How To Install IntelliJ IDEA On Ubuntu Linux


Brief: This tutorial shows you how to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, Linux Lite and other Linux distributions based on Ubuntu.

IntelliJ IDEA is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Java development. It’s developed by JetBrains, the same company that developed PyCharm, the best IDE for Python. Like PyCharm, IntelliJ IDEA too has two variants:

  • Community Edition (Free)
  • Ultimate Edition (Paid version with extra features)

I am not going to dive into the features of IntelliJ IDEA or which edition is better. I presume that since you have come to read this post, you are already aware of the advantages of using IntelliJ IDEA.

In an earlier post, we have seen how to install PyCharm on Ubuntu. In this post, we shall see how to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions based on Ubuntu.

Before we go on installing IntelliJ on Ubuntu, please make sure that you have Java on your system. Read this post to see how to install Java on Ubuntu.

Once you have made sure of that, let’s go on with IntelliJ installation. We’ll see two ways of installing IntelliJ on Ubuntu.

  • Install IntelliJ using Ubuntu Make (exclusive for Ubuntu)
  • Install IntelliJ using PPA (Valid for all Linux distributions based on Ubuntu)

Method 1: Install IntelliJ on Ubuntu using Ubuntu Make (Ubuntu exclusive way)

Ubuntu Make is a command line utility from Ubuntu that enables developers to install various development tools and IDEs such as Eclipse, PyCharm, Ubuntu SDK, Android Studio etc. IntelliJ IDEA is one of the supported IDEs by Ubuntu Make.

You need to install Ubuntu Make first.

If you are using Ubuntu 16.04, you can install Ubuntu Make using the command below (not recommended):

sudo apt install ubuntu-make

If you are using a version older than 16.04 such as Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.10 etc, you can use the official PPA to install Ubuntu Make (recommended).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/ubuntu-make
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-make

Note: I strongly recommend to use PPA for installing Ubuntu Make because it has the latest version of Ubuntu Make. The latest version of Ubuntu Make consists of IntelliJ and many other IDEs while the older version in Universe archive has limited IDEs to install.

Once you have Ubuntu Make installed, you can use the command below to install IntelliJ IDEA Community edition:

umake ide idea

To install the IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate edition, use the command below:

umake ide idea-ultimate

It will take some time in downloading and installing IntelliJ IDEA. It also depends on your internet speed. Once installed, you can simply search for IntelliJ in Unity Dash (if you are using Ubuntu Unity) and start the IDE.

Installing IntelliJ IDEA in Ubuntu 16.04

To remove IntelliJ IDEA installed via Ubuntu Make, use the command below for your respective versions:

umake -r ide idea
umake -r ide idea-ultimate
IntelliJ IDEA running on Ubuntu 16.04
IntelliJ IDEA running on Ubuntu 16.04

Method 2: Install IntelliJ using PPA (valid for Ubuntu based Linux distros)

There is an unofficial PPA available that you can use to easily install IntelliJ in Linux Mint, elementary OS and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, including Ubuntu of course. This PPA is developed and maintained by Marcel Kapfer and is available for Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04, 15.10, 16.04 and 16.10. So basically, it covers all the active Ubuntu versions and Linux distros based on them.

Open a terminal and use the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mmk2410/intellij-idea-community
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install intellij-idea-community

Only Community version is available via this PPA unfortunately. The PPA will download the IDE, so again installation time will depend on your internet connection.

To remove IntelliJ installed from the above PPA, use the command below:

sudo apt-get remove intellij-idea-community
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:mmk2410/intellij-idea-community

Method 3: Install IntelliJ IDEA using Source Code

If you are not using Ubuntu based Linux distribution or if you don’t like using PPA, you can take the hard road and install ItelliJ IDEA from its source code. It’s limited to Community edition, though. You can browse the source code on its GitHub repository.

You can browse and download the source code on its GitHub repository.

IntelliJ Community Edition Source Code

The main part of installing an IDE comes into configuration but I am more of a C++ guy than Java so I leave that part to you 🙂 I hope this post helped you to install IntelliJ on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. If you have questions, suggestions or a word of thanks, feel free to drop a comment below.


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