How to open IntelliJ from command line

How to open IntelliJ from command line: IntelliJ IDEA, a versatile integrated development environment, offers developers a robust set of tools for efficient coding. While many users navigate through its user-friendly graphical interface, leveraging the command line can significantly enhance productivity. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the detailed steps and benefits of opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Locate IntelliJ IDEA Installation

Begin by identifying the installation directory where IntelliJ IDEA is located on your system. This is crucial for navigating to the correct location in the command line.

Step 2: Open the Command Line

Launch your command line interface—Command Prompt or PowerShell on Windows, and Terminal on macOS or Linux.

Step 3: Navigate to IntelliJ Installation Directory

Use the cd command to change the directory to where IntelliJ IDEA is installed. This ensures that you are in the right location to execute the subsequent commands.


Step 4: Execute the idea Command

Execute the idea command (or idea.bat on Windows) to open IntelliJ IDEA from the command line. This command initiates the IDE and allows for quick access to its features.

Step 5: Open a Specific Project

To open a particular project directly from the command line, include the path to the project directory as an argument after the idea command. This eliminates the need to navigate through the GUI to access your desired project.

Step 6: Additional Command Line Options

Explore additional command line options provided by IntelliJ IDEA to customize your development environment. For instance, you can use the -noupdates option to skip update checks during startup for a faster launch.

Benefits of Command Line Integration

  1. Efficiency: Opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line streamlines the process, eliminating the need for multiple clicks through the graphical interface.
  2. Automation: Incorporating command line usage allows for automation, making it easier to integrate IntelliJ IDEA into scripts and workflows.
  3. Quick Project Access: Directly open specific projects from the command line, reducing the time spent navigating through the IDE.
  4. Customization: Utilize command line options to customize the behavior of IntelliJ IDEA based on your preferences and requirements.

External Links

  1. IntelliJ IDEA Official Documentation – Command-Line Interface:
  2. IntelliJ IDEA Keyboard Shortcuts:


FAQs on Opening IntelliJ IDEA from the Command Line

Q1: Why would I want to open IntelliJ IDEA from the command line?

Opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line offers a more efficient way to launch the IDE, especially for developers who prefer working with command line interfaces or want to automate certain tasks.

Q2: Can I open a specific project directly from the command line?

Yes, you can open a specific project by providing the path to the project directory as a command line argument. This allows you to quickly navigate to and open your desired project without using the GUI.

Q3: Are there additional command line options for IntelliJ IDEA?

IntelliJ IDEA provides various command line options that cater to specific tasks, such as skipping updates during startup or configuring the IDE for specific behaviors. Exploring these options allows for a more customized development environment.

Q4: How do I navigate to the IntelliJ IDEA installation directory in the command line?

Use the cd command followed by the path to the IntelliJ IDEA installation directory to navigate to it. This allows you to execute the idea command from the appropriate location.

Q5: Can I automate the opening of IntelliJ IDEA using scripts or shortcuts?

Yes, you can create scripts or shortcuts that include the necessary commands to open IntelliJ IDEA with specific configurations. This is particularly useful for repetitive tasks or when integrating with other development tools.

Q6: Does opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line impact the usual GUI workflow?

No, opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line does not affect the regular GUI workflow. It simply provides an alternative method for launching the IDE, offering flexibility to developers who prefer command line interfaces.

Q7: How do I check for available command line options for IntelliJ IDEA?

Refer to the official IntelliJ IDEA documentation for a comprehensive list of command line options. The documentation provides details on each option and its functionality.

Q8: Can I use these commands on any operating system?

The commands provided in the blog post are examples for macOS, Linux, and Windows. While the general concept is applicable to various operating systems, the specific commands may vary. Consult the IntelliJ IDEA documentation for OS-specific details.

Q9: Are there any security considerations when using the command line to open IntelliJ IDEA?

Opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line is a standard practice and doesn’t pose specific security risks. However, be cautious when using scripts or shortcuts from untrusted sources.

Q10: How do I troubleshoot if I encounter issues opening IntelliJ IDEA from the command line?

If you encounter issues, ensure that you are in the correct directory, and check for any error messages in the command line interface. Additionally, consult the IntelliJ IDEA documentation or community forums for troubleshooting guidance.


By following these detailed steps and exploring the various benefits, you can unlock a more efficient and personalized development experience with IntelliJ IDEA. Integrating the command line into your workflow enhances your ability to navigate, automate, and customize your development environment, ultimately boosting productivity.

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