IntelliJ IDEA 2019.1 Help

Node.js

Node.js is a lightweight runtime environment for executing JavaScript on the server side. IntelliJ IDEA integrates with Node.js providing assistance in configuring, editing, running, debugging, testing, profiling, and maintaining your applications.

If you need Node.js only for managing npm packages or running JavaScript linters, build tools, test frameworks, etc., just install Node.js. If you follow the standard installation procedure, in most cases IntelliJ IDEA detects Node.js itself.

To use Node.js as a runtime for your application, you need to configure it as a local or remote interpreter. To do this, install the NodeJS plugin on the Plugins page as described in Managing plugins.

Configuring a local Node.js interpreter

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages and Frameworks | Node.js and NPM.

  2. On the Node.js and NPM page, that opens, click the Browse button next to the Node Interpreter list.

  3. In the Node.js Interpreters dialog that opens with a list of all the currently configured interpreters, click the Add button on the toolbar. In the dialog box that opens, choose Add Local on the context menu and choose the local installation of Node.js, then click OK. You return to the Node.js Interpreters dialog where the Node interpreter read-only field shows the path to the chosen interpreter.

  4. In the Package manager field, choose the package manager (npm or Yarn) to use in the current project, see Configuring a package manager for a project for details.

When you click OK, you return to the Node.js and NPM page where the Node interpreter field shows the new interpreter.

Using a system Node.js version

With IntelliJ IDEA, you can set the default system node alias as your project’s Node.js version. This means that if you install a new node version and make it the default in your system, all the tools and run configurations in IntelliJ IDEA where this system alias is specified in the Node.js interpreter field will use this newer version.

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages and Frameworks | Node.js and NPM.

  2. From the Node interpreter drop-down list, choose node.

    ws_node_alias.png

  3. Specify this new Node.js interpreter where applicable, e.g. in you run/debug configurations or settings of specific tools.

Using Node.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux

IntelliJ IDEA lets you run and debug Node.js applications using Node.js on Windows Subsystem for Linux. You can choose Node.js on WSL as the default interpreter for the current project or you can configure and use this node version in a Node.js Run/Debug configuration.

To configure Node.js on WSL as the default project node interpreter

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages and Frameworks | Node.js and NPM.

  2. Click the Browse button next to the Node Interpreter field, in the Node.js Interpreters dialog that opens, click the Add button, and then select Add WSL from the list.

    Configuring Node.js on WSL as the default project node interpreter
  3. In the Add WSL Node Interpreter dialog that opens, select the Linux distribution you’re using and specify the path to Node.js.

    Specifying the Linus distribution and the path to Node.js

Creating a Node.js application

If you have no application yet, you can generate a IntelliJ IDEA project with Node.js-specific structure from a template or create an empty IntelliJ IDEA project and configure Node.js in it as described in Starting with an existing Node.js application below.

To create a new Node.js application

  1. Select File | New | Project from the main menu or click the New Project button on the Welcome screen.

  2. In the Project Category and Options dialog, which is the first page of the New Project wizard, select Node.js and NPM in the left-hand pane.

  3. In the right-hand pane, choose Node.js Express App and click Next.

  4. On the second page of the wizard, specify the project folder, the Node.js interpreter, the package manager (npm or Yarn, see npm and Yarn for details).

    For Node.js Express app, specify the version of express-generator and select the template language and the Style Sheet language to use.

  5. When you click Finish, IntelliJ IDEA downloads the necessary dependencies and enables code completion for them as well as for the Node.js core APIs, see Configuring node_modules library and Configuring Node.js Core library for details.

    For Node.js Express, IntelliJ IDEA creates a run/debug configuration of the type Node.js with default settings and generates a basic Node.js Express - specific directory structure.

    For Node.js, IntelliJ IDEA just runs the npm init command to generate a package.json file.

To create an empty IntelliJ IDEA project

  1. Select File | New | Project from the main menu or click the New Project button on the Welcome screen.

  2. In the Project Category and Options dialog, which is the first page of the New Project wizard, select Static Web in the left-hand pane.

  3. In the right-hand pane, again select Static Web and click Next.

  4. On the second page of the wizard, specify the project folder and name and click Finish.

Starting with an existing Node.js application

If you are going to continue developing an existing Node.js application, open it in IntelliJ IDEA, configure Node.js in it, and download the required dependencies.

To open the application sources that are already on your machine

  • Click Open on the Welcome screen or select File | Open from the main menu. In the dialog that opens, select the folder where your sources are stored.

To check out the application sources from your version control

  1. Click Check out from Version Control on the Welcome screen or select VCS | Check out from Version Control from the main menu.

  2. Select your version control system from the list.

  3. In the VCS-specific dialog that opens, type your credentials and the repository to check out the application sources from.

To download the project dependencies, do one of the following:

  • In the embedded Terminal (Alt+F12), type:

    npm install

  • Select Run 'npm install' from the context menu of the package.json file in your project root.

To configure Node.js in a project

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S), go to Languages and Frameworks | Node.js and NPM.

  2. In the Node Interpreter field, specify the default Node.js interpreter for the current project. IntelliJ IDEA will automatically use it every time you select the Project alias from Node Interpreter lists when creating run/debug configurations or configuring Node.js-dependent tools, for example, Prettier or Yeoman.

    Choose the interpreter from the drop-down list or from the dialog that opens when you click the Browse button. If you choose node, the system Node.js version is used.

  3. Select the Coding assistance for Node.js checkbox to configure the Node.js Core module sources as a JavaScript library and associate it with your project. As a result, IntelliJ IDEA provides code completion, reference resolution, validation, and debugging capabilities for fs, path, http, and other core modules that are compiled into the Node.js binary.

    When the configuration is completed, IntelliJ IDEA displays information about the currently configured version.

  4. Optionally, configure the scope in which the Node.js Core sources are treated as libraries:

    1. Click Manage scopes. The Usage Scope dialog opens.

    2. Click the relevant directories, and for each of them select the newly configured Node.js Core library from the list.

Last modified: 17 April 2019

See Also