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Pavel Zeger
Pavel Zeger

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Enhancing team collaboration in IntelliJ IDEA with the .run directory

Effective collaboration is a key driver of success in software development. When working in a team, it's crucial to streamline processes and minimize friction. IntelliJ IDEA, one of the most popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), provides various features to facilitate teamwork. Among these features is the .run directory.

What is the .run directory?

The .run directory is a hidden directory that IntelliJ IDEA automatically creates within your project's root directory. It's used to store run configurations, which are settings that define how your application should be executed locally or debugged. Run configurations can include information about command-line arguments, environment variables, working directories, and more.

The utilization of this directory offers several advantages:

  • Standardization of run configurations

In a team environment, consistency is crucial. Different team members may have their own run configurations for running the same application, which can lead to confusion and errors. The .run directory allows you to define and share standardized run configurations. Team members can access these configurations easily, ensuring that everyone runs the application with the same settings.

  • Version control integration

The .run directory and its contents are meant to be committed to version control (e.g., Git). This means that run configurations become part of the project's source code. By sharing run configurations in the project repository, you make it easy for team members to sync their development environments with a simple Git pull operation. No more struggling with setting up run configurations manually.

  • Portability

Sharing run configurations through the .run directory makes your project more portable. Team members can clone the project, import run configurations, and start working without having to reconfigure their local IDE settings. This is especially useful when onboarding new team members or when working on different development machines.

  • Reduced maintenance effort

With run configurations stored in the .run directory, there's less need for constant maintenance. As project requirements change, updates can be made to the shared run configurations, ensuring that everyone remains on the same page. This minimizes the risk of configuration drift over time.

How to use the .run directory

  1. Create standardized run configurations: create run configurations for your project based on the application's requirements. Ensure that these configurations are tailored for your team's needs and follow best practices.
  2. Save run configurations to the .run directory: after creating a run configuration, IntelliJ IDEA allows you to save it to the .run directory. This can be done by selecting "Store as project file" when configuring the run configuration.
  3. Commit to your Version Control System: commit the .run directory, including run configurations, to your project's version control system.
  4. Team usage: instruct team members to import the run configurations from the .run directory when setting up their development environments. This can be done using the "Import Project" or "Import Settings" options in IntelliJ IDEA.


The .run directory in IntelliJ IDEA is a powerful tool for enhancing team collaboration in software development. By standardizing run configurations, integrating them with version control, and making them easily portable, you can significantly reduce configuration-related issues, streamline onboarding, and create a more efficient and consistent development workflow. Embrace the .run directory as part of your team's development practices to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working efficiently.


Share run/debug configurations

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