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IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition

Building and Running from the IDE

To develop IntelliJ IDEA, you can use either IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition or IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate. To build and run the code:

  • Run / getPlugins.bat from the project root directory to check out additional modules.
  • Install the Kotlin plugin from the plugin manager (version 0.12.613). Parts of IntelliJ IDEA are written in Kotlin, and you need the plugin to compile the code.
  • Make sure you have the Groovy plugin enabled. Parts of IntelliJ IDEA are written in Groovy, and you will get compilation errors if you don't have the plugin enabled.
  • Make sure you have the UI Designer plugin enabled. Most of IntelliJ IDEA's UI is built using the UI Designer, and the version you build will not run correctly if you don't have the plugin enabled.
  • Open the project.
  • Configure a JSDK named "IDEA jdk" (case sensitive), pointing to an installation of JDK 1.6.
  • Unless you're running on a Mac with an Apple JDK, add <JDK_HOME>/lib/tools.jar to the set of "IDEA jdk" jars.
  • Configure a JSDK named "1.8", pointing to an installation of JDK 1.8.
  • Add <JDK_18_HOME>/lib/tools.jar to the set of "1.8" jars.
  • Use Build | Make Project to build the code.
  • To run the code, use the provided shared run configuration "IDEA".

You can find other useful information at Contribute section of that site describes how you can contribute to IntelliJ IDEA.

RoboVM Studio


In addition to what you need to build IDEA on the CLI, you'll also need to install appdmg via npm

npm install -g appdmg

This is used to create a DMG from the output of the build process.

The build scripts are located in build-robovm, and are a heavily modified copy of what you find in build, the standard IDEA build scripts. Instead of community-main, it references the robovm-studio-main module. Instead of community-resources it references robovm-studio-branding, which contains all RoboVM Studio relevant branding and app info.

You also need IntelliJ IDEA 14+ installed somewhere, e.g. /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA 14


The build needs to be executed on Mac OS X as we also generate a DMG

You need to set two environment variables:

export IDEA_HOME="/Applications/IntelliJ IDEA 14"
export ROBOVM_IDEA_PLUGIN_VERSION="tags/robovm-idea-1.3.0"

If you do not specify a version tag for the IDEA plugin, the current master branch will be used for building.

Once the environment variables are set, execute:


This will build RoboVM Studio for Mac OS X as follows:

  1. Pull in the latest changes to the Android plugin
  2. Pull in the specified branch/tag of the robovm-idea plugin (robovm/robovm-idea)
  3. Pull in the latest changes for the robovm studio branding project (robovm/robovm-studio-branding)
  4. Build the RoboVM IDEA plugin
  5. Build RoboVM Studio, integrate the branding and IDEA plugin
  6. Create a DMG

The build output will be located in out/robovm and will not be signed (see this issue).

Update/Patch URLs

IntelliJ IDEA has a mechanism to inform users about new releases of the IDE. These are specified in robovm/robovm-studio-branding/src/idea/IdeaApplicationInfo.xml. Our update URL is currently invalid until we figure out what to put there. See this issue.


The version is defined in three places (:():

  1. robovm/robovm-studio-branding/src/idea/IdeaApplicationInfo.xml,
  2. build-robovm/build.txt which is used by the IDEA build process and follows IDEAs version notation (which is a bit wonky). Changing it to something more readable will make IDEAs fail on startup.