-a: specify the application.
--args: specify additional arguments when passing more than just the file or directory to open.
-n: open a new instance of the application even if one is already running.
For example, you can run IntelliJ IDEA.app with the following command:
You can create a shell script with this command in a directory from your
PATH environment variable. For example, create the file /usr/local/bin/idea with the following contents:
Make sure you have permissions to execute the script and since /usr/local/bin should be in the
PATH environment variable by default, you should be able to run
idea from anywhere in the shell.
On Linux, the installation directory contains the launcher shell script idea.sh under bin. For example, if you installed IntelliJ IDEA to /opt/idea, you can run the script using the following command:
You can create a symbolic link to the launcher script in a directory from the
PATH environment variable. For example, if you installed IntelliJ IDEA to /opt/idea and want to create a link named idea in /usr/local/bin, run the following command:
Since /usr/local/bin should be in the
PATH environment variable by default, you should be able to run the
idea command from anywhere in the shell.
If you installed IntelliJ IDEA as a snap package, you can use the corresponding launcher:
Shell scripts generated by the Toolbox App
If you are using the Toolbox App to install and manage JetBrains products, it can create shell scripts for launching your IDEs from the command line.
Generate shell scripts
Open the Toolbox App and click in the top right corner.
In the Toolbox App Settings, enable Generate shell scripts.
If necessary, change the shell scripts location.
If you have several versions of the same IDE, the Toolbox App generates a shell script for each version with a unique name. You can change the name of the shell script for an IDE instance in the settings for this specific instance.
Change the name of the shell script
Open the Toolbox App.
Click next to the relevant IDE instance and select Settings.
At the bottom, change the Shell script name field.
By default, the Toolbox App puts shell scripts in a directory from the system
PATH environment variable, so you can run the name of the script as a command to launch IntelliJ IDEA from any working directory.
The launcher script accepts commands, options, and other arguments to modify its behavior:
Launch IntelliJ IDEA.
Path to file or directory
Open the file or directory specified as the argument.
For more information, seeOpen files from the command line.
Open the diff viewer to see differences between two specified files.
For more information, seeCompare files from the command line.
Open the Merge dialog to merge the specified files.
For more information, seeMerge files from the command line.
Apply code style formatting to the specified files.
For more information, seeFormat files from the command line.
Perform code inspection on the specified project.
For more information, seeRun code inspections from the command line.
Do not show the splash screen when loading IntelliJ IDEA.
Do not reopen projects and show the welcome screen. This can help if a project that was open crashes IntelliJ IDEA for some reason.
Do not load manually installed plugins. This can help if a plugin that you installed crashes IntelliJ IDEA for some reason. You will be able to start the IDE and either disable or uninstall the problematic plugin.
Wait for the files to be closed before returning to the command prompt.
For example, you can open file.txt with the following command:
idea --wait file.txt
The shell will be waiting until file.txt is closed.