Installing Grails & Intellij Idea on Ubuntu 13.10

Posted by {"display_name"=>"greg", "login"=>"greg", "email"=>"", "url"=>""} on January 29, 2014 · 3 mins read

This post provides a walk-though of the steps to install Grails and Intellij Idea on ubuntu 13.10. I'm using Grails 2.3.2 and Intellij Idea 13 (with Groovy & Grails support).

Ubuntu App Installs

Grails 2.3.2 requires either OpenJDK6 or the Oracle Java SDK. I've chosen to use Oracle Java 7 SDK because it is recommended for Intellij Idea. Running the apt-get command, I installed the following packages:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin


Git is not required for this configuration but I've become a fan of git for version control and you can find a good description of using git with Grails here.

sudo apt-get install git
git init
git config --global "YOUR NAME"
git config --global "YOUR EMAIL"
git config --list

Grails & GVM

The Groovy enVironment Manager has become the preferred tool for installing Groovy and Grails. It's easy to use and manages multiple versions of Grails. For Ubuntu 13.10 it also works!  As of this writing, the Grails packages for Linux haven't been updated in ages. Install gvm:

apt-get install curl
curl -s | bash
source ~/.gvm/bin/

You can view the versions of Grails that are available with this command:

gvm list grails

Install your preferred versions of Grails and set the default. I'm going 2.3.2 here:

gvm install grails 2.3.2

Verify the current default version of grails:

gvm current grails

Log out and then back on again.  Test your install by entering the grails command and you should see results similar to this.

$ grails -version
Grails version: 2.1.1

To complete the test of your install try this:

$ grails create-app test
$ cd test
$ grails run-app
Server running. Browse to http://localhost:8080/test

I'm running Tomcat on port 8080 so I want to configure grails to run apps on 8081. It can be done on a project by project basis in the Config.groovy file or on the command line but to set it globally, I'm going to add the following line to my /etc/environment file:


Intellij Idea

Go to the Intellij Idea download page and download Idea. I'm downloading version 13.0.2 Ultimate edition to the ~/Downloads directory.

cd $HOME
tar xvzf ~/Downloads/ideaIU*gz
cd idea-IU*/bin
sudo ./

I also set the preferred web browser to Chrome at File > Settings > Web Browsers


Go to the SmartGIT download page and download the application.

$ cd $HOME $ tar xvfz ~/Downloads/smartgit*gz

To run SmartGIT, execute the command:

$ ~/smartgit/bin/


I use springloops as a hosted source version control and offsite repository and wrote a post on configuring Git for use with springloops.