Running IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate for the First Time

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Running IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate for the first time assumes performing the following tasks:

  • Importing IntelliJ IDEA settings from a previous version.
  • Entering your license information.
  • Reading the IntelliJ IDEA License Agreement and accepting its terms.
  • Disabling IntelliJ IDEA plugins that you are not going to use.


Before you start

If you are using Windows, proceed to starting IntelliJ IDEA right away. Otherwise:

Mac OS X:

  • Make sure that Java SE 6 (also referred to as Java SE 1.6) is installed and enabled on your computer. To see which Java versions are installed, and also to control their state (on/off), use the application located in the /Applications/Utilities folder.
  • If Java SE 6 is missing, download, install and enable it.

Linux (e.g. Ubuntu):

  • Make sure that you have an Oracle JRE or JDK version 6 (a.k.a. 1.6) or later installed.
    The necessary JRE or JDK can be downloaded from the Java SE Downloads page. Installation instructions can be found there as well.
  • Open the file for editing. (This file is located in the bin directory of the IntelliJ IDEA installation directory.)
    At the beginning of the file, after the last of the commented lines (the ones that start with #), add the following line:
    For example:
    Save and close the file.

Starting IntelliJ IDEA

If you have an IntelliJ IDEA shortcut, you can start IntelliJ IDEA by using that shortcut.


Otherwise, you can run:

  • On Windows: the file idea.exe or idea.bat located in the bin folder of the IntelliJ IDEA installation directory.
  • On Mac OS X: the IntelliJ IDEA application located in the /Applications folder.
  • On Linux: the file located in the bin directory of the IntelliJ IDEA installation directory.

As a result, the Complete Installation dialog is shown.

Importing IntelliJ IDEA settings from a previous version

In the Complete Installation dialog, you have an option of importing IntelliJ IDEA settings and license information from a previous version.


Select one of the following options and click OK:

  • I want to import my settings from a previous version (<path>). If this option is present in the dialog, the directory that contains the IntelliJ IDEA settings and license information is found at its default location. (The corresponding path is shown within the option name in parentheses.) Most likely, this is the option that you want.
  • I want to import my settings from a custom location. You may have the directory with the settings and license information available but not at its default location.
    If the option discussed above is missing, IntelliJ IDEA doesn’t know where this directory is; the path shown in the dimmed field is just a guess, and there’s no guarantee that the necessary folder is really there.
    To import the settings in this case, you can specify the folder with the settings (if you know where it is), or an installation folder of the previous IntelliJ IDEA version. To do that, click File:000SelectFolderButtonE1.png and select the folder in the dialog that opens.
  • I do not have a previous version of IntelliJ IDEA or I do not want to import my settings. If this is your case, select this option.

The Enter IntelliJ IDEA License dialog is shown. (This dialog is not shown if the license information has been imported from the previous version and is valid.)

Entering the IntelliJ IDEA license information

This dialog, obviously, is for entering the license information.


Select one of the following options and click OK:

  • Enter license data. If at the time of purchase, you’ve been provided with a user name and an associated license key, select this option and enter your user name and license key in the corresponding fields. The recommended way of doing that is by copying the corresponding information from the email that you’ve got, and pasting it into the fields (CTRL+C/CTRL+V on Windows and Linux; Command+C/Command+V on Mac OS X).
    If the license information is rejected by IntelliJ IDEA, see License key doesn't work for a possible solution.
  • Enter license server address. To manage IntelliJ IDEA licenses, JetBrains may recommend that your company install the IntelliJ IDEA License Server.
    If this is the case, and you have such server available in your company, select this option.
    Specify the server URL in the corresponding field. Use the Discover button for the URL to be entered automatically. (Contact your system administrator to find out what the URL should be, or whether the server auto-discovery service is available.) Use the More info link to find out more about the License Server.
  • Evaluate for free for 30 days. If you are going to use the installed copy of IntelliJ IDEA for evaluation purposes only, select this option.

The IntelliJ IDEA License Agreement is shown in the License Agreement for IntelliJ IDEA dialog.

Accepting the License Agreement

Read the License Agreement. To accept the license terms, select the Accept all terms of the license check box and click OK.


Note that without accepting the license terms, you won’t be able to use IntelliJ IDEA.

The IntelliJ IDEA Initial Configuration wizard opens.

Disabling unnecessary plugins

The IntelliJ IDEA Initial Configuration wizard lets you disable the plugins that you are not going to use. (The more plugins are enabled, the more features you have available. On the other hand, disabling unnecessary plugins may increase the IDE performance, especially on "less powerful" computers.)

Shown in the wizard are the plugins bundled with the IDE; all the plugins, by default, are enabled.


The plugins are grouped by their functional areas, and there is a separate page for each group of plugins. For example, the plugins for integrating IntelliJ IDEA with various version control systems are on the first page, the ones related to web and Java EE development are on the second, and so on.


  • The check boxes to the left of plugin names, and the Enable All and Disable All buttons to enable or disable the plugins.
  • The UP and DOWN arrow keys to move in the plugin list to see the plugin descriptions (shown in the area under the Enable All and Disable All buttons).
  • The Previous and Next buttons to move between the pages of the wizard.
  • The Skip button to accept the current settings and quit the wizard.

Note that you can come back to enabling and disabling the plugins at a later time.

When you complete the wizard, the IntelliJ IDEA Welcome screen is shown.


What’s next?

Now that you have started IntelliJ IDEA, you may be interested in studying the following tutorial:

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