Starting with the 2020.1 release, installing, updating, and uninstalling plugins without restarting the IDE is available in the IntelliJ Platform. During plugin development, Auto-Reload also allows code changes to take effect immediately in the sandbox IDE instance.
For a plugin to support this, all restrictions listed below must be met. To verify a plugin locally, run Analyze | Run Inspection by Name... | Plugin.xml dynamic plugin verification inspection on all plugin descriptor files.
No Use of Components
No Components must be used; existing ones must be migrated to services, extensions, or listeners.
Action Group Requires ID
<group>s must declare a unique
Use Only Dynamic Extensions
Whether defined in the platform itself or coming from other plugins, all extensions must be marked as dynamic (see next paragraph).
Some deprecated extension points (e.g.,
com.intellij.configurationProducer) are intentionally non-dynamic, and their usage should be migrated to the corresponding replacement.
Mark Extension Points as Dynamic
The plugin's extension points must adhere to specific usage rules and then be declared ready for dynamic use explicitly.
Configurables Depending on Extension Points
Configurable which depends on dynamic extension points must implement
No Use of Service Overrides
Application, project, and module services declared with
overrides="true" are not allowed.
Loading/Unloading a plugin clears all cached values created using
Do not Store PSI
Do not store references to PSI elements in objects which can survive plugin loading or unloading; use
Do not Use FileType/Language as Map Key
Plugin Load/Unload Events
This can be used to e.g., cancel long-running activities or disallow unload due to ongoing processes.
When a plugin is being uninstalled or updated, the IDE waits synchronously for plugin unload and asks for restart if the unload failed.
All events are tracked under
com.intellij.ide.plugins.DynamicPlugins category in IDE log file.
To find leaks preventing clean unload, perform the following steps:
Set registry key
Verify that IDE runs with VM parameter
.hprofsnapshot generated on plugin unload, look for the plugin ID string
PluginClassLoaderreferencing the plugin ID string
Look at references to the
PluginClassLoaderinstance. Every one of them is a memory leak (or part of a memory leak) that needs to be resolved.