CLion – Brand New IDE for C and C++ Developers

Hello, Everyone!

Today we have some great news to share with you. To make a long story short, C/C++ IDE goes public as CLion!

CLion_EAP_splashSince the early days, JetBrains has been focused on making software development more productive and enjoyable. Having started with a simple refactoring tool for Java, we have provided support for an amazing line-up of languages and platforms: Java, .NET, Python, Ruby & Ruby on Rails, PHP, JavaScript, HTML, Objective-C and many others. Our intelligent tools are widely known for their promotion of code quality, refactorings and smart editing features.

The C and C++ languages have a history going back to the early days of programming itself. They are two of the most successful survivors from the ‘primordial soup’ of programming languages, while most of the others now lie forgotten. So here at JetBrains we were driven by the belief that we could make C/C++ developers’ lives easier with a new IDE targeting these specific languages.

To download and try CLion right now, check out our EAP page. The Quick Start Guide can help you get familiar with the IDE.

We are very much looking forward to your feedback in order to help us create a tool that you will enjoy using on everyday basis. That is why this early access program exists in the first place. Please note that this build is not even a Beta yet, and we have lots of things to do before we release v1.0.

Let’s introduce you the main features included into this build:

CLion uses CMake as a project model. It takes all the project’s information (source files, compiler settings, targets description, etc.) and handles all your changes in CMake files automatically.

If you already have a CMake-based project, just open the main CMakeLists.txt file in the IDE. If not, then our simple wizard will help you create a new project by initializing CMakeLists.txt with all the necessary definitions. Every change you make in CMakeLists.txt is automatically handled by CLion (but you can also call Reload CMake Project manually). Naturally, the IDE will invoke CMake automatically while building your project, so you don’t need to do it yourself.

All CMakeCache variables and CMake errors are available within the CMake tool window inside the IDE:

Compiler and Debugger
CLion supports the GCC and Clang compilers. For debugging, CLion currently supports GDB 7.8. The debugging experience is just as you would expect: you can run your program step by step, set breakpoints, evaluate expressions, add watches, and set variable values manually during execution:

Cross-Platform Compatibility
CLion is a cross-platform IDE, so you can use it on OS X, Linux or Windows. In case of Windows, the MinGW and Cygwin tool sets can be used. In our Quick Start Guide you can find the list of tools for each platform you need to start CLion.
Note: If you are using Visual Studio for C++ development (and the Visual C++ Compiler), try our ReSharper for C++.

Languages and Standards
CLion supports various languages:

  • C (C99 version)
  • C++ (C++03; C++11, including lambda functions, raw string literals, variadic templates, decltype, auto and more)
  • HTML (including HTML5), CSS, JavaScript, XML
  • Some other languages are also available via plugins (for example, Lua)

Intelligent Features
Knowing your code through and through, CLion takes care of the routine while you focus on the important things. The intelligent features of CLion are expressly designed to boost your productivity and improve the quality of your code.

The smart editor saves your time with code completion and highlighting (including smart completion that filters the list of types, methods, and variables to match the expected type of an expression).

Efficient project navigation will help you find your way through the code:

  • Full-scale search via Find Usages:
  • File structure navigation
  • Navigating to class/file/symbol;
  • Navigating to declaration/definition/super definition/subclass:
  • Navigating through the timeline (recent files, recent changes, last edit location, etc.);
  • Search everywhere, and other types of search

CLion monitors your code and tries to keep it accurate and clean. It detects potential errors and problems, and suggests quick-fixes for them:

CLion offers a wide variety of reliable code refactorings, which track down and correct the affected code references automatically:

  • Rename (works also for CMakeLists.txt usages):
  • Extract method/variable/typedef/define/etc.
  • Change signature:
  • Safe delete
  • Inline

Writing code can be a lot easier and quicker when you use the code generation options available in CLion:

  • Generate constructor/destructor,
  • Generate getters/setters
  • Override/implement
  • Live templates
  • Surround with if-else, while, #ifdef, etc.:

Watch CLion in action:

Are you interested? Give it a try!

What’s Next?
We are planning to publish v1.0 in a couple of months. While continuing with the current features (and especially with CMake support), we hope to add LLDB and/or Google Test. If there is a particular feature that you’d love to see in CLion, please post it to our issue tracker or vote for it if it is already there. We will consider them soon after the 1.0 release as we prepare the roadmap for future releases.

If you require even more information, please visit our website. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them on the CLion Discussion Forum, on twitter and here in our blog, where you can find news, updates as well as tips and tricks on how to use the IDE efficiently. And don’t hesitate to report any problems to our support team (clion-support at or on our issue tracker.

Develop with pleasure!
The CLion Team

This entry was posted in Announcement, Early Access Preview, Tips'n'Tricks and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

208 Responses to CLion – Brand New IDE for C and C++ Developers

  1. Carlos says:

    Great! Can’t wait to try it. :)

  2. florian says:

    Thanks for the great news. I’ve tried the private preview already and liked it a lot.
    Question: Will you provide converters for Makefile-based projects?
    And I’m wondering if there will be a open-source version?

  3. Geoff Pascoe says:

    Great news! Note: your link to Resharper for C++ appears to point to an internal URL…

  4. Great news!

    Just built the Arch Linux package for convenient installation
    The package source is managed at

    Will CLion be also available as a plugin for IntelliJ IDEA like other languages?


  5. Yurij says:

    Great news!

    Is here any possibility to open directory as project?

  6. super_cocoa says:

    it`s so great!!

  7. Jurasic says:

    I created project from existing source, however search aren’t working properly.

    Always got: “No occurrences of ‘foo_bar’ found in Project 34 usages are out of scope ‘Project and Frameworks’ Find Options… (Ctrl+Shift+F)”

    What’s wrong with the search?

  8. Ben says:

    What would be the best way to get Clion working with a cross compiler for an embedded device, say the MSP430. There is a port of gcc and gdb, however a tool known as mspdebug is needed for programming and initiating debug. Is there any way to integrate this into Clion/where should I start looking.

  9. Robert Jacksson says:

    What languages will you support in the future, then version 1.0 is released? I would like if CLion would support Python, a nice language “glue” C(++) projects.

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      CLion will probably have a Python plugin in future. We are considering this for now.
      What else are you interested in? There is C, C++, HTML, CSS, JS, XML and Lua for now.

      • The_NetZ says:

        Oh I’d so love to see ruby support <3

      • Shohidul Haque says:

        The D language is very nice language. It may be used as a replacement for C and C++. There is a growing community around it. The D language has all the features to produce fast concurrent systems. The language has all the benefits you would expect of a modern language. Unfortunately there are no good IDEs for the D language. Are there any plans to develop a plugin for the D language?

      • Robert Jacksson says:

        Thanks for the answer!

        But what are your (business) plans for CLion? If you are going to support some (or all?) major languages, why purchase Intellij IDEA? Will CLion be your “C/C++ alternative” to the “Java alternative” (Intellij IDEA)? Or are you placing CLion in between Intellij and the other IDEs for specific languages?

        • Anastasia Kazakova says:

          CLion will support C/C++ and some complimentary languages. Lua, Python, etc. – mostly via plugins. Web technologies – CSS, HTML, XSLT, JS – are already bundled to the IDE.

          • Casey Dorn says:

            Is there/will there be compatibility with PyCharm? I’ve been trying to write a C++ file using but PyCharm won’t locate the headers. Xcode does however. Is this an incompatibility in PyCharm or do I need to edit the CMake file?

          • Anastasia Kazakova says:

            PyCharm is an IDE for Python. If you need a C/C++ IDE use CLion.

    • Martin Kuban says:

      +1 for Python – c+python – a marriage material:)

  10. mschwartz says:

    File templates don’t seem to be working. All I see is:

    HTML File
    JavaScript File
    XSLT Stylesheet
    Edit File Templates…

    When edit file templates, I see there are ones for C, C header, and so on. They don’t show in the project window context menu, tough.

    If I create a new C file, I don’t get the template inserted, just an empty file.

  11. Walluce says:

    I would really love to import a Visual Studio project into CLion!

  12. Casvan Marcel says:

    You know what would be just fantastic??? If you would add a c# support plugin to clion…

  13. januszmk says:

    will qt framework be supported in clion?

  14. Paweł says:

    Guys! It seems very promising. I don’t really like C++, but with CLion it may change. Thanks for making programming easier and more fun.

  15. Daniel Alves says:

    Great news!!! But I, like many others, are still waiting for the C# IDE :P!

  16. NoName says:

    CLion sounds cool! Question: When I buy IntelliJ Ultimate, will I get access to CLion or its features (as a plugin), or will I have to buy it separately then?

  17. Artem Borzilov says:

    How can i build all the targets in one click? My CMakeLists.txt contains a lot of targets and Ctrl+F9 only builds the first one, and I can’t find the “Build all” option.

  18. claudiu says:

    Hi there
    will version 1 support: standart? :)

  19. Augusto says:

    Will it be available as a plugin for Intellij?
    I would love to have only one IDE that I can use for almost all languages/platforms

  20. Przemysław Węgrzyn says:

    Support for cross-compilation/debugging would be great. I’d like to be able to configure custom (i.e. per project) toolkit (including GDB), custom GDB scripts, etc.

    Currently embedded programming is somehow dominated by Eclipse CDT, time to change it! 😉

  21. Alex Tang says:

    This is cool! Will you guys support Arduino? Please Please Please!

    (Or does this fall in remote run/debug request?)

    Did I say please? :)

  22. Aaron says:

    Very cool, I learned C++ using Borland C and I recall the experience as “less than resharperly” in terms of joy. I’ll give this a whirl for fun, but I have a question for the team…

    What is the purpose of producing a C/C++ editor? Given the fact that there are numerous editors favoritted by many. This is an honest question, I’m not being cheeky. What was the motivation and what does the future look like in regards to CLion?

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      We do believe that we can make C/C++ developer’s life easier providing him an IDE that can enhance his/her productivity. We see the lack of proper C/C++ IDEs and so want to use our big experience in this area for this purpose.

  23. How this compares to AppCode.. if it’s better there’s a way to import my current projects from AppCode into Clion?

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      C/C++ languages support is the same in both IDEs. The difference here is that CLion is cross-platform and based on CMake project model. Supported tools will also differ in future.

  24. Marco Kalf says:

    I’m loving it, only downside for me is that there are no pretty printers for things like std::vector/map etc. in the debugging view.I don’t like to get entangled into implementation details just to get the information I need.

  25. Rene Christen says:

    I do most of my dev in Appcode but often need to port to other platforms so this is great!! I’d love it if there was some integration between the two so that I could easily maintain an Xcode and Cmake project but even doing this manually I’m happy to not need visual studio anymore! Would be great if Xcode shortcut keys could be added as an option though.

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      AppCode has the same C/C++ language support, but the build systems are different in AppCode and CLion. Not sure if we are going to support Xcode build system in CLion, but feel free to add a feature request to our tracker.

      About Xcode keymap – it’s there. Press Ctrl+` and select switch keymap.

  26. bruce says:

    Looks great. I have a multi-project cmake/nodejs based build system for C across
    Linux/BSD/Mac/Windows/ARM (Android).

    Will this support Android and iOS cross compiling? Will it integrate CPACK (NSIS/Debian/RPM)?

    Valgrind support?

    What is the likely cost? Will there be multiple editions? Will there be a community edition?


  27. Jason Parker says:

    I was hopeful about this until I read:
    “Note: If you are using Visual Studio for C++ development (and the Visual C++ Compiler), try our ReSharper for C++.”

    What I need is one project file and one editor, so I can build the same project on multiple platforms. This limitation means I cannot do that. I assume this limitation is because you don’t want to upset Microsoft, but that doesn’t help me as a customer.

  28. Why not extend QtCreator ?
    In windows, Visual Studio is the reference IDE, why add another IDE to the “others” list of choices ?

    Doesn’t QtCreator have many features already that can be extended easily ?

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      We have some great experience preparing IDEs based on our IntelliJ platform. There is a lot of smart features already ready to be re-used. So from our point it’s more logical to create a separate IDE.

    • Slava says:

      That is simple. They can not make money on QtCreator.

  29. Craig says:

    lol, IDEs…

    Real men use ed.

  30. islam taha says:

    i tried to create a text file and include it in cmake file and then tried to read from it in the project but with no use, i can’t read from file!?

  31. islam taha says:

    That’s what i have done so far and can’t read from file till now

    set(SOURCE_FILES main.cpp in.txt)
    add_executable(untitled ${SOURCE_FILES})

  32. islam taha says:

    please can you give me the link or something i searched the site but can’t find anything

  33. islam taha says:

    thank you very much.
    and finally this is the best IDE ever I’ve been waiting so long :)

  34. Sunny says:

    Just a bug i found:



    It seems me to that anything before the scanf statement is being produced after it scans an input rather than before as it should have in the code

  35. isls says:

    how can i add another file from another directory in my current directory ??

  36. islam taha says:

    would it be free or have a community version ?

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      It will be paid with 1.0 release. May be later we’ll consider some community version but now no such plans.

      • Can you please explain why you refuse to make a community edition? It is very useful for opensource projects.

        • Anastasia Kazakova says:

          Open source projects can request a special free license from us. So this is not the case.

          • Why do you need a separate community edition for other ides then?

          • Anastasia Kazakova says:

            Each product at JetBrains is run independently and not every decision of one product effects other products. Our IDEs, though many of them are build on the same platform, are still vastly different in terms of tools included, set of languages supported and built-in options.

            In addition to supporting Open Source projects with a full edition of CLion at no cost, which in essence provides more functionality to users than a hypothetical Community Edition, we also provide students with free licenses and give startups a valuable discount.

  37. Madura A. says:

    It’s great! Good job. I wonder CLion has an option to set custom cmake arguments, for example when I have a custom vairable called CUSTOM_TEST I would do the following in command line,
    cmake -DCUSTOM_TEST=TRUE ..
    Or similar how can I do this with CLion?

  38. Martin says:

    I’m really looking forward to the version 1.0 and the integration of google test.

    Clion is just great

  39. Ali GOREN says:

    Thank you :)

    CLion IDE Introduction for Turkish users. I love this IDE. But my computer oldest :/

    Also visit my blog for CLion Introduction post

  40. Roman says:

    Is it possible to import an existing project with GNU make model to CLion? Are only cmake projects supported?

  41. Alex Tribble says:

    Having trouble figuring out how to get one project to reference another.

    I have one module which compiles to a shared library, has a test suite, and needs to publish certain headers for consumption (but not others). I have managed to figure out enough CMake (which I’ve never used before) to compile the shared library, though it’s hard for me to tell where it’s finding Boost (magic!).

    I have another module which needs to consume the first module’s shared library and headers, compile its own code and link everything into an executable.

    Are there any established patterns for such a thing? Ideally, I don’t want to turn them into a single “project” as the shared library changes infrequently, and I want for cleanliness to consider it a black box as much as possible.

  42. Nate Bauernfeind says:

    I can’t seem to login to the issue tracker, so I’m going to post my bug here. The syntax highlighting doesn’t take into account “-include” flags. It compiles and runs just fine though. My sample case uses the std namespace from the included file, but the syntax highlighter can’t figure out anything in main.cpp.

    Simple sample project here:


    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      Thanks for the report. Our tracker was under maintenance in the end of last week, but now it’s ok. However I’ve filled the issue with your sample: Feel free to comment and follow. Actually the problem is that CLion doesn’t handle your header as a file from the project.

      • Nate Bauernfeind says:

        You’re absolutely right! Hah, I hadn’t realized that in my original project that I hadn’t included the file. It’s not actually terminated by a “.h” so my “generic” project CMake file did not pick it up.

        Wow, thank you so much!

        • Nate Bauernfeind says:

          Oops, I jumped the gun on that reply. Apparently CLion hadn’t finished highlighting the file.

          Adding the header to the project does not fix the highlighting errors in the main.cpp file. I’m updating my github issue to include the header.

          But still, thanks for the reply!

  43. randalf says:

    Why it’s so ugly on l!inux distibutions? O_o
    I tried with JRE 6, 7, 8, 9 and OpenJRE too but the look and feel is ugly as hell.

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      There are some problems that exists in Java distribution with fonts rendering. May be this is the point. We are trying to improve it for now, but not finished yet.

  44. Steven Mak says:

    Looks like the issue tracker does’t allow any new registration. So I posted it here.

    I would like to have support for CppUTest ( It is a popular C/C++ Unit Test framework. IMHO, even better than Google Test. It is also well covered in the book “Test Driven Development for Embedded C” (

    I also happen to be the author for the CppUTest test runner for Eclipse. ( Please feel free to use the code if you find it useful.

    Well… or if you really don’t have any plan to support CppUTest, can I also know how I can find information to make a plugin for CLion? Thanks.

  45. Erik Schilling says:

    “New user registration is disabled. Please contact your system administrator”

    I wanted to vote on the Qt project support issue to express my whish for QBS support. Unfortunatly I seem to be unable to create a new account and guests are not allowed to vote. Is this intended?

    Regards and thanks for the IDE. It looks really promising.


  46. Seagull says:

    Guy’s you are AWESOME!

    Being an IDE-addicted, and being charmed by IDEA for Java and Groovy, I just feel smth like that, using CLion. And it mean’s C++ will be back to my life, and will not be as painful, as always!

    Million thanks, keep going!

  47. lsswxr says:

    intellij idea is the best java ide I ever used. I’m looking forward to the version 1.0 too, hope it will come soon.

  48. Dan Lee says:

    Could we have multiple projects (or modules) in the same CLion window?

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      Not now.

      • Dan Lee says:

        Is there any plan to support multiple projects/modules? I think it is a very common use case in many software development.

        • Anastasia Kazakova says:

          What case do you mean exactly? Could you please show an example?

          • Dan Lee says:

            Here is one of the cases. We have a system in which some different types of server processes communicate with each other. Each server code is stored in a separate folder. They will have their own build configuration (Cmake or Makefile). And they can share some common libraries.

            so, we will have:

            So, can Clion support this kind of system model?

          • Anastasia Kazakova says:

            You can make some top level directory with main CMakeLists.txt file listing the add_subdirectory options (optionally, root folder can differ from the folder with the main CMakeLists.txt file). Libraries paths should be pointed in the appropriate server’s CMakeLists.txt files to link correctly.

            Makefile build system is not supported yet, only CMake one.

          • Dan Lee says:


  49. John says:

    I’d really love to be able to import vcproj files to CLion. IDE is great but we can’t yet import our huge Visual Studio projects into CLion which means we can’t switch to your product

  50. Pingback: Text Editor Economics | Gruending Design

  51. majkl says:

    first i want to thank you for the amazing job, you are doing(either with clion or your other IDEs). I really look forward for the final CLion version.

    I have a question. I heard(read somewhere), you are using libclang “behind the scene” for code parsing and analyzing. If it is so, can i ask what version you are using? And also, is there a way to pass options to to parseTranslationUnit(if you actually use libclang). Actually what i want to know – is there a possibility to use c++14 support? (which seems to have very nice support in latest(even not latest 3.5) version of libclang)

  52. Clion is a great C/C++ IDE, I really enjoy using it. But would you please remove this annoying message that tells me that the currently installed version of clion has expired and I should install a new one? I mean it is ok that the software informs me that there is an update, but why does it prevent me from using the old version? I installed Clion from the Arch Linux User repositories, because I don’t want to mess around with a manual install. The repositories are updated frequently, but it can take a few days/weeks until new releases are accepted or links are updated. So please don’t prevent your users from using a slightly older version of your great IDE.

  53. Seb Bizeul says:

    By far the best C++ IDE 😉

  54. Alex Purnomo says:

    Is it possible a plugin for compatibility with the C ++ Builder projects?
    As the project increases files, the rad studio becomes slow to access methods/code completion.
    In CLint there are several options that make programming easier compared with rad ide and it would be great if you support it.

  55. amarendra says:

    I am looking forward to creating chrome native apps using Nacl .C++ and HTML(take it for all web thing) are already being supported if the support is extended to specifically target nacl it will be awesome.

  56. I am not able to print the statement before the scanf in Clion IDE (for Linux based)

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      There are some issues with the input/output streams that will probably be fixed in the next EAP. Sorry for inconvenience.

  57. doomer says:

    Very nice.

    2 questions:

    – How much will it cost?
    – Will there be an option to run a build from a shell, something like clion -build “Debug”, or whatever?

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      1. When 1.0 is released there will be a set of options available in terms of licenses. The set and prices will be the same as for the AppCode:, that includes paid, free and discounted options.
      2. Why do you need this? Of course, you can always call build cmd manually, but what’s the usecase for this? You can pass all the proper options to the CMake files and you’ll be able soon to pass the env variable and parameters to cmake cmd that CLion runs.

  58. I have been using CLion for school, and I love it! (They try to make us use Visual Studio, but I’ll take CLion EAP over VS2013 any day!)

  59. Eugene says:

    Tried CLion in CentOS 6.5. IDE is working correctly but can’t compile projects.
    Please, review screenshot

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      C++11 is supported since gcc 4.7 and gcc 4.4 has C++0x support. So simply remove the C++11 option in CMakeLists.txt or change to -std=c++0x

      • Eugene says:

        Thank you. I’ll try update qcc up actual verion manually.
        And why Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V do not work?

        • Anastasia Kazakova says:

          It should be working. What keymap are you using in CLion? Check or switch in Settings | Keymap.

        • Eugene says:

          Changed in settings from VIM to IDE and it’s working now… A bit strange after Visual Studio tune something myself )))
          It’s a Linux!

          • Anastasia Kazakova says:

            You’ve probably installed the Vim plugin and thus non-default keymap was selected.

  60. Jaapp says:

    This has a lot of potential. I’d be interested in an open source community-edition like IntelliJ has, I’d rather not use proprietary software.

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      CLion won’t have a community edition. At least in the nearest future. Maybe later we’ll come back to this.

  61. lnkr_a says:


    I would use CLion as well. I would buy it to work on my C++/Lua project, but why can’t I install Lua plugin? Everywhere I see information, that Lua is supported, but no Lua plugin in plugin list and “Plugin ‘Lua’ is incompatible with this installation” when I trying to install it from disk.

    I encountered this issue with IDEA too, but there i was able to use previous version of IDE, that works with Lua plugin well. I can’t find where can I get previous version of CLion to work on my project. Or can i solve my trouble in any another way?

  62. Ron says:

    Looking forward for a GUI builder within CLion. An amazing IDE for C++. Thanks a lot for developing this. Will be purchasing a license once the GUI builder is available.

    • Anastasia Kazakova says:

      What exact GUI build do you want?

      • Ron says:

        Hi Ana,

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        A UI forms or Dialog based one , like the one IntelliJ IDEA has.

        Is it possible to use Cinder C++ with CLion. I am not sure whether the CMake can generate a correct file for such a framework.


        • Anastasia Kazakova says:

          Currently this is out of product scope. But probably we can come back to it later. Now we have quite a lot of things with upper priority.

  63. Atif Naser says:

    I have a small game project that uses SFML, box2d and other small libraries.

    I already managed to make my project work on both MSVC 2012 and Xcode5. All I have to do is to commit code, add source files I would have added in the other project, and I’m good to do.

    It’s pretty smooth except from weird stdafx differences, and the fact MSVC2012 doesn’t support variadic templates yet.

    I’m really wondering if I would really be able benefit from clion. I mean obviously I would have to recompile SFML as SFML does not provide binaries for clion ? That’s a first problem I guess.

    I also remember giving up on compiling Ogre3D on xcode, there were many dependencies, versions of the engine (repo or stable), it was very annoying and I’m not into tweaking Cmake.txt files. I guess jetbrains would not solve this.

    I have not given a try to this IDE, but I’m skeptic. C++ is designed as a cross platform languages, but the fact build systems differ is a huge pain, and an IDE won’t solve this unless library maintainer provide solid cmake scripts.

  64. Michael says:


    is there something in planning to support ClearCase in C-Lion? I’m using the ClearCase plugin for IntelliJ, so it would be very helpfull to have something similar in C-Lion.

    Thanks in advance,

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