How to Install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

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

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:

  • IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition (Free)
  • IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition (Paid version with extra features)
  • IntelliJ IDEA Educational (Ultimate Edition but free for students and faculty members)

I am not going to dive into the features of IntelliJ IDEA or which edition is better. You can read about the difference between the Community and the Ultimate Edition here.

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, I showed you how to install PyCharm on Ubuntu. In this post, let me show you how to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

Install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

IntelliJ Idea running in 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. There are several ways of installing IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

Method 1: Install IntelliJ IDEA from the Software Center [Recommended for Ubuntu Users]

The good news is that all variants of IntelliJ IDEA are available in the Software Center. You just have to search IntelliJ IDEA and it will show the possible results.

Installing IntelliJ IDEA is available in Ubuntu via the Software Center
Installing IntelliJ IDEA is available in Ubuntu Software Center

You just have to select the preferred version and then click on the install button.

Installing IntelliJ IDEA in Ubuntu via the Software Center

This would be the simplest method for Ubuntu users, don’t you think?

Method 2: Install IntelliJ IDEA in Linux using Snap packages [for all Linux distributions]

The apps in the Software Center are basically the Snap packages. Snap packages are supported by all major Linux distributions and you can easily install a number of applications through Snap.

First, make sure that you have Snap support on your Linux distribution. After that, you can use the following commands to install various IntelliJ versions.

For the ultimate version:

sudo snap install intellij-idea-ultimate --classic

For the community version:

sudo snap install intellij-idea-community --classic

For the educational version:

sudo snap install intellij-idea-educational --classic

Method 3: Install IntelliJ IDEA using Flatpak [for all Linux distributions]

Like Snap, Flatpak is also a universal packaging system and is supported by a number of major Linux distributions.

Again, you should make sure that you have Flatpak installed on your system. And then, you should go and download the flatpakref installer files from the Flathub website.

IntelliJ IDEA Flatpak package

Clicking on install will download the flatpakref files. You can then switch to your Download folder where the flatpakref files has been saved and use the following command to install it:

flatpak install com.jetbrains.IntelliJ-IDEA-Community.flatpakref

The above described command is for the Community edition. You can use the similar approach for the Ultimate edition as well.

Method 4: Install IntelliJ on Ubuntu using Ubuntu Make [only for Ubuntu]

I would recommend using the Snap version.

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, 18.04 or a higher version, you can install Ubuntu Make using the command below:

sudo apt install ubuntu-make

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
Installing IntelliJ IDEA via umake in Ubuntu

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 5: 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 18.04, 16.04, 18.10, 19.04 and 16.04. 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 update
sudo apt install intellij-idea-community

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

Method 6: Install IntelliJ IDEA using Source Code

If you are old school, 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.

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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