recommended IDE for developing openjdk?

Maurizio Cimadamore maurizio.cimadamore at
Mon Jan 18 11:11:06 UTC 2021

thanks for the pointer to the Eclipse project - I'm sure folks will find 
that useful.

I think these days the IntelliJ support is relatively polished - there 
are features missing yes (for instance the project is monolitic, and not 
modularized, but folks here are using it pretty regularly and I can't 
say that has been a huge issue so far).

To get started with intellij you have to create an IDE configuration first.

1. first run `sh configure` as you normally would to set up your JDK 
build - that build configuration would then be reused by Intellij

2. then run `sh bin/ <list of module names> - e.g. `sh 
bin/ java.base jdk.compiler java.desktop` - this will create an 
`.idea` folder in the current directory and set the sources for the JDK 
modules you specified.

3. open IntelliJ and point it to the folder where the `.idea` folder has 
been created. If everything worked correctly you should have a project 
up and running.

The base project supports actions for cleaning, rebuilding the selected 
modules, or building a JDK image.

Optionally, you can also build and install a jtreg plugin, to run and 
debug tests:

I use this setup on a daily basis and I think it works pretty well - 
there are things that can be improved (for instance, I don't think the 
generated sources are always recognized correctly, we need to look into 
that), but I'm quite productive with it (especially with the jtreg 
plugin enabled).

I know that there is also some limited support for VSCode (especially 
for hotspot development):

And that there is Netbeans support as well - CC'ing Jan who knows more 
than I do on how to get started there.

Eventually we should collect all this info in a single place, but I 
never found the time to do so. Apologies!


On 18/01/2021 09:46, Langer, Christoph wrote:
> Hi Clemens,
> while I won't argue about the fanciness of the Eclipse user interface (��), I'd like to point you to a set of Eclipse projects that I created nevertheless...
> You'll find them here:
> The main benefit of these Eclipse projects is that the projects for all modules and tests are linked together so you will immediately recognize errors in dependencies. I think that doesn't work so well with IntelliJ.
> Another hint: There's a mailing list called ide-support-dev where questions around IDE support can get discussed.
> Best regards
> Christoph
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: discuss <discuss-retn at> On Behalf Of Clemens
>> Eisserer
>> Sent: Freitag, 15. Januar 2021 21:33
>> To: discuss at
>> Subject: recommended IDE for developing openjdk?
>> Hi,
>> About 10 years ago I used eclipse to work on OpenJDK, however I would like
>> to get rid of it because of its slow/ugly user interface.
>> I wonder, are there any recommendations which IDE to use these days?
>> I gave IntelliJ a try but having not used it that much (except for some
>> fairly standard maven based projects) I failed to configure it correctly,
>> however I haven't tried Netbeans still.
>> So to make it short: Which IDE is known to cope well with working on the
>> OpenJDK codebase?
>> And are there detailed instructions available for creating an openjdk
>> project with intellij?
>> Or would I be better off using netbeans?
>> Thank, Clemens

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