Saturday, 27 July 2019

How to install IntelliJ Idea plugin from local disk


In the last post, we saw a basic tutorial on how to create a custom plugin for IntelliJ IDE's. In this post, I will show you how you can install a plugin you have on your local disk.

How to install IntelliJ Idea plugin from local disk

To install plugin from local disk, go to setting in IDE(Ctrl+Alt+S) -> Plugins. Next click on the gear icon and select "Install plugin from disk".

Select the zip file of your plugin you have stored locally and select Ok. The plugin should get installed. You may have to restart the IDE for change to take effect.

 Now you can see the plugin in the installed tab of your plugins section of settings. 

Directories used by the IDE to store plugins

If you are wondering where are plugins instaled then the path is config\plugins under your IDEA directory. For me it is:

  • C:\Users\anike\.IdeaIC2019.1\config\plugins
It should put your plugin jar in above dir.

Related Links

Creating an Intellij plugin


Intellij IDEA is one of the famous IDEs(Integrated development environment) used for Java development. Intellij has a variant of IDE's that they provide like -
  1. Pycharm - For Python
  2. Webstorm - For web development
  3. IDEA - For Java
etc. In this post, I will show how you can write your own plugin for any of these IDEs. To develop a plugin you need Intellij IDEA IDE. You can use this to create a plugin for any other variant of IDE. In fact, the framework for IDE remains the same, so you can create a plugin that can potentially work in all IDEs. 

To start with download IntelliJ IDEA. I am using version 2019.1.3(Community edition).


In this plugin, we are going to add a simple action functionality that takes in the selected text and searches on Stack overflow site. This action will be visible when you right-click on the editor panel of your IDE. Let's see how to do that,

Creating an IntelliJ plugin

Open your IDEA and create a new project. File-> New -> Project -> Intellij platform plugin

Once done, click on next, enter your project name and submit. This should create a new project for you. One of the important files is Project\resources\META-INF\plugin.xml. This gives information about your plugin. Think of it as the manifest file of Android project (If you have worked on Android apps before). Got me location is C:\Users\anike\IdeaProjects\StackOverflowSearch\resources\META-INF\plugin.xml 
 and my project name is StackOverflowSearch.

NOTE: You can choose Groovy as well to develop your plugin. I have selected default, which uses Java.

In the source folder create a class called StackoverflowSearch. This is going to be our action class. Make this class extend com.intellij.openapi.actionSystem.AnAction. AnAction is an abstract class provide by Intellij SDK framework. Once you extend it, you will have to implement the abstract methods in it

    public void actionPerformed(@NotNull AnActionEvent anActionEvent) {

Then you can add the following code to complete your simple action -

import com.intellij.ide.BrowserUtil;
import com.intellij.openapi.actionSystem.AnAction;
import com.intellij.openapi.actionSystem.AnActionEvent;
import com.intellij.openapi.actionSystem.CommonDataKeys;
import com.intellij.openapi.editor.CaretModel;
import com.intellij.openapi.editor.Editor;
import com.intellij.psi.PsiFile;
import org.jetbrains.annotations.NotNull;

public class StackoverflowSearch extends AnAction {
    public void actionPerformed(@NotNull AnActionEvent anActionEvent) {
        PsiFile file = anActionEvent.getData(CommonDataKeys.PSI_FILE);
        Editor editor = anActionEvent.getRequiredData(CommonDataKeys.EDITOR);
        CaretModel caretModel = editor.getCaretModel();
        String selectedText = caretModel.getCurrentCaret().getSelectedText();"" + selectedText);

This essentially gets the selected text from your editor and open a browser URL with that query parameter. If you do not understand much with this code, don't worry just go to the official documentation and see what each class means. For eg. PSIFile - it s file representation in Intellij framework world. You can see more details here

Once done, you will have to list this action in the plugin.xml file we saw above. In this file, you should see the <actions> tag. Add below content inside it.

            text="Search Text on Stack Overflow"
            description="Search Text on Stack Overflow">
      <add-to-group group-id="EditorPopupMenu" anchor="last"/>

Once done you are all set to go. The only important thing to note above is the add-to-group group-id field. EditorPopupMenu means this action will be shown in Editor when you right-click. You could have other possible values to show it in Console or top menubar.

My complete plugin.xml looks like below -

  <name>Stackoverflow Search Plugin</name>
  <vendor email="" url="">OSFG</vendor>

      Simple plugin to open selexted text in Stack overflow site

      Simple plugin to open selexted text in Stack overflow site

  <!-- please see for description -->
  <idea-version since-build="173.0"/>

  <!-- please see
       on how to target different products -->
  <!-- uncomment to enable plugin in all products

  <extensions defaultExtensionNs="com.intellij">
    <!-- Add your extensions here -->

    <!-- Add your actions here -->
            text="Search Text on Stack Overflow"
            description="Search Text on Stack Overflow">
      <add-to-group group-id="EditorPopupMenu" anchor="last"/>


Now you can simply run your project,

Run configuration should automatically be created when you click on run. It should be similar to the following -

NOTE:  Notice that the JRE is Intellij Idea SDK.

This should start a new IDE instance with your plugin activate. You can verify your plugin in installed by going to settings(Ctrl_Alt+S) -> Plugins -> Installed

Now you can select a text, right-click and see the "Search Text on Stackoverflow" action. Click that and it should open the Stack overflow site with your selected text as a search parameter,

Distributing the plugin

To distribute the plugin, simply right click your plugin project and select - "Prepare plugin module for deployment". This should export a zip file which can be distributed. You should see a message like below when you have selected the above option.

To know how to install plugin from local disk refer - How to install IntelliJ Idea plugin from local disk

You can also put it into a plugin repository for others to use instead of distributing zip file. For more details on the plugin, repo see here. I will be adding more details on how to create an Intellij plugin. So stay tuned.

Related Links

Sunday, 26 May 2019

How to remove computer name from prompt in Ubuntu terminal


If you are using Ubuntu terminal you must have noticed that terminal prompt looks like below -

Notice that prompt looks like -


The problem is this is fairly large and with more folders inside the root directory, there is much less space to type actual commands. In this post, I will show how to fix this.

How to remove computer name from prompt in Ubuntu terminal

To fix this you need to edit ~/.bashrc file. In this file there is a variable called PS1 that governs how your command prompt looks like. If you open ~/.bashrc you should see something like below -

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '
    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '
unset color_prompt force_color_prompt

# If this is an xterm set the title to user@host:dir
case "$TERM" in
    PS1="\[\e]0;${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h: \w\a\]$PS1"

Let me explain a little bit about PS1 variable and above itself.

  • debian_chroot: This is applicable if you are running chroot operation (Your root directory is different than the default one). If you do not know chroot then do not worry, this is just and empty variable and can be ignored for now. 
  • XTERM: This is for a terminal emulator. If you are using XTERM PS1 under this would take effect.
  • color_prompt: This would be the default case for most. Your terminal would support color prompt. So PS1 under "$color_prompt" = yes is something you need to edit. 
If you have not heard above, don't worry about it just change the PS1 variable under the color_propmt if statement.

  • \u: expands to the current username
  • \h: expands to the current hostname
  • \w: expands to the current working directory
  • \$: expands to # for root and $ for all other users

Now that you know what each means and once you have figured out which PS1 to change you can simply remove "@\h" from it.

So change

if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then

    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u@\h\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '


if [ "$color_prompt" = yes ]; then

    PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\[\033[01;32m\]\u\[\033[00m\]:\[\033[01;34m\]\w\[\033[00m\]\$ '

Once done save it, and run -

  • source ~/.bashrc
or simply open a new terminal and you should see the change.

Related Links

Customizing tray/taskbar date display in Ubuntu to show the actual date


In my Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, I see that the date/time displayed on the desktop on the taskbar above is like - "Sun 12.00 PM".


You have to actually click on it to see the current date. In this post, I will show you how to add a date to the format that you see on the top. It would have been much easier if Ubuntu gave us this customization in settings itself, but unfortunately, that is not the case, at least not yet.

Customizing tray/taskbar date display in Ubuntu to show the actual date

There are two ways you can do this. I will show the most user-friendly method first.  But if you are more comfortable with Linux command line terminal and executing commands go to 2. advance section below.

1. User-Friendly - GUI Way

If you do not prefer using the command line, then you can install a GUI based tool. The tool name is "gnome-tweak-tool". You can search for "GNOME tweaks" in the Ubuntu software center. Install it.

Launch it and you should see the following screen. Go to Top Bar for date settings.

You can change the configuration as needed. You can see there are a bunch of other options here as well - like show battery percentage. All yours to play with :)

NOTE: If you do not prefer the Ubuntu software center but apt-get to install software, you can use the following command to install and launch the above application.

sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool
gnome-tweaks  #  now launch it

2. Advanced - CLI Way

There are two commands that you need to know here -
  1. gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-date true
    • makes the date appear
  2. gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds true
    • switches the seconds display on
You can similarly replace "set" by "get" to see the current values. By default, both values are set to false which is why you don't see a date or seconds.

Now let's go ahead and set these values to true and see the change of date/time format in the taskbar above.

And the result is -

I personally don't like seconds showing up. Just date works for me, so I have set accordingly. You can have settings that best suit you. You can do a similar thing with battery percentage as well with following command -

  • gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface show-battery-percentage true

Related Links

Saturday, 25 May 2019

How to fix hitting arrow keys adds characters in vi editor issue in Ubuntu


I just purchased a new Laptop and the obvious next thing to do was add Ubuntu to it. There are some common problems that everyone faces when a new Ubuntu OS is installed and one such problem is -  hitting arrow keys adds characters in vi the editor. In this post, I will show you how to fix this issue.

Fixing hitting arrow keys adds characters in vi editor issue

To fix this issue, edit a file called vim.rc in your root folder. If it's not present create one. You can use the following command.

  • vi ~/.vimrc
Now add the following content to it -

  • set nocompatible
If backspace is not working add following content -

  • set backspace=2

And that's it. Save the file and you should be good to go. 

Another cleaner way is just to install vim -
  • sudo apt-get install vim
Now that the problem is resolved, let's try to understand the issue here. vi as an editor has normal and insert mode. When you open a file using vi you are in normal mode. Here you can go to any line, use any arrow keys and the behavior is as expected. Now when you type "i", you essentially go into insert mode. In this mode, vi does not expect you to go left, right, top, bottom using arrow keys. You can always do that by pressing "ESC" and going back to normal mode. Insert mode is just to add text to your file and that's the behavior of vi.

Hope this helps :)

t> UA-39527780-1 back to top