IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help

Configuring Gradle IntelliJ Plugin

This section presents a guided tour of Gradle plugin attributes to achieve the commonly desired functionality. For more advanced options, see the full Gradle IntelliJ Plugin reference.

Keep Up To Date

Gradle IntelliJ Plugin and Gradle build system are constantly developed, and every new release brings important bug fixes, new features, and improvements that makes the development more efficient. It is strongly recommended to keep updating both Gradle and Gradle IntelliJ Plugin to the latest versions. Newer IDE releases might not be supported fully in older releases of Gradle IntelliJ Plugin.

Target Platform and Dependencies

By default, the Gradle plugin will build a plugin project against the IntelliJ Platform defined by the latest EAP snapshot of the IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition.

If a matching version of the specified IntelliJ Platform is not available on the local machine, the Gradle plugin downloads the correct version and type. IntelliJ IDEA then indexes the build and any associated source code and JetBrains Java Runtime.

To build a plugin for more than one target platform version, see Targeting Multiple IDE Versions for important notes.

IntelliJ Platform Configuration

Explicitly setting the intellij.version and intellij.type properties tells the Gradle plugin to use that configuration of the IntelliJ Platform to create the plugin project.

All available platform versions can be browsed in the IntelliJ Platform Artifacts Repositories.

If the chosen platform version is not available in the repositories, or a local installation of the target IDE is the desired type and version of the IntelliJ Platform, use intellij.localPath to point to that installation. If the intellij.localPath attribute is set, do not set the intellij.version and intellij.type attributes as this could result in undefined behavior.

Plugin Dependencies

IntelliJ Platform plugin projects may depend on either bundled or third-party plugins. In that case, a project should build against a version of those plugins that match the IntelliJ Platform version used to build the plugin project. The Gradle plugin will fetch any plugins in the list defined by intellij.plugins. See the Gradle plugin IntelliJ Extension for information about specifying the plugin and version.

Note that this attribute describes a dependency so that the Gradle plugin can fetch the required artifacts. The runtime dependency must be added in the Plugin Configuration (plugin.xml) file as described in Plugin Dependencies.

Run IDE Task

By default, the Gradle plugin will use the same version of the IntelliJ Platform for the IDE Development Instance as was used for building the plugin. Using the corresponding JetBrains Runtime is also the default, so for this use-case no further configuration is required.

Running Against Alternate Versions and Types of IntelliJ Platform-Based IDEs

The IntelliJ Platform IDE used for the Development Instance can be different from that used to build the plugin project. Setting the runIde.ideDir property will define an IDE to be used for the Development Instance. This attribute is commonly used when running or debugging a plugin in an alternate IntelliJ Platform-based IDE.

Running Against Alternate Versions of the JetBrains Runtime

Every version of the IntelliJ Platform has a corresponding version of the JetBrains Runtime. A different version of the runtime can be used by specifying the runIde.jbrVersion attribute, describing a version of the JetBrains Runtime that should be used by the IDE Development Instance. The Gradle plugin will fetch the specified JetBrains Runtime as needed.

Patching the Plugin Configuration File

A plugin project's plugin.xml file has element values that are "patched" at build time from the attributes of the patchPluginXml task. As many as possible of the attributes in the Patching DSL will be substituted into the corresponding element values in a plugin project's plugin.xml file:

  • If a patchPluginXml attribute default value is defined, the attribute value will be patched in plugin.xml regardless of whether the patchPluginXml task appears in the Gradle build script.

  • If a patchPluginXml task's attribute value is explicitly defined, the attribute value will be substituted in plugin.xml.

    • If both patchPluginXml.sinceBuild and patchPluginXml.untilBuild attributes are explicitly set, both are substituted in plugin.xml.

    • If one attribute is explicitly set (e.g. patchPluginXml.sinceBuild) and one is not (e.g. patchPluginXml.untilBuild has a default value), both attributes are patched at their respective (explicit and default) values.

  • For no substitution of the <idea-version> element's since-build and until-build attributes, set intellij.updateSinceUntilBuild to false, and do not provide patchPluginXml.sinceBuild and patchPluginXml.untilBuild values.

The best practice to avoid confusion is to replace the elements in plugin.xml that will be patched by the Gradle plugin with a comment. That way, the values for these parameters do not appear in two places in the source code. The Gradle plugin will add the necessary elements as part of the patching process. For those patchPluginXml attributes that contain descriptions such as patchPluginXml.changeNotes and patchPluginXml.pluginDescription, a CDATA block is not necessary when using HTML elements.

As discussed in Components of a Wizard-Generated Gradle IntelliJ Platform Plugin, the Gradle properties project.version,, and are all generated based on the input to the Wizard. However, the Gradle IntelliJ Plugin does not combine and substitute those Gradle properties for the default <id> and <name> elements in the plugin.xml file.

The best practice is to keep project.version current. By default, if you modify project.version in Gradle build script, the Gradle plugin will automatically update the <version> value in the plugin.xml file. This practice keeps all version declarations synchronized.

Verifying Plugin

The Gradle plugin provides tasks that allow for running integrity and compatibility tests:

Plugin Verifier integration task allows for configuring the exact IDE versions that your plugin will be checked against. See Plugin Verifier for more information.

Publishing Plugin

Please review the Publishing a Plugin page before using the publishPlugin task. That documentation explains different ways to use Gradle for plugin uploads without exposing account credentials.

Last modified: 23 August 2023