IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK Help

Setting Up a Development Environment

Preliminary Steps

Plugin DevKit plugin is bundled with IntelliJ IDEA until 2023.2.

Use the following checklist to ensure that you are ready to develop your custom theme:

  1. IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition or IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate is installed.

  2. Plugin DevKit plugin is installed and enabled in IntelliJ IDEA.

  3. IntelliJ IDEA CE source code is checked-out. (Optional)

    This step is needed only when you plan to debug the IntelliJ Platform code. See Get IntelliJ IDEA CE Source Code for more details.

  4. IntelliJ Platform SDK is configured.

    Get IntelliJ IDEA CE Source Code

    Getting the IntelliJ IDEA CE source code is not a requirement for theme development as debugging the platform code while developing a theme is a rare situation. In case you are developing a plugin extending IDE behavior, or you need to understand how some components work internally, having sources makes debugging much more straightforward.

    For detailed instructions on how to check out the code efficiently, refer to the Getting IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition Source Code section of IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition README file. Note that building the checked-out sources is not required in this case.

    Configuring IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK

    Download IntelliJ-Based IDE

    To see the effects of the developed plugin in real IDE, it is required to run the plugin in an IDE Development Instance. In most cases, it is enough to download and use IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition. If it is required to style components used only in a specific IDE like IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate or WebStorm, they can also be used as SDK, but debugging the core code will only work with the IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition.

    Add JDK and IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK

    The first step of configuring a theme plugin SDK is adding the JDK.

    Add JDK

    1. Go to File | Project Structure | Platform Settings | SDKs.

    2. Click the Add button (+).

    3. If you have the required JDK installation on your machine, and it is detected, select it from the Detected SDKs list. If your JDK is not detected, select the Add JDK... option and choose the installation folder.

      If the required JDK is not installed on your machine, the simplest option is using Download JDK... and choosing the distribution options.

    4. Click the Apply button.

      The second step is adding IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK that will use the JDK configured in the first step.

      Add IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK

      1. Go to File | Project Structure | Platform Settings | SDKs.

      2. Click the Add button (+).

      3. Select the Add IntelliJ Platform Plugin SDK... option.

      4. Choose the installation folder of the IDE downloaded previously (on macOS, select application icon in /Applications/).

      5. In the Select Internal Java Platform dialog, select the JDK configured in the previous step and click OK button.

      6. In the added SDK, specify the Sandbox Home directory.

        See The Development Instance Sandbox Directory for details.

      7. If debugging is required, select the Sourcepath tab, click the Add button (+) and select the root folder of the checked-out sources.

      8. Click the Apply button.

        Last modified: 24 October 2023