CLion vs IntelliJ IDEA

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CLion

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IntelliJ IDEA

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CLion vs IntelliJ IDEA: What are the differences?

Key Differences between CLion and IntelliJ IDEA

CLion and IntelliJ IDEA are both Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) developed by JetBrains. While they share some similarities, there also exist several key differences between the two.

  1. Language Support: CLion is primarily designed for C and C++ programming languages, while IntelliJ IDEA is more focused on Java development. CLion provides advanced features specific to C and C++, such as code analysis and refactoring tools, while IntelliJ IDEA offers a rich set of features for Java development, including support for other JVM languages like Kotlin and Groovy.

  2. Build Systems: CLion supports multiple build systems, including CMake and Makefile, making it suitable for a wider range of C and C++ projects. On the other hand, IntelliJ IDEA offers seamless integration with build systems like Maven and Gradle, which are commonly used in Java projects.

  3. Project Type: CLion is primarily aimed at desktop application development, whereas IntelliJ IDEA is a more versatile IDE that supports various types of projects, including web development, mobile app development, and server-side programming. IntelliJ IDEA provides specific features and plugins tailored to different project types, making it a more flexible choice for developers working on diverse projects.

  4. User Interface: The user interface in CLion is optimized for C and C++ development, providing specialized features such as a debugger and a C/C++ refactoring toolset. IntelliJ IDEA, on the other hand, offers a more generic user interface that is not as focused on specific programming languages, making it adaptable to a wider range of development projects.

  5. Code Assistance: Both IDEs provide advanced code assistance features, such as intelligent code completion, code navigation, and error highlighting. However, CLion focuses on providing specialized code assistance for C and C++ programming languages, while IntelliJ IDEA offers comprehensive code assistance for Java and other JVM languages.

  6. Price: There is a difference in the pricing models of CLion and IntelliJ IDEA. CLion is a paid IDE, while IntelliJ IDEA has a free Community Edition and a paid Ultimate Edition. The Community Edition of IntelliJ IDEA offers basic features for Java development, and the Ultimate Edition provides additional advanced features and support for other languages.

In summary, CLion is a specialized IDE designed for C and C++ development, while IntelliJ IDEA is a more versatile IDE with support for various languages and project types. The choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of the development project and the programming languages involved.

Advice on CLion and IntelliJ IDEA

Hey, So I'm new to coding in Java and I'm planning to code an app, for both iOS and Android, and I'm not sure what IDE should I use. I want something that is free, easy to use, and beginner-friendly, but at the same time, I want all the features to be available in it since I want to try and code a social media app. Any help is appreciated!

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Replies (2)

Great for starting to write simple cross platform applications without worrying about writing back-end code from scratch.

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christy craemer
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UPDATE: Thanks for the great response. I am going to start with VSCode based on the open source and free version that will allow me to grow into other languages, but not cost me a license ..yet.

I have been working with software development for 12 years, but I am just beginning my journey to learn to code. I am starting with Python following the suggestion of some of my coworkers. They are split between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA for IDEs that they use and PyCharm is new to me. Which IDE would you suggest for a beginner that will allow expansion to Java, JavaScript, and eventually AngularJS and possibly mobile applications?

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Pycharm is great for python development, but can feel sometimes slow and community version has Somme very annoying restrictions (like they disabled jupyter notebooks plugin and made it premium feature). I personally started looking into VS Code as an alternative, and it has some very good potential. I suggest you take it into account.

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The Community version of PyCharm is free and should give you what you need to get started with Python. Both PyCharm and IntelliJ are made by JetBrains. IntelliJ is initially focused on Java but you can get plugins for lots of other things. I subscribe to JetBrains' Toolbox: https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox-app/ and have access to all of their great tools.

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Hi, I will give my opinion based on my experience. I have used PyCharm, both community and Professional version. The community has limited functions, like you can't use a Jupyter notebook whereas it's available in the Professional version. PyCharm is slower compared to Visual Studio Code. Also Visual Studio Code is an editor which supports various languages. I myself have used both Visual Studio Code and PyCharm. I feel Visual Studio Code would be better choice. You may as well decide based upon your requirements.

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Charles Nelson
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Ivan Martinez Morales
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Pranshu Verma
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If you starting with Python then PyCharm is better. For Java I would suggest to go with IntelliJ IDEA but people also prefer eclipse so I would say try both and then decide. For JS/Angular/React I would suggest go with VSCode. I personally use it and prefer as its light weight and have good integration with chrome for frontend development.

PyCharm, IntelliJ IDEA are both products of JetBrains. They have a free (limited feature) and paid edition. Eclipse is free. VSCode is also free.

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Pritam Nandy
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Decisions about CLion and IntelliJ IDEA

When I work with Java, I use IntelliJ IDEA. When I want super-b Refactoring and Search/Replace Functionality, I use IntelliJ.

When working on anything else, I've chosen to adopt Visual Studio Code - a IDE that implements many features important and interesting to the developer experience and doesn't make me miss many things from Jetbrains while being so lightweight that I install it everywhere, even when I would've just wanted to install Notepad++.

I install it everywhere, and if it's my machine, I sign into my GitHub Account to sync all Extensions and Settings and unlock all GitHub seamlessness-capabilities.

The browser-only capability is awesome and allows for extremely seamless and fast ad-hoc development from anywhere just by signing in to GitHub.

I only really use the GUI/Side-Bar Tools "Project Manager", "GitLens", "Git Graph" and "Git History". But i do have installed many other Developer Experience changing extensions as well. For the interested, you can take a look at my VS Code Extensions I documented over at my GitHub

[Addendum 2022/08] I recently found out about that VSCode also has Live Share Extension, similiar to the one Jetbrains added in one of the newer versions. Very neat and nicely implemented over SSH too. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/liveshare/

My Jetbrains History:

IntelliJ is an awesome tool. It does everything for you, without even noticing - i.e. automatic Gradle dependency installation or adding Gradle dependencies through GUI.

I really got to use most Shortcuts and enjoyed the Weekly Tips.

I can't emphasize enough how well it's Quick Fixes and Refactoring work.

It allows you to generate all kinds of boilerplate (e.g. Getter/Setter/Constructor, toString, JavaDoc). It has a ByteCode Previewer. It has an awesome Debugger.

Also: During my 4 years in apprentice as an IT-Technician in which I also worked on some Grails (Spring) Projects it also was nice that IntelliJ IDEA ULTIMATE, which I got for free thanks to an all-time available offer for students, had Grails-aware functionality. The primary functionality I'm talking about is the ability to automatically generate a graphical database diagram for by a click on the Domain Class. Experimenting with this I quickly understood all the Relation Database Paradigms and how to implement them with GORM, or how GORM translates to database through IntelliJ's Database Tab Integration.

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Nikola Yovchev
Head of Engineering at Relay42 · | 4 upvotes · 165K views

Since IntelliJ is the de-facto standard for writing Java/Kotlin/Scala application, and in Relay42 we are heavy Java users, every new engineer gets an Ultimate subscription from day1. The gains in productivity, pair programming speed (esp with the Code With Me feature) by using the same and familiar editor are totally worth the cost.

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Samriddhi Sinha
Machine Learning Engineer at Chefling · | 6 upvotes · 990.4K views

Lightweight and versatile. Huge library of extensions that enable you to integrate a host of services to your development environment. VS Code's biggest strength is its library of extensions which enables it to directly compete with every single major IDE for almost all major programming languages.

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Manabu Tokunaga
CEO, Co-Founder at WinguMD · | 10 upvotes · 515K views

I originally chose IntelliJ over Eclipse, as it was close enough to the look and feel of Visual Studio and we do go back and forth between the two. We really begin to love IntelliJ and their suite of IDEs so we are now using AppCode for the IOS development because the workflow is identical with the IntelliJ. IntelliJ is super complex and intimidating at first but it does afford a lot of nice utilities to get us produce clean code.

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Pros of CLion
Pros of IntelliJ IDEA
  • 31
    Good editor
  • 30
    Easy setup
  • 24
    Powerful refactoring, extremely smart IDE
  • 24
    Already one of the best C/C++ IDEs, even before launch
  • 21
    Cross-platform build
  • 19
    Clean, Sleek User Interface
  • 18
    Much faster and smarter than Intellisense
  • 13
    Vertically/Horizontally split windows
  • 12
    Great navigation, error messages and auto completion
  • 9
    Vim plugin
  • 9
    Not a 20gb installation
  • 6
    It is best IDE
  • 3
    Like this one because of - not a 20GB installation
  • 2
    Free Flowing C++ IDE
  • 1
    IDE supports Python with all features of PyCharm CE
  • 1
    Very good Git plugin
  • 1
    Cheap, just 99 USD for the first year
  • 301
    Fantastically intelligent
  • 242
    Best-in-class ide
  • 190
    Many languages support
  • 158
    Java
  • 121
    Fast
  • 82
    Code analysis
  • 79
    Reliable
  • 76
    Out of the box integration with maven, git, svn
  • 64
    Plugin architecture
  • 61
    Integrated version control
  • 12
    Code refactoring support
  • 11
    Best java IDE
  • 7
    Local history
  • 6
    Code Completion
  • 6
    Kotlin
  • 6
    Integrated Database Navigator
  • 6
    Built-in terminal/run tools
  • 5
    All
  • 5
    Free for open-source development, students and teacher
  • 5
    Base for Android Studio
  • 5
    Free If you're a Student
  • 4
    ERD Diagrams
  • 4
    Free
  • 4
    Cross platform
  • 4
    IDE
  • 4
    Database/Code integration
  • 3
    Out Of The Box features
  • 3
    Column Selection Mode
  • 3
    Server and client-side debugger
  • 3
    More than enough languages for any developer
  • 3
    Typescript support
  • 3
    Multicursor support
  • 3
    Reformating Code
  • 3
    Intuitive
  • 3
    Command-line tools
  • 3
    Android Integration
  • 3
    Vim support
  • 3
    Special icons for most filetypes in project list
  • 3
    Supports many frameworks
  • 3
    Built-in web server
  • 3
    Live Templates
  • 3
    Scala support
  • 2
    Works fine with mac os catalina
  • 2
    A lot of plugin
  • 2
    Just works
  • 2
    Integrated Ssh/Ftp Managers
  • 2
    Full support
  • 2
    Task managers
  • 2
    Diff tools
  • 2
    File Watchers
  • 2
    Support for various package managers
  • 2
    Integrated Code Linting
  • 2
    Clean UI
  • 2
    Open source
  • 2
    So modernised
  • 2
    Efficient, one Stop solution

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Cons of CLion
Cons of IntelliJ IDEA
  • 2
    No good support for Makefiles
  • 2
    Not free, unless you are a student
  • 20
    Large footprint required to really enjoy (mem/disc)
  • 16
    Very slow
  • 8
    Bad for beginners
  • 7
    UI is not intuitive
  • 5
    Not nearly as many tools to integrate as vs code
  • 5
    Constant reindexing
  • 4
    Needs a lot of CPU and RAM power
  • 3
    Built in terminal is slow
  • 3
    Doesn't work that well with windows 10 edu
  • 1
    Ruby is a plug in
  • 1
    Pesky warnings increase with every release
  • 0
    AAD

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What is CLion?

Knowing your code through and through, CLion can take care of the routine while you focus on the important things. Boost your productivity with the keyboard-centric approach (Vim-emulation plugin is also available in plugin repository), full coding assistance, smart and relevant code completion, fast project navigation, intelligent intention actions, and reliable refactorings.

What is IntelliJ IDEA?

Out of the box, IntelliJ IDEA provides a comprehensive feature set including tools and integrations with the most important modern technologies and frameworks for enterprise and web development with Java, Scala, Groovy and other languages.

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What companies use CLion?
What companies use IntelliJ IDEA?
See which teams inside your own company are using CLion or IntelliJ IDEA.
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What tools integrate with CLion?
What tools integrate with IntelliJ IDEA?

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What are some alternatives to CLion and IntelliJ IDEA?
Visual Studio
Visual Studio is a suite of component-based software development tools and other technologies for building powerful, high-performance applications.
Eclipse
Standard Eclipse package suited for Java and plug-in development plus adding new plugins; already includes Git, Marketplace Client, source code and developer documentation. Click here to file a bug against Eclipse Platform.
NetBeans IDE
NetBeans IDE is FREE, open source, and has a worldwide community of users and developers.
ReSharper
It is a popular developer productivity extension for Microsoft Visual Studio. It automates most of what can be automated in your coding routines. It finds compiler errors, runtime errors, redundancies, and code smells right as you type, suggesting intelligent corrections for them.
AppCode
It is an integrated development environment for Swift, Objective-C, C, C++, and JavaScript development built on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA platform. It takes care of your routine tasks and saves you from extra typing.
See all alternatives