Selecting the JDK version the IDE will run under

Java 8

Please be aware that Java 8 is required to run IntelliJ IDEA starting from version 2016 on all the supported platforms. It also applies to the lightweight IDEs based on IntelliJ platform released from the same branch (144+).

Java 11

Starting with 2019.1 version some products are already bundled with JetBrains Runtime version 11 or have the choice between 8 and 11 when downloading. Other products can be switched to JBR11 as described below.

All the products on all the supported platforms already have JetBrains Runtime bundled and it will be used by default. If you need to change the runtime to a different version, see below.

All platforms: download and install JetBrains Runtime via Choose Runtime plug-in

  1. Install the Choose Runtime plugin (screenshot).
  2. Start the IDE, use Help | Find Action (Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on Mac), type "Choose Runtime", press Enter.
  3. Select the version to install, the higher the number after b, the more recent is the version. It makes sense to install the most recent version or the version you were asked to try by JetBrains staff. Installing old runtime versions may render your IDE unusable or introduce new issues.
  4. Click the Download button and wait until the file with JetBrains Runtime is downloaded.
  5. Once download is finished, click the Install button, the file will be unpacked into idea.config.path\jdks location and the full path to this JDK will be saved into idea.config.path\<product>.jdk file, for example: C:\Users\serge\.IntelliJIdea2017.1\config\jdks\jbsdk8u152b819.1_windows_x64. IDE will automatically restart.
  6. Verify via About dialog that the new runtime is used. Notice the vendor (should be JetBrains s.r.o) and the release number (should correspond to the number after b in the file you've downloaded).
  7. If the JDK version in the About dialog doesn't match or didn't change, see below. Most likely, you have an environment variable configured which has the priority over the <product>.jdk file. Remove any environment variables affecting IDE runtime selection and restart.

All platforms: switch between the installed runtimes

See the previous section. After installing the plug-in use the Choose Runtime action to switch between the different local runtimes:

Help | Find Action (Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on Mac), type "Choose Runtime", press Enter.



JDK (JetBrains Runtime) is bundled with all the product installers and it's recommended that you will use the provided JDK version unless there are any specific issues. Since 2017.1 version 64-bit JDK is bundled by default on all the systems (32-bit JDK can be downloaded on Windows by the installer if needed).

JetBrains Runtime (based on OpenJDK) can be also downloaded separately, but you normally don't need to do it. 

<product>.exe uses this JDK search sequence:

  1. IDEA_JDK / PHPSTORM_JDK / WEBIDE_JDK / PYCHARM_JDK / RUBYMINE_JDK / CL_JDK / DATAGRIP_JDK / GOLAND_JDK environment variable (depends on the product, WEBIDE_JDK applies to both WebStorm and PhpStorm before version 2016.1)

  2. idea.config.path\<product>.jdk file
  3. ..\jre directory
  4. system Registry
  5. JDK_HOME environment variable
  6. JAVA_HOME environment variable

<product>64.exe uses this JDK search sequence:

  1. IDEA_JDK_64 / PHPSTORM_JDK_64 / WEBIDE_JDK_64 / PYCHARM_JDK_64 / RUBYMINE_JDK_64 / CL_JDK_64 / DATAGRIP_JDK_64 / GOLAND_JDK_64 environment variable
  2. idea.config.path\<product>64.jdk file
  3. ..\jre64 directory
  4. system Registry
  5. JDK_HOME environment variable
  6. JAVA_HOME environment variable

It’s also possible to start the IDE with <product>.bat file located in the bin directory, it uses the following JDK search sequence:

  1. IDEA_JDK / PHPSTORM_JDK / WEBIDE_JDK / PYCHARM_JDK / RUBYMINE_JDK / CL_JDK / DATAGRIP_JDK / GOLAND_JDK environment variable (depends on the product)
  2. idea.config.path\<product>64.jdk file
  3. idea.config.path\<product>.jdk file
  4. ..\jre64 directory
  5. ..\jre directory
  6. JDK_HOME environment variable
  7. JAVA_HOME environment variable
Environment variable must point to the JDK installation home directory, for example:
c:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.8.0_112
  • The actual JDK version used by the IDE can be verified in Help | About dialog (open any project to access the menu).
  • Define IDEA_JDK / PHPSTORM_JDK / WEBIDE_JDK / PYCHARM_JDK / RUBYMINE_JDK / CL_JDK / DATAGRIP_JDK / GOLAND_JDK variable depending on the product to override the default version from IDE_HOME\jre.
  • Use Rapid Environment Editor to add/edit the variables, it will detect incorrect paths.


  • Starting from IntelliJ IDEA 2016 and the most recent versions of the lightweight IDEs, we are bundling custom JRE with Linux distributions, just like we've been doing for Mac. Our custom JRE is based on OpenJDK and includes the most up to date fixes to provide better user experience on Linux (like font rendering improvements and HiDPI support).
  • Boot JDK path is stored in the <product>.jdk file located in the config folder. It can be modified either via the Change IDE boot JDK action or by manually editing .jdk file (if you can't start the IDE to change it via an action).
  • It's recommended to use the bundled JRE (if available). In case you have any issues with the bundled version, you can switch to the latest Oracle JDK or OpenJDK 1.8 build available on your system (JDK 1.8 is recommended and older Java versions are not supported starting from IntelliJ IDEA 16).
  • Check bin/<product>.sh file for the JDK search order, it's similar to Windows in terms of the environment variable names. It's a legacy way to adjust the boot jdk, use it for older product versions. Consider using <product>.jdk file instead (see above), so that your modifications can survive IDE updates/re-installation.
  • Check this answer if you need to install the JDK manually on Linux.
  • If you have problems with ugly fonts, please see this thread comments for the tips.
  • Help | About will show the actual JDK version.

Mac OS X

  • Our latest IDE versions come with the bundled custom JDK 8 which contains the fixes for most known OpenJDK and Oracle JDK bugs. Should you need to use a different Java version, please refer to this blog post.
  • If you override IDE JDK version, its path is stored in <product>.jdk file located in the config folder (idea.jdk for IntelliJ IDEA, pycharm.jdk for PyCharm, etc). Delete this file or change the path inside the file manually in case IDE no longer starts and you can't change it via the menu.
  • If IDE doesn't start and this file doesn't exist, create it manually and specify Java path to use (Java home location), for example:
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I have a Gradle Project. And my local Sandbox AppCode IDE does not run under JB SDK environment.

I went through the steps in this doc, and it did not really help.

The following suggestion did not work for me either because I have a Gradle Project:

Also, as mentioned in the following link, my Gradle project did not fetch and use JB Runtime by default.

And I don't see JB JDK as an option under "Internal Java Platform". As suggested in another topic:

Also tried putting `appcode.jdk` file with correct JB JDK path to build/sandbox config folder as well cache/sandbox.

Nothing works. Sandbox IDE keeps looking into the default JRE and keeps freezing in a minute after its launch. Exactly the behavior described at the stackoverflow link posted above.

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Hi Dmytro.

This article is about setting JRE for real IDE, not for sandbox-IDEA.

If you're using gradle-intellij-plugin, make sure you're using the latest version of the plugin and see `jbrVersion` option in `runIde` task. More details here:

The documentation about plugins development you can find here:

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Thank you Alexander! Yeah, sorry about a slight off-topic. Was getting a bit desperate.

I did miss `jbrVersion` from the doc, thanks for pointing it out. It worked like a charm!

runIde {
jbrVersion = 'jbrex8u152b1402.1'
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Start the IDE, use Help | Find Action (Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on Mac), type "Switch Boot JDK", press Enter.

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Guys, how can I use bundled OpenJDK for WebStorm (I need legatures) and system JDK for scripts and internal terminal?

I can not build Cordova apps and use package.json tasks when OpenJDK installed, because in internal terminal java links to bundled JDK :(. JAVA_HOME and PATH configured correctly.

Requirements check failed for JDK 8 ('1.8.*')! Detected version: 11.0.3
Check your ANDROID_SDK_ROOT / JAVA_HOME / PATH environment variables.
[ERROR] An error occurred while running subprocess cordova.

Edited by Roman Sergeev
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@Nm666, please vote for to be notified on any progress with it

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@Elena Pogorelova Thanks! Done.

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Hi, need some help. I'm trying to install PyCharm 2019 on ubuntu 18 to upgrade PyCharm 2017 I am working with now. So I've downloaded the tar file, extracted it and tried to run which has failed - the image of gui starting has shown, but then the process has exited. Searching for help I've got the impression that this may be related to the jdk version. Now, it looks like this article should be an instruction on how to use the right jdk, but I've got totally lost: using JB SDK Bintray Downloader requires the PyCharm being already running, which is not the case, there is no pycharm.jdk file in the specified location, I have no mentioned preconfigured environment variables, etc. So, what should I do to start the PyCharm properly? Thanks!

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@Michael Ry

> Selected location is stored inside the idea.config.path\<product>.jdk file, should you need to revert to the default behavior in case of any problem (like when IDE no longer starts), delete this file or modify the installation path inside.

>     product>64.exe uses this JDK search sequence:

  1. IDEA_JDK_64 / PHPSTORM_JDK_64 / WEBIDE_JDK_64 / PYCHARM_JDK_64 / RUBYMINE_JDK_64 / CL_JDK_64 / DATAGRIP_JDK_64 / GOLAND_JDK_64 environment variable
  2. idea.config.path\<product>64.jdk file
  3. ..\jre64 directory
  4. system Registry
  5. JDK_HOME environment variable
  6. JAVA_HOME environment variable
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Michael Ry, please file a ticket to support with the error you get when running from the terminal. If there are any logs or crash dumps, please attach them as well.

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Serge Baranov, will do it, thanks.

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The Title "Selecting the JDK version the IDE will run under" sounds ambiguous, therefore I have two questions:

  1. Does IntelliJ use one JDK version to run itself
    and then can use a different JDK version to run and debug a loaded Java Project?

  2. If the answer to question 1 is yes:
    What does this Article talk about?:
    a) Installing a JDK Version to run IntelliJ itself
    b) Installing a JDK Version to run and debug a loaded Java project
    c) for both a) and b)


Thanks a lot!, kind regards,



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