Selecting the JDK version the IDE will run under

Windows

JDK 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.

32-bit JDK is located in IDE_HOME\jre directory and is used by the 32-bit product executable.

To run the IDE in 64-bit mode you will need to download and install 64-bit JDK (not JRE) distribution and install it yourself. IDE will find and use it from the registry when you run the 64-bit .exe file (available only for IntelliJ IDEA right now, other products can use the .bat file to run in 64-bit mode).

<product>.exe uses this JDK search sequence:

  1. IDEA_JDK / WEBIDE_JDK / PYCHARM_JDK / RUBYMINE_JDK environment variable (depends on the product, WEBIDE_JDK applies to both WebStorm and PhpStorm)

  2. ..\jre directory
  3. system Registry
  4. JDK_HOME environment variable
  5. JAVA_HOME environment variable

idea64.exe uses this JDK search sequence:

  1. IDEA_JDK_64 environment variable
  2. ..\jre64 directory
  3. system Registry
  4. JDK_HOME environment variable
  5. 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 / WEBIDE_JDK / PYCHARM_JDK / RUBYMINE_JDK environment variable (depends on the product)
  2. ..\jre directory
  3. JDK_HOME environment variable
  4. JAVA_HOME environment variable
Environment variable must point to the JDK installation home directory, for example:
c:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.7.0_17
  • /create-i4j-log command line switch can be used with the .exe to trace the JDK search sequence and find out why the specific JDK was chosen.
  • 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 / WEBIDE_JDK / PYCHARM_JDK / RUBYMINE_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.

Linux

  • Refer to the distribution specific instructions for changing the default JDK version (Ubuntu Java documentation).
  • It's recommended that you will use the latest version of Oracle JDK or OpenJDK available for your system (OpenJDK 1.6 is not supported, please use 1.7 or later versions).
  • Check bin/<product>.sh file for the JDK search order, it's similar to Windows in terms of the environment variable names.
  • You can define JDK home environment variable directly in the .sh file to override system defaults.
  • Check this answer if you need to install the JDK manually on Linux.
  • Using OpenJDK is not recommended, it has known visual and performance problems that affect some users. Use on your own risk if Oracle JDK has more severe issues on your system.
  • If you have problems with ugly fonts, check this thread comments for the tips.
  • Help | About will show the actual JDK version.

Mac OS X

At the moment all our products require Apple JDK 1.6 to be installed in order to run on Mac. JDK 1.7 from Oracle is not officially supported yet and has known problems that stop us from using it by default. Oracle JDK 1.7.0_40 has added support for Retina and works much better than previous versions on Mac. You are welcome to give it a try in case you have any problems with Apple JDK.

To force running under JDK 1.7 edit /Applications/<Product>.app/Contents/Info.plist file, change JVMVersion from 1.6* to 1.7* :

<key>JVMVersion</key>
<string>1.7*</string>
  • See this answer for the known problems with JDK 1.7.
  • IDEA_JDK environment variable can be used to override the selected JDK, you may need to run the product from the Terminal so that it sees your environment variables (Mac OS limitation): open -a /Applications/<Product>.app/ .
  • Application About dialog will show the actual JDK version.

 

Comments

  • Avatar
    Jgc

    How can I run Idea 12 with the default Java 6 VM and target code and binaries to Java 7?

  • Avatar
    Jgc

    On Mac OS X 10.8.4

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    Project/module SDK and byte code level doesn't depend on the JDK IDEA runs under. JDK is configured for the project/module in the File | Project Structure, refer to help for details.

    http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/webhelp/configuring-global-project-and-module-sdks.html

    http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/webhelp/compiler-java-compiler.html

  • Avatar
    Brentboyer

    Serge: did you make a typo for the "JAVA_HOME" env var?

    Note under your Windows section that the first 2 occurrences (the first two 5. items) use "JAVA HOME" (no underscore, whereas the last one (the third 4. item) uses "JAVA_HOME" (with an underscore).

    "JAVA_HOME" (with an underscore) is THE universal convention, to my knowledge.  I have never seen "JAVA HOME" before, indeed, I think that that space may cause all kinds of problems.

    Please confirm what is going on, and correct your original posting if needed.

     

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    Thanks, I've fixed the typo.

  • Avatar
    Stephen Welch

    Can I change the jdk used for database connections without changing the ide  jdk version?

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    Stephen, why do you need to change the JDK version for the database connections? It's not possible at the moment, IDE JDK is always used.

  • Avatar
    Frj

    On OSx you can define environment variables in /etc/launcd.conf (create the file if it does not exist).

    The variables defined in launchd.conf will be available in Terminal and for all other processes. The downside is that changes to the file are not picked up before restarting your system.

    But if you just want to set IDEA_JDK once to 1.7 (instead of changing Info.plist in every EAP install you download) it is a pretty good solution - since it allows you to launch Intellij any way you want.

     

  • Avatar
    Frj

    Doh - spelled the file name wrong - the correct name is "/etc/launchd.conf".

     

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    If you want to do this the hard way, see

    http://codepulsive.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/using-environmentplist-with-mountain.html

    and

    http://codepulsive.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/setting-environment-variables-in-os-x.html

     

    It's the way I keep my shell and GUI environment variables synchronised. Before ML it was easier, using environment.plist, but ML broke that.  The ML solution still works with Mavericks.

     

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    An easier way, that maintains synchronisation of .profile and desktop environments.

    http://codepulsive.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/setting-environment-variables-in-os-x.html

     

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    12C seems to be completely broken for La Clojure under Mavericks.  I have a small clojure test project that hangs 12C when I try to open it. I have to force close.

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    It's broader than that for me. 12C seems to hang at the 'scanning files" stage on most projects. Nasty. Thank you Apple for the constant API changes. Is there any information I can forward?  It seems that you know the way out of this, but it is just going to take some time.

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    Please report bugs to the issue tracker and attach thread dumps/ logs when it hangs.

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    I've reported the bug: IDEA-116177. In the meantime, though, I seem to have found a fix for it.  I uninstalled the new Wacom Intuous 3 drivers I installed after upgrading to Mavericks. This may be useful information for others.

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    Still hanging if I set IDEA_JDK to Java 7. On this display, I would say that Mavericks is a disgrace to its developers. It is Java-hostile to an advanced degree.

  • Avatar
    Li Acerphoenix

    hello, I installed webstorm7 and pycharm3.02 in the same time, my os is mavericks. then i change both product files in  /Applications/<Product>.app/Contents/Info.plist to jvm 1.7,

    and then webstorm started successfully,but pycharm still need jdk6 to start . why?

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    Li Acerphoenix, most likely WebStorm 7 has a more recent java launcher stub version that doesn't require JDK 1.6 to run, PyCharm 3.0.2 is built from the older platform version which still requires JDK 1.6 to be present, even if you are running under JDK 1.7. This will be resolved in the future updates.

  • Avatar
    Tony19

    After editing the plist, make sure to resign the app bundle to avoid a nagging prompt and intermittent hangs at startup. Create a  code-signing cert, and then run:

        sudo codesign --verbose --force --sign "<CERT COMMON NAME>" /Applications/WebStorm.app/

    I verified this with Webstorm 7.0.3 on OS X Mavericks 10.9.2.

  • Avatar
    Hba

    The IDEA_JDK variable doesn't work on Mac OSX.  But it will in will in IDEA v14: http://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-123552#comment=27-739506

  • Avatar
    Pbw

    @Tony19

    I have changed my JDK version to "1.8*", now that I have Oracle Java 8 installed. I haven't had nag problems after editing the plist, provided I have opened the app at least once before editing.  Admittedly, I've only opened IntelliJ a few times since the change.

  • Avatar
    Harirao3

    I edited JVMVersion in the Info.plist file for macOSX to 1.8* and on boot it does complain about early access versions and when I hit about idea it showed 1.8.0_20-ea-b22 x86_64 but when I run a maven project it shows that it is using the 1.7 version JDK  which is OK. I checked the JVMs that are available to use in the /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/ directory and both 1.7x and 1.8x are available. When I enter "java -version" in the console it defaults to 1.8x. I've yet to try java8 for anything but I'm hoping on a new project i can easily use java 8 instead of java 7.

  • Avatar
    Henrik

    Harirao3: The JDK version that IntelliJ runs under is entirely unrelated to the JDK your project runs under.  To change your project JDK go to View --> Open Module Settings --> Project Settings --> Project --> Project SDK

  • Avatar
    Harirao3

    Thanks @Henrik, i actually just realized this and have fixed it accordingly! but good to have it written down for reference too

  • Avatar
    Tommy Svensson

    I just updated the info.plist on my MacBook Pro to 1.7 (1.7.0_60) and restarted intelliJ. This machine has a retina display, and the GUI became much sharper than when running with Apples 1.6! I know that Oracle did not support retina displays on Mac for 1.7 when it came, but apparently they have fixed that now. It looks really good!

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    Laptop users, please be aware that running under JDK 1.7 or 1.8 will always enable your discrete GPU which will lead to the faster battery drain. It's a known JDK bug. If the battery life is critical for you, consider running under the recommended JDK 1.6 version. You can also try other workarounds, like the third-party gfxCardStatus utility that can forcibly disable the discrete GPU and switch to the integrated one.

  • Avatar
    Thirumalv

    @Serge Baranov: Could you update this document to reflect for Android Studio and CLion?

  • Avatar
    Adrian Ha Bartlett

    @Serge, is there any estimate on when IntelliJ will run on Java 8 for Mac? 6 Months a year?

  • Avatar
    Serge Baranov

    @Adrian, as soon as IntelliJ IDEA runs stable on Java 8, we'll switch to this Java version by default on Mac. There are still major issues to resolve and resolution of several issues depends on Oracle. We can't provide any estimates for Oracle, sorry. We have experimental version with bundled Java 8, see my answer here for the details how to get it.

  • Avatar
    Pahan

    Hello. I'm not shure it is right place for question, but there https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/help/configuring-global-project-and-module-sdks.html#comment-1716362147 was been forwarded...

    Is it possible run Idea say in JDK 1.7, but run/debug some for example in 1.8? It will be very desired have such per run/debug configurations settings.

     

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