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Importing and debugging Eclipse projects in IntelliJ IDEA

Posted by rnaufal on 8th January 2017

Last week I faced a situation to import some Eclipse projects to IntelliJ IDEA, my default Java IDE. IntelliJ IDEA supports this integration, just go to File > New > Project from Existing Sources… and select a directory where Eclipse .project or .classpath files are located.

The project was imported successfully, it had some test compilation errors and it was all done for that moment. But, after running the project, I noted that I couldn’t debug some classes as well as I got used at Eclipse.

It was because, by default, IntelliJ IDEA uses the javac compiler and Eclipse has its own Java compiler that is part of JDT core. IntelliJ IDEA doesn’t proceed on code compilation when it finds the first error, even for test code or code that isn’t part of the build. The Eclipse compiler is able to proceed on code compilation even if it has compilation errors, so it is possible to run / debug code that doesn’t compile at all.

The solution, in this case, is to switch IntelliJ IDEA to use the Eclipse compiler. Just go to File > Settings > Build, Execution, Deployment > Compiler > Java compiler and change the drop down box "Use compiler:" to Eclipse and that is done.

I did that and now I am able to run / debug the Eclipse project using IntelliJ IDEA very well.

I have found the solution here:

Enable Partial Compile IntelliJ
What is the difference between javac and the Eclipse compiler?

Have you faced a situation like this? Have you done another solution than mine? Drop your comments here! 🙂

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