IntelliJ IDEA 2022.2 Help

Path variables

Use path variables to define absolute paths to resources that are not part of a specific project. These external resources may be located in different places on the computers of your teammates. This is why user-defined custom path variables are not stored as project settings, but as global IDE settings. Once configured, such path variables will have the same value for any project that you open with your instance of IntelliJ IDEA.

Create a new path variable

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open the IDE settings and select Appearance & Behavior | Path Variables.

    Path Variables dialog
  2. Click the Add button, enter the name and value of the variable, and click OK to apply the changes.

You can use path variables to specify paths and command-line arguments for external tools and in some run configurations. For more information, see Built-in IDE macros.

For example, you can define a path variable that points to the location of some data source (like a CSV file) or a third-party library that is not stored in your project. If you use this path variable in a run configuration that you share with your project, others can define the correct value for this path variable in their environment and be sure that the run configuration will work for them.

IntelliJ IDEA also has the following built-in path variables:

$USER_HOME$

The current user's home directory.

$PROJECT_DIR$

The current project's root directory.

$MODULE_WORKING_DIR$

The current module's root directory.

$MODULE_IML_DIR$

The directory with the current module's .iml file.

Ignore path variables

Whenever you open or update a project, IntelliJ IDEA checks for unresolved path variables. If the IDE detects any, it will ask you to define values for them. If you are not going to use files or directories with the unresolved path variables, you can add them to the list of ignored variables.

You can also use the list of ignored variables when a program argument passed to the run/debug configuration has the same format as a path variable (for example, an environment variable).

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open the IDE settings and select Appearance & Behavior | Path Variables.

  2. Add the names that IntelliJ IDEA shouldn't consider to be path variables to the Ignored Variables field.

  3. Click OK to apply the changes.

Last modified: 09 September 2022