Installing IntelliJ WebIDE on GNU/Linux

IntelliJ is working on probably the best PHP IDE out there. Since I am running Debian unstable at home, here’s how to install it. I think more or less the same routine would work for any other distribution, but others might elaborate on that.

I tend to install completely packaged software in /opt, so I know I can remove any directory there in its entirety to remove the application.

  • Open a terminal and su to root.
  • Create the directory /opt/webide and cd to it

    if ! [ -d /opt/webide ]; then mkdir -p /opt/webide; fi
    cd /opt/webide
  • Download the latest “UNIX” version from the WebIDE EAP (Early Access Program) at

  • Unpack the file in /opt/webide, so that the downloaded version will get it’s own subfolder (this way it’s easier for upgrading to later versions)

    wget -O x.tar.gz \
        && tar zxpf ./x.tar.gz && rm ./x.tar.gz
  • If you run a 64bit Linux (like me), and issue WI-301 has not been resolved yet, extract the latest from the zip available at, and overwrite

    wget -O && \
        unzip ./ && \
        cp ./yjp*/bin/linux-x86-64/ ./WebIDE-PHP-*/bin && \
        rm ./ && rm -r ./yjp*

Of course, your version number may differ.

I prefer not to add separate bin folders to my PATH, as suggested in the WebIDE installation instructions, but rather put a custom script in /usr/local/bin. I did this for WebIDE as well. It sets the JDK_HOME directory to /usr (which the first error I got was about, when trying to run directly), since my java is installed in /usr/bin/java, and it finds out what the latest installed webide version is (provided it is available in /opt/webide). Get the source code for this script at my github, put it in /usr/local/bin and chmod it +x.

Now you’re good to go 🙂 Happy coding.

PS: If you’re running Gnome, use Alacarte (menu editting tool) to add WebIDE to your application menu.

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