How to manage projects under Version Control Systems

If you decide to share IDE project files with other developers, follow these guidelines:

Directory-based project format (.idea directory)

This format is used by all the recent IDE versions by default. Here is what you need to share:

  • All the files under the .idea directory in the project root except the workspace.xmlusage.statistics.xml, and tasks.xml files and the shelf directory which store user-specific settings
  • All the .iml module files that can be located in different module directories (applies to IntelliJ IDEA)

Starting with the 2019.1 version,  IntelliJ can automatically add to Version Control everything that needs sharing 

Be careful about sharing the following:

  • Android artifacts that produce a signed build (will contain keystore passwords)
  • In IDEA 13 and earlier dataSources.ids, datasources.xml can contain database passwords. IDEA 14 solves this problem.

You may consider not to share the following:

  • .iml files and .idea/modules.xml file for the Gradle or Maven based projects, since these files will be generated on import
  • gradle.xml file, see this discussion
  • user dictionaries folder (to avoid conflicts if other developer has the same name)
  • XML files under .idea/libraries in case they are generated from Gradle or Maven project

Legacy project format (.ipr/.iml/.iws files)

  • Share the project .ipr file and all the .iml module files, don't share the .iws file as it stores user specific settings


For Git you can use this .gitignore as the starting point.

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Just thought I'd comment I'm having problems with misc.xml as well. My main reason for including .idea into VCS is so that other developers can clone the project and open up PyCharm with all the default configs set without headache and can start developing right away. I also like the idea of having a .idea/local so we know exactly what can be put into .gitignore. Serge Baranov, is there a list of files that are generated upon import that we can exclude from VCS?

Edited by Rlele5
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I somhow changed the vcs root to the folder I have all my projects in and some of the files are marked red, I am guessing I did something wrong by changing the root can someone help me restore the default settings


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Seems that this approach is not fully mature: in `compiler.xml` I get conflicts about different JDK versions, in misc.xml the JDK version name is also user specific. Also if team mates do use different plugins there will also be conflicts. I wonder if that will be fixed some time...

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In our project we also notice that jrebel seems to add an regularly changing entry into the .iml files

<entry key="lastExternalPluginCheckTime" value="1583916902974" />

this messes up the git changes, since people keep committing  .iml files where only this line changed.

Can we somehow get rid of this behaviour be jrebel?

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I created a support ticket with ZeroTurnaround

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Thanks T Zillinger! Let me know what you find. We have the exact same issue with that attribute and version control.

Edited by Bradley Wagner
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What about other jetbrain tools. In there is a section about ignoring .idea/modules and iml files if gradle autoimport is enabled. But i you use teamcity inspection the gradle build type seams not to work if iml-files are missing. It just dropps to 0 inspection errors.




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