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An IntelliJ plugin for Bazel projects

This is an early-access version of our Bazel plugins for IntelliJ, Android Studio, and CLion.

The Bazel plugin uploaded to the JetBrains Marketplace regularly from the state of this repository. See the releases tab for more information.

Please see our latest community update for Bazel IntelliJ plugin: Announcing Bazel & JetBrains co-maintenance of IntelliJ IDEA Bazel Plugin.


The Bazel project is hosting a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Bazel IntelliJ IDE plug-in. Details about the SIG and how to join the discussion can be found in the SIG charter.


See the documentation entry on the plugin support across JetBrains products, languages, and operating systems.


You can find our plugin in the JetBrains Marketplace or directly from the IDE by going to Settings -> Plugins -> Marketplace, and searching for Bazel.

Beta versions

Beta versions are usually uploaded to the Beta channel 2 weeks before they become full releases. Ways to install them:

  • download and install them manually from the Beta channel page on JetBrains Marketplace
  • add the Beta channel to the IDE under Settings -> Plugins -> Gear Icon -> Manage Plugin repositories and add one of the following URLs depending on your product. You can now find the latest Beta under Settings -> Plugins -> Marketplace or update the Bazel plugin to Beta if you already installed it.
    • IntelliJ IDEA ->
    • CLion ->
    • Android Studio ->


To import an existing Bazel project, choose Import Bazel Project, and follow the instructions in the project import wizard.

Detailed docs are available here.

Building the plugin

Install Bazel, then build the target *:*_bazel_zip for your desired product:

  • bazel build //ijwb:ijwb_bazel_zip --define=ij_product=intellij-ue-oss-latest-stable
  • bazel build //clwb:clwb_bazel_zip --define=ij_product=clion-oss-latest-stable
  • bazel build //aswb:aswb_bazel_zip --define=ij_product=android-studio-oss-latest-stable

from the project root. This will create a plugin zip file at bazel-bin/<PRODUCT>/<PRODUCT>, which can be installed directly from the IDE. <PRODUCT> can be one of ijwb, clwb, aswb.

If the IDE refuses to load the plugin because of version issues, specify the correct ij_product. These are in the form <IDE>-oss-<VERSION> with

  • <IDE> being one of intellij-ue, intellij, clion, android-studio,
  • <VERSION> being one of oldest-stable, latest-stable, under-dev.

Note that there is a difference between intellij and intellij-ue. ue stands for IntelliJ Ultimate Edition and contains additional features for JavaScript as well as Go.

<IDE>-oss-oldest-stable and <IDE>-oss-latest-stable are aliases for the two IDE versions that the plugin is officially compatible with at a given time. <IDE>-oss-latest-stable usually maps to the last released IDE version while <IDE>-oss-oldest-stable maps to the one right before that, e.g. <IDE>-oss-oldest-stable=2022.1 and <IDE>-oss-latest-stable=2022.2. Additionally, <IDE>-oss-under-dev represents the upcoming version of the IDE that we are working towards supporting. A complete mapping of all currently defined versions can be found in intellij_platform_sdk/build_defs.bzl.

You can import the project into IntelliJ (with the Bazel plugin) via importing the ijwb/ijwb.bazelproject file.

Compatibility with IDE Versions

You can build the plugin for different IDE versions by adjusting the ij_product option either from command line or by updating the .bazelproject file to specify the desired value for ij_product under build_flags.

We have three aliases for product versions;

  • oldest-stable is the oldest IDE version supported by the Bazel plugin released to the JetBrains stable channel.
  • latest-stable is the latest IDE version supported by the Bazel plugin released to the JetBrains stable channel.
  • under-dev is the IDE version we are currently working towards supporting.

The current corresponding IDE versions of these aliases can be found here.


We welcome contributions to support new IDE versions. However, to make the review process faster and easier, we recommend the following:

  • We can only accept small pull requests. Smaller pull requests tend to have fewer review comments and hence can get submitted much faster. They also tend to conflict less with our internal code base, simplifying the integration for us. For example, you should have separate pull requests each focusing on a certain incompatible change rather than having a large pull request fixing multiple ones.

  • Since we continue to support a number of IDE versions while working on a new one, you need to make sure that your proposed changes do not break older versions. Our presubmit pipeline will take care of testing your changes against all the supported versions and lets you know whether it broke anything.

  • To facilitate merging your changes into upstream, we recommend following our procedure for supporting SDK backward-compatibility.

    • First consider adjusting the plugin code so that it directly works with different IDE versions. Example strategies for this would be:

      • Switching to a (possibly newer) IntelliJ platform API which is available in all relevant IDE versions. Example: pr/2623
      • Switching to a raw class by removing a generic type parameter which differs across versions. Example: pr/2631
    • For non-trivial incompatible changes, the code for maintaining SDK compatibility lives in sdkcompat and testing/testcompat directories, where testing/testcompat holds test-only SDK compatibility changes. Each of the two directories contains a sub-folder per supported IDE version with version-specific implementations. The outside API of all classes must be the same across versions, just the implementation may differ. When introducing a new file in this directory, make sure to duplicate it appropriately across all versions.
      We follow these three techniques for non-trivial incompatible changes.

      • Compat
        Preferred to Adapter and Wrapper when applicable. We add a util-class with only static methods and a private constructor and wrap the changed method by one of the static methods. If the change is small enough, you do not need to create a new util-class and should add the change to BaseSdkCompat class instead. Example: pr/2345

      • Adapter
        Used when we extend a super class and its constructor is updated. We create a new class extending the changed super class then extend this new class from the plugin code. Example: pr/2352

      • Wrapper
        Created when a new interface is used in a super class constructor. We create a wrapper class that wraps and supplies the old or the new interface based on the SDK version and use this wrapper class in the plugin code. Example: pr/2166

  • All compat changes must be commented with #api{API_VERSION}, e.g. #api203. This represents the last API version that requires the code, i.e. the one before the version you aim to support. This is needed to make it easier to find and clean up this functionality when paving old versions.

  • Compat classes must never import plugin code and we try to keep the logic and code in them as minimal as possible.

We may also be able to accept contributions to fix general issues or adding new features with some caveats:

  • Before opening a pull request, first file an issue and discuss potential changes with the devs. This will often save you time you would otherwise have invested in a patch which can't be applied.
  • Improvements for old not supported IDE versions will not be accepted. Your changes should target the currently supported IDE versions. You can find a list of these versions here.
  • We can't accept stylistic, refactoring, or "cleanup" changes.
  • We have very limited bandwidth, and applying patches upstream is a time-consuming process. Large patches generally can't be accepted unless there's clear value for all our users.