Install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - Step by Step Process ?

Developed by JetBrains, IDEA IntelliJ is an open-source, cross-platform IDE that provides consistent experience on the Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It is important for writing Java applications. Also JetBrains is also the company behind the development of PyCharm IDE which is specific to Python applications. 

Here at LinuxAPT, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to perform IntelliJ IDEA configuration on Ubuntu Linux Server.

In this context, we shall look into a brief overview about IntelliJ IDEA and method install it on Ubuntu 20.04.

Main Features of IntelliJ:

1. Smart code completion

2. Color coded syntax for easier identification

3. Detection of duplicate code on the fly

4. Error detection and application of quick fixes

5. Integration of other languages into Java string literals. For example, you can include fragments of HTML, CSS or SQL within Java code.

IntelliJ IDEA is available in the following editions:

1. Community Edition is free and open-source, licensed under Apache 2.0. It provides all the basic features for JVM and Android development.

2. IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate is commercial, distributed with a 30-day trial period. It provides additional tools and features for web and enterprise development.

3. Educational edition which targets students and educational institutions.

How to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu ?

There are 2 broad ways that you can employ to install IntelliJ IDEA. You can install the IDEA via the terminal by running commands, or using Ubuntu Software Center.

Before proceeding with this installation procedure, ensure that you have the following:

1. Java (Open JDK) installed on your system.

2. A stable internet connection

Now let's look into the methods of installing IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu.

Method 1. Install IntelliJ IDEA via the terminal

On the terminal, there are various ways that you can use to install IntelliJ IDEA.

1. Install IntelliJ IDEA using snap package

Snap is a package manager for Linux systems that was engineered by Canonical. It makes use of snaps which are compressed and prebuilt universal software packages which pack with their own libraries and dependencies. 

Snaps are distribution-agnostic and thus make it easy to install and deploy applications across various Linux distributions.

To use snaps, the snap package manager needs to be installed first. Thankfully, snap comes enabled in Ubuntu 20.04.

i. Install IntelliJ IDEA Community edition:

As earlier stated, the Community edition is absolutely free of charge and comes in handy for beginners in programming. 

It provides you the essential set of tools and frameworks just to get started and learn the ropes. You can install the community edition using snap as follows.

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

ii. Install IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate edition:

The Ultimate Edition, unlike the community Edition, has a wider spectrum of languages, features, and framework support. It's mostly used in enterprise-level circles and also for web development.

If you intend to go for the Ultimate Edition, execute the command:

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

iii. Install IntelliJ IDEA Educational edition

This edition mainly targets learners and provides support for Kotlin, Java, and Scala. This serves as a good place for learners to start practicing programming.

Run the command below to install the Educational edition.

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

2. Install IntelliJ IDEA Using flatpak package

Apart from snap, flatpak is another packaging system for Linux kernel. Flatpaks are also universal and work equally well across various Linux distributions.

To install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu 20.04, first ensure that flatpak package manager is installed:

$ sudo apt install flatpak

With the flatpak package in place, a Flathub repository needs to be added. So far, Flathub is the most popular repository with tons of flapaks. 

Therefore, enable the flathub repository:

$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Next, browse the Flathub website and search for IntelliJ IDEA as shown. Hit ‘Install’ button and the download of theIntelliJ IDEA flatpak will be underway.

Next, head over to your download folder and install the IntelliJ flatpak package:

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

Method 2. Install IntelliJ IDEA using Ubuntu Software Center

If you are not a fan of the command-line, then the Software Center is you best friend. Software Center is a graphical front-end for managing packages on Ubuntu. 

You can install, update and remove software packages with a click of a button.

1. To start off, click on the Software Center.

2. Once Software Center is launched, search for IntelliJ IDE and select your preferred edition to install.

3. After selecting your preferred Edition, click the 'Install' button.

4. When prompted for authentication, provide your details and hit ENTER.

5. Then just sit back as the installation gets underway.

How to Launch IntelliJ IDEA via Ubuntu Software Center ?

With IntelliJ IDE installed, the only part remaining is to launch it.

Use the application manager.

Accept the EULA and click 'Continue'.

IntelliJ will start loading.

Just give it some time as it loads all the components.

And finally, the welcome section will be displayed.

Click on the 'New project' icon to launch your workspace and start coding away.

[Need urgent assistance in installing Software on Ubuntu Systems? We are available to help you. ]


This article covers the different methods to install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux system. Basically, In developing Java applications, IntelliJ IDEA is arguably one of the most ergonomic and formidable IDEs there is. 

It ships with all the right tools and a set of plugins to make coding a seamless exercise.

To Install IntelliJ IDEA from command line on Ubuntu:

1. Start by opening a terminal window and execution of the bellow apt command. Select your preferred version to install:

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


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


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

2. You can start the IntelliJ IDEA using the below command:

$ intellij-idea-community


$ intellij-idea-ultimate


$ intellij-idea-educational