5 Ways to Install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu

install ubuntu intellij

The IntelliJ IDEA is an open-source IDE (Integrated Development Environment)  for developing Java applications. It is developed and maintained by Jetbrains, a company also popular for developing PyCharm IDE. It's estimated that over 70% of Java developers prefer IntelliJ IDE over other IDEs like Eclipse.

In this guide,  we will walk you through various ways to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. At the time of writing this guide, the latest version of IntelliJ is IntelliJ 2020.2.

IntelliJ comes in 3 different Editions:

  1. The IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition
  2. IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate Edition ( A paid version with add-on features)
  3. IntelliJ IDEA Educational ( An ultimate Edition but free for students and faculty members)


Before installing IntelliJ IDE, ensure that you have Java installed on  Ubuntu 20.04 system. Also, ensure that you have a stable internet connection to install all the required packages.

1) Install IntelliJ using Ubuntu Software Center

This is the most recommended way of installing the IntelliJ IDE on Ubuntu. It's simple and fast. All you need to do is to launch Ubuntu Software Center and search for IntelliJ IDE as shown below. As expected, the three editions will be listed. Select your preferred edition by clicking on it.

Here, we have decided to select the Community Edition which is the free version.

search and select IntelliJ in Ubuntu software Center
Search and select IntelliJ in Ubuntu software Center

In the next step, click the 'Install' button to begin the installation process. With a stable internet connection, this should take a couple of minutes to complete.

Click to install IntelliJ
Click to install IntelliJ

2)  Install IntelliJ on Ubuntu using snap

Snap packages are universal prebuilt software packages that ship with libraries and dependencies required by the software package. They are distribution-agnostic and can be installed on any major Linux distribution. Snaps are popular as they do not require any dependencies during installation, thus making the installation process smooth and error-free.

For Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04, Snap comes already enabled. Other distros that come with snap enabled also include KDE Neon, and Solus 3 and later versions.

To install the Community edition, execute the following command:

$ sudo snap install intellij-idea-community --classic

For the Ultimate Edition, run:

$ sudo snap install intellij-idea-ultimate --classic

And finally, for the Educational version, invoke the command:

$ sudo snap install intellij-idea-educational --classic

This should take a few minutes and should proceed without a hitch.

3) Install IntelliJ using flatpak

Just like snaps, flatpak is yet another universal software packaging format that makes it easy to install software applications without having t0 worry about dependencies.

As with snap, you must first ensure that flatpak is enabled on your Ubuntu system. Next head over to the Flathub site - an AppStore for flatpaks -  and search for IntelliJ IDE as shown.

Install IntelliJ from Flatpak
Install IntelliJ from Flatpak

Click on the 'Install' button to download the flatpak package. Once downloaded, head over to the download directory and run the command below to install IntelliJ.

$ sudo flatpak install com.jetbrains.IntelliJ-IDEA-Community.flatpakref

4) Install IntelliJ from unofficial PPA

To install IntelliJ on Ubuntu and other Ubuntu variants such as Mint, Elementary Os and Zorin, you can use an unofficial PPA that is developed and maintained by Marcel Kapfer. This works on Ubuntu 16.04 and later versions and other distros based on them.

To install IntelliJ from the unofficial PPA, run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mmk2410/intellij-idea
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt install intellij-idea-community

NOTE: You can only get the community edition using the PPA and not other editions.

5) Install IntelliJ using Ubuntu make (For Ubuntu only)

In case you didn't know, Ubuntu make is a command-line tool that allows users to install the latest versions of IDEs such as Pycharm and Android Studio. Thankfully, IntelliJ is one of the supported IDEs. But first you need to install Ubuntu Make on your system.

To do so, first, run the command:

$ sudo apt install ubuntu-make

To install IntelliJ IDEA community version, run the command

$ umake ide idea

For the ultimate version, execute:

$ umake ide idea-ultimate

This takes some time, and some patience will do.

Launching IntelliJ

To launch IntelliJ on Ubuntu, use the application to search for it as shown. Then click on the IntelliJ icon.

Launch IntelliJ on Ubuntu
Launch IntelliJ on Ubuntu

Next, accept the license agreement by checking off the checkbox on the far left corner and click on the 'Continue' button.

Accept licence IntelliJ
Accept licence IntelliJ

In the next step, you can choose to send anonymous statistics on the usage of IntelliJ IDE to developers or not. Select your preferred choice.

choose to send anonymous data
Choose to send anonymous data

Thereafter, IntelliJ will be initialized as shown. Give it about 2-3 minutes.

Launching IntelliJ IDEA
Launching IntelliJ IDEA

Eventually, you will get the welcome pane shown. Click on the 'New Project' button to begin creating your Java applications.

Create a new project in IntelliJ
Click New Project to create a project


We have walked you through the installation on IntelliJ IDEA IDE by JetBrains. We hope that you are now confident in the installation of the IDE and that you can now get started with the hard work or coding Java applications. Thank you for taking the time.

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