How to Install CLion on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04 or 20.04

This guide will demonstrate how to install CLion on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04, or 20.04 LTS utilizing the command-line terminal. We cover three methods: APT PPA, maintained by Jonas Groeger for the Ubuntu community, or alternative package managers Snapcraft and Flatpak with the Flathub repository.

CLion, developed by JetBrains, stands out as a powerful integrated development environment (IDE) tailored to C and C++ developers. It integrates modern toolsets and frameworks, offering code analysis, a sophisticated debugger, and support for web technologies. CLion enhances productivity and focuses on automation while maintaining a user-friendly interface. Its compatibility with various build systems and version control systems makes it a versatile choice for developers. Whether working on large-scale projects or simple programs, CLion streamlines the development process with its comprehensive features.

Understanding the installation process is essential to get started with CLion on Ubuntu. Here are key points to consider:

  • Simplified Environment Setup: CLion provides a unified environment for C/C++ development, reducing setup time.
  • Cross-platform Support: Compatible with Linux, Windows, and macOS, ensuring flexibility across different systems.
  • Integrated Debugging Tools: Features an embedded terminal, memory view, and inline variable view for efficient debugging.
  • Code Quality Assistance: Offers code analysis, refactoring tools, and coding style assistance to improve code quality.
  • Version Control Integration: Supports Git, SVN, and Mercurial directly within the IDE.
  • Customizable Workflow: Allows personalization of keymaps, themes, and tool windows for a tailored development experience.
  • Plugin Ecosystem: Access to a wide range of plugins to extend functionality tailored to individual needs.
  • Community Support: Benefits from an active community and extensive documentation for troubleshooting and learning.

Transitioning into the technical aspects of installation, let’s focus on the practical steps to get CLion up and running on your Ubuntu system.

Install CLion on Ubuntu via APT PPA

Update Ubuntu System Before CLion Installation

Before installing new software, it’s essential to refresh your system’s local package database. This ensures that Ubuntu’s repositories reflect the most recent package versions. We’ll accomplish this with the following command:

sudo apt update

Once the package database is up-to-date, upgrading the system is recommended. Upgrading ensures that all installed software packages match their latest versions, providing the most secure and stable environment.

Here’s the command to perform the upgrade:

sudo apt upgrade

Installing Necessary Packages for CLion

The next phase of our installation process involves adding a few crucial packages to our system. These include dirmngr, ca-certificates, software-properties-common, apt-transport-https, curl, and lsb-release. These packages facilitate secure file transfers, repository management, and other critical tasks related to package handling:

sudo apt install dirmngr ca-certificates software-properties-common apt-transport-https curl lsb-release -y

Add JetBrains PPA by Jonas Groeger on Ubuntu for CLion

Now, we will add the JetBrains Personal Package Archive (PPA) to the system’s list of repositories. This allows APT to retrieve CLion directly from JetBrains’ PPA.

To ensure the authenticity of the packages from this repository, we’ll import the GPG key for the JetBrains repository. The GNU Privacy Guard (GPG), an implementation of the OpenPGP standard, verifies that the packages in the repository are genuinely from JetBrains:

curl -s | gpg --dearmor | sudo tee /usr/share/keyrings/jetbrains-ppa-archive-keyring.gpg > /dev/null

Lastly, run the following command to import the APT repository for CLion and the other JetBrains products:

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/jetbrains-ppa-archive-keyring.gpg] any main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jetbrains-ppa.list > /dev/null

Refresh APT Packages Index After CLion PPA Import on Ubuntu

Updating the APT package database is necessary after integrating a new repository into the system. This step allows your system to fetch the latest package information from the newly included JetBrains PPA:

sudo apt update

Install CLion on Ubuntu via APT Command

Finally, we reach the actual installation of CLion. At this stage, your system recognizes the CLion package from the JetBrains PPA and is ready to retrieve and install it. You can trigger this process with the following APT install command:

sudo apt install clion

With the execution of the command above, APT will download CLion, resolve any required dependencies, and install them on your system, concluding the installation process.

Install CLion on Ubuntu via Snap

Snap is a software deployment and package management system devised by Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu. It’s designed to simplify software installation and streamline maintenance tasks across Linux distributions.

Verifying Snap’s Presence on Your Ubuntu System

By being a Canonical creation, Snap comes pre-installed on Ubuntu distributions. However, there may be instances where it is not included out of the box or has been manually removed. Should you find yourself in such a situation, you can reintroduce Snap to your system with the following command:

sudo apt install snapd -y

This command installs the Snap Daemon (snapd) — a background service that oversees your system’s management and maintenance of Snap packages.

Activating Classic Snap Support for CLion

Specific Snap packages necessitate ‘classic’ confinement — a feature that gives the Snap package access to your system’s resources, much like traditional software. To ensure broad compatibility and smooth operation of these packages, we create a symbolic link (symlink) with the following command:

sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

Executing the command above generates a symlink between /var/lib/snapd/snap and /snap, effectively activating classic Snap support on your system.

Installation of the Core Snap for CLion

Before proceeding with the CLion installation, installing the ‘core’ Snap is vital. The core of Snap is a foundation for other Snaps, providing the necessary libraries and services they rely on. This proactive step can help avoid potential conflicts or issues that might crop up later. The command to install the core Snap is as follows:

sudo snap install core

Install CLion on Ubuntu via Snap Command

With the prerequisites duly met, we’re now ready to install CLion. This is achieved through the execution of the following command:

sudo snap install clion --classic

In the above command, sudo is used to elevate privileges, snap invokes the Snap package manager, install is the command to install a package, and clion is the package we’re aiming to install. The --classic option enables CLion to access your system’s resources in a manner consistent with a traditionally packaged application.

Install CLion on Ubuntu via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak is a universal package management system designed specifically for Linux, similar to Snap in its core functionality. One of its defining features is its ability to sandbox applications, effectively isolating them from the rest of your system. This feature not only enhances the overall security of your system but also mitigates potential software conflicts.

Note: One important point to note is that if your system currently lacks Flatpak support, you must install it first. For detailed instructions on installing the most recent supported version of Flatpak on Ubuntu, we recommend visiting our comprehensive guide on installing Flatpak.

Enabling the Flathub Repository for CLion

The first step in the journey to install CLion via Flatpak necessitates the activation of the Flathub repository. Flathub is a well-regarded distribution platform designed for hosting Flatpak applications. Analogous to an online marketplace, it provides access to a broad range of applications ready for installation.

To incorporate the Flathub repository into your system, run the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

The above command integrates the Flathub repository with your Flatpak configuration, opening access to a broad spectrum of applications, including CLion.

Install CLion on Ubuntu via Flatpak Command

Having successfully incorporated the Flathub repository, we now shift our focus to the installation of CLion. This is achieved using the ‘flatpak install’ command. The specific command for installing CLion is as follows:

flatpak install flathub com.jetbrains.CLion -y

The execution of this command leads to the installation of CLion from the Flathub repository, ensuring the latest stable version of the application is at your disposal.

Initiating CLion on Ubuntu via GUI or CLI

After successfully installing CLion on your Ubuntu system, the subsequent step involves learning how to kick-start it. Two primary avenues for launching CLion are the command-line interface (CLI) and the graphical user interface (GUI).

CLI Launch Method for CLion on Ubuntu

In the Linux world, the command-line interface is indispensable, and launching applications like CLion is not exempt from this rule. The upcoming subsections depict the method to initiate CLion using various command sets, contingent on your installation method—APT, Snap, and Flatpak.

Initiating CLion using the APT Command

To get CLion up and running using the APT command, you need to open your terminal and input:


Upon successfully executing this command, the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) will spring into action, ready to facilitate your coding endeavors.

Initiating CLion using the Snap Command

If you have installed CLion using Snap, the following command will be employed to launch it:

snap run clion

This command, when executed, will trigger CLion, given that the installation was carried out flawlessly.

Initiating CLion using the Flatpak Command

If you have chosen Flatpak as your preferred installation method, the following command in your terminal will do the trick:

flatpak run com.jetbrains.CLion

As with the other methods, this command will set CLion into motion, provided that the installation was accomplished without hitches.

GUI Launch Method for CLion on Ubuntu

Ubuntu’s graphical user interface (GUI) presents an alternate pathway to kick-start CLion for users who are more comfortable with a visual approach. The procedure is as follows:

  • Activities Menu: Initiate the process by clicking on the “Activities” menu at the top-left corner of your desktop screen.
  • Show Applications: Select the “Show Applications” icon at the bottom of the Activities overlay.
  • Search for CLion: You can either scroll through your applications or use the search bar to locate CLion swiftly.
  • Launch CLion: Finally, click the CLion icon to launch the IDE, priming it for your coding tasks.
CLion Application Icon by JetBrains on Ubuntu Desktop
Display of the CLion application icon by JetBrains on an Ubuntu Linux desktop.

First-Time Tips with CLion on Ubuntu

Now that you have successfully installed CLion on Ubuntu, diving into the integrated development environment (IDE) with some foundational knowledge can significantly enhance your productivity and overall experience. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the initial stages of your journey with CLion, organized into four key areas for optimal understanding and application.

Optimizing Your Workspace

General Tips

  • Learn the default CLion shortcuts for Linux: Keybindings are your best productivity boosters. By mastering CLion’s shortcuts, you can navigate and edit code much faster. Consider customizing these keybindings through Settings > Keymap to match your personal workflow preferences, which can significantly speed up your coding process.
  • Integrated Terminal Usage: CLion’s built-in terminal allows you to execute Linux commands directly within the IDE, streamlining your development workflow by eliminating the need to switch between windows or applications. This feature is particularly useful for running build scripts, version control commands, and more, right from within the IDE.
  • Code Style Configuration: Consistent code formatting is crucial for maintainability and readability. CLion provides extensive options to configure your coding style in Settings > Editor > Code Style. Setting up your preferred code style from the beginning ensures that your codebase remains clean and adheres to your project’s guidelines.
  • Understanding Auto-Save: Unlike many other editors, CLion automatically saves your changes, preventing data loss and allowing you to focus more on coding than on file management. It’s essential to understand how this feature works, especially in relation to version control systems, to ensure smooth integration and workflow.


  • Appearance Personalization: A comfortable working environment can improve focus and reduce fatigue. CLion offers a range of themes and appearance settings in Settings > Appearance & Behavior > Appearance. Selecting a theme that is visually appealing to you can make long coding sessions less strenuous.
  • Editor Settings Optimization: Tailoring the editor settings in Settings > Editor can significantly enhance your coding experience. Adjustments such as font size, color scheme, and code folding options can make your workspace more conducive to productivity and comfort.
  • Plugin Management: CLion supports a wide array of plugins to extend its functionality. From version control to language support and productivity tools, you can find and manage these plugins in Settings > Plugins. Identifying and installing key plugins early on can enrich your development environment with additional features and capabilities.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts Customization: Efficiency in IDE navigation and operation can be greatly enhanced by customizing keyboard shortcuts. CLion allows you to adjust these in Settings > Keymap, enabling you to align the IDE’s controls with your muscle memory and personal preferences.

Enhancing Productivity

Other Tips

  • Live Templates Utilization: CLion’s live templates are powerful tools for inserting common code patterns quickly. You can access and manage these templates in Settings > Editor > Live Templates. Utilizing live templates can drastically reduce typing time and increase code consistency.
  • Version Control Integration: Seamless integration with version control systems (VCS) like Git is crucial for modern software development. CLion enables you to connect your project with a VCS through VCS > Enable Version Control Integration, facilitating easy project management, commit, merge, and other VCS operations within the IDE.
  • Code Analysis Tools Exploration: One of CLion’s strengths is its built-in code analysis capabilities, which can help you identify and fix potential issues before they become problems. Regularly using these tools can improve your code quality and reliability.
  • Build Configurations Adjustment: Efficient build configurations are essential for a smooth development experience. In Settings > Build, Execution, Deployment, you can customize these settings to optimize build times and manage different build profiles for your projects.

Mastering Debugging

Debugging Tips

  • Debug Configuration Setup: Effective debugging starts with proper configuration. Setting up your debug configurations via Run > Edit Configurations can save you time and make your debugging sessions more productive by tailoring the IDE’s debugging behavior to your needs.
  • Debugging Shortcuts Mastery: Learning and using CLion’s debugging keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up your debugging process, allowing you to quickly step through code, inspect variables, and manage breakpoints.
  • Conditional Breakpoints: Conditional breakpoints are a powerful feature in CLion that allows you to halt program execution when certain conditions are met, making it easier to isolate and identify issues in complex codebases.
  • Variable Changes Monitoring: Keeping track of how variables change state throughout your program’s execution can provide valuable insights into its behavior and help identify logical errors more efficiently.

Understanding Project Management

Project Management Tips

  • Project Templates: Starting with a project template can give you a head start by setting up a predefined structure and settings for your new project. CLion offers several templates for different types of projects, which can simplify initial setup and ensure that you’re following best practices.
  • Toolchain Configuration: Ensuring your project is set up with the correct toolchain is crucial for successful builds. In Settings > Build, Execution, Deployment > Toolchains, you can configure the compilers, build tools, and other settings specific to your development environment on Ubuntu.
  • Dependency Management: Managing project dependencies efficiently is key to maintaining a healthy codebase. CLion integrates with various package managers, allowing you to manage libraries and frameworks directly within the IDE.
  • Project Organization: Keeping your project files and directories well-organized is essential for navigability and maintainability. Using CLion’s project view effectively can help you maintain an organized codebase, making it easier to manage large and complex projects.

Following these tips and guidelines can significantly enhance your experience with CLion on Ubuntu, helping you to become more productive and efficient in your development projects.

CLion Interface upon Launch on Ubuntu Linux
Initial view of CLion IDE when launched on Ubuntu Linux.

Managing CLion on Ubuntu

This section will explore the procedures for updating and uninstalling CLion on your Ubuntu Linux system using different command-line approaches. We will focus on the unique APT, Snap, and Flatpak instructions for conducting these operations.

Update CLion

Staying up-to-date with software updates is essential. They provide the most recent features, patches, and security enhancements. Thus, understanding how to update CLion using different package managers is crucial.

APT Update Command for CLion on Ubuntu

APT, an abbreviation for Advanced Package Tool, is a commonly used package management system in Ubuntu. To update CLion using APT, we must first update the package list. This ensures that we have the most recent information on all packages. Subsequently, we can upgrade the packages. The following commands are used for these tasks:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Snap Update Command for CLion on Ubuntu

Snap is a software packaging and deployment system devised by Canonical. The Snap command offers a simple way to update CLion. The necessary command is as follows:

sudo snap refresh

Flatpak Update Command for CLion on Ubuntu

Flatpak is a utility designed for software deployment, package management, and application virtualization on Linux systems. To update CLion with Flatpak, this command needs to be executed:

sudo flatpak update

Each of these commands updates all packages that are outdated, which aligns with good practices to keep your system secure and operating efficiently.

Remove CLion

There may be instances where you need to remove CLion from your Ubuntu Linux system. Let’s look at how this can be accomplished.

APT Command to Remove CLion from Ubuntu

To uninstall CLion using APT, the following command can be issued:

sudo apt remove clion

If you have no plans to reinstall CLion or use the third-party APT PPA for other JetBrains products, you can also eliminate the repository and GPG key with these commands:

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jetbrains-ppa.list
sudo rm /usr/share/keyrings/jetbrains-ppa-archive-keyring.gpg

Snap Command to Remove CLion from Ubuntu

To uninstall CLion using Snap, this command needs to be executed:

sudo snap remove clion

Flatpak Command to Remove CLion from Ubuntu

Lastly, to uninstall CLion using Flatpak, the following command can be used:

sudo flatpak uninstall com.jetbrains.CLion

Closing Thoughts

Throughout this guide, we walked through the essentials of installing CLion on Ubuntu, optimizing your workspace, boosting productivity, mastering debugging techniques, and managing your projects efficiently. Our journey highlighted key configurations, customizations, and tips tailored specifically for Linux users, aimed at enhancing your development experience with CLion. As a final recommendation, dive into the features and tools we discussed, explore CLion’s capabilities, and don’t hesitate to personalize your setup to suit your workflow best. Remember, the more comfortable and familiar you are with your tools, the more creative and productive you can be in your coding endeavors. Happy coding!

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