Difference Between Eclipse and IntelliJ

Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a primary software application used by software programmers. It is the application that provides necessary comprehensive facilities for software development.

IDEs provide the technology world with a single program within which all the software development can be done. It provides many features that make the life of a programmer easy.

IDE has the source code editor and automation tools in it along with the debugger. Two of the Main IDEs used extensively are the Eclipse and IntelliJ.

Eclipse vs IntelliJ

The main difference between Eclipse and IntelliJ is that by the usage of the plugin eclipse is faster and easier to extend whereas IntelliJ offers few plugins when compared to eclipse and it is also hard to extend the IDE using the plugin’s support.

Eclipse vs IntelliJ

Eclipse is extensively used in creating applications using JAVA and also C.C++, Python, PERL, Ruby. IntelliJ is primarily used for any advancement in the projects and widely used in JAVA environments.


Comparison Table Between Eclipse and IntelliJ (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonEclipseIntelliJ
Context TreeThe context of the programmer is not identified in Eclipse. It does not create a context tree.IntelliJ creates the decision context tree and also index all the projects and its available library in the classpath
Minimum System Requirements to Install the IDE0.5 to1GB RAM is recommended, 300MB to 1GB Hard Disk, Processor speed of 800MHz to 1.5GHz2 to 4GB RAM is required,1.5GB Hard disk Space plus 1GB separately for caches, 1024X768 Minimum Screen resolution
CostEclipse is offered for freeIntelliJ is offered for free, however, for a programmer, additional functionalities are required which the free version does not offer. The IntelliJ Ultimate version is paid
Performance in Memory ManagementEclipse is excellent in memory management. It is faster.IntelliJ comparatively not a good performer in memory management. It is indeed very slow.
Auto Code GenerationEclipse provides the mechanism for auto code generation. It is however not effective and easier for the programmer to be working with it.Auto code generation in IntelliJ is customizable and very easy


What is Eclipse IDE?

Eclipse is a powerful Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which is widely used in the Information Technology field.

It has a workspace and not only that, the eclipse can be extended with a wide range of the plug-in system to customize the environment.

Eclipse is developed using JAVA and also was initially developed to create JAVA applications. The best part is Eclipse can also be used to develop applications in other programming languages by using plug-ins.

Eclipse Software Development Kit, widely known as SDK is free and also open-source software. The programmers have to download the plug-ins to the eclipse platform to create applications in other programming languages.

Eclipse extensively using plug-ins that offer almost all the functionality in the run-time system. Eclipse’s run-time system is entirely based on Equinox.

The Software development kit of Eclipse consists of Java development tools (JDT) with an inbuilt incremental compiler. It also has a full model of the JAVA source files. Eclipse p

rovides flexibility in the form of views and editors. These two are grouped into perspectives.

A view functionality in Eclipse is used to work on a set of data. This data can also be a hierarchical structure. An Editor functionality is used to modify only a single data element.

The change that is offered is applied only once as the user saves.

As such Eclipse provides many different perspectives for as many different tasks. The perspectives available depends on what is installed.

eclipse ide

What is IntelliJ IDE?

IntelliJ is indeed an integrated development environment widely meant for JAVA for developing software programs. IntelliJ is available in the IT market as a community edition as well as commercial edition.

IntelliJ is a versatile environment named for its solid design. It is the IDE that is well known for its ease of use. IntelliJ is acclaimed for its advanced assistance features in creating software programs.

This is one of the reasons why it is very easy to use.

The rate at which the errors are checked is also very fast and makes the programmer go for IntelliJ over its counterparts.

IntelliJ can index the source code, it automatically customizes the code options by giving relevant suggestions for the context.

IntelliJ is named for its clever code completion. Not only that, but the major advantage is also, the code is analyzed on the fly with its reliable refactoring tools. IntelliJ does not have as many plug-ins as Eclipse.

The integrated version control system in the IDE and the ability to support a variety of languages and frameworks do not require the need for plug-ins.

IntelliJ is considered intelligent for its quick code assistance in developing a program. This makes the task easy and faster to complete.

intellij ide

Main Differences Between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDE

  1. Both the IDEs have their benefits for the programmers. The main difference between Eclipse and IntelliJ is the plug-in factor. Eclipse can be easily extended and also faster by the use of Plug-ins. The user has to just download the required plug-in to the eclipse platform and use it. While the IntelliJ cannot be extended as easy as Eclipse and does not have many plug-ins to support this functionality too.
  2. The minimum system requirements for Eclipse is pretty minimal. This goes to say that a very less expensive computer which was bought years ago can also support the installation of eclipse whereas IntelliJ requires high-end RAM and large Hard disk space for better performance.
  3. The performance factor gives a major difference too, the eclipse has faster memory management which makes the performance to be faster than IntelliJ.
  4. An eclipse is open-source software that is offered for free. Whereas IntelliJ’s additional functionalities are charged.
  5. The smart code generating capacity in IntelliJ is far better than the Eclipse. The auto code generation functionality is an out of the box gift to the programmers.
Difference Between Eclipse and IntelliJ



More than personal preference, the needs of the project determines the use of a particular IDE. It is widely suggested for the beginners to work on Eclipse first before moving onto IntelliJ.

For the very factor, IntelliJ does not offer the intricacies of learning new code, as it generates the code all by itself for the context.

This means to say, a programmer must be versatile enough to work on both platforms. As for the project, the IDEs may change, and the person must not be stuck.

Nevertheless, the assigned task operated by Eclipse or IntelliJ is completed with the best quality.

Key Differences Between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDE (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Eclipse and IntelliJ IDE



  1. https://www.eclipse.org/ide/
  2. https://www.codejava.net/ides/intellij/introduction-to-intellij-idea-for-beginner
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The people at IntelliJ have made it look completely different than Eclipse. Eclipse has expanded its plugin collection but still, I like IntelliJ because it just feels more polished than out of the box Eclipse.

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  RogerJah

Of course that has to be the case, IntelliJ earns lot more by providing services to corporations than Eclipse which means they can invest more man power in improving IntelliJ

Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra

thanks for the difference between Eclipse and IDEA!!

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Amit Mishra

welcome. the full name is IntelliJ IDEA


I ama Java developer and I want to learn Android, what would you recommend?

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Agatha

Hi Agatha,
You will have to go with Android Studio. Eclipse and IntelliJ are not supported for Android development anymore.
Good news is that Android Studio is built on top of IntelliJ so AS should be familar to you if you have been using IntelliJ


Both of them have their pros anc cons. For me personally I like Eclipse because of its popularity

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Sanza

Right. But IntelliJ is also very popular. There are fansn for both the IDE.


What if my employer is forcing me to use Eclipse but I prefer to use IntelliJ?

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  BobbyAlles

This is happening most probably because IntelliJ comes with a cost. Many employers who want to save money for their company would want to use open source and free Softwares. This would the reason in your employer’s case.

This means you have no other option but to use Eclipse IDE.

James Snuck
James Snuck

I have used both and I like IntelliJ more.

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  James Snuck

yes they keep improving IntelliJ as they have a team which gets paid handsome amount.

Kenneth Ted
Kenneth Ted

Eclipse versioning system is different from IntelliJ?

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Kenneth Ted

Yes right. Both are different organizations and hence they have different version numbers and systems.


Having worked 10 years a software programmer now, I tend to go back to Eclipse because of its vanilla flavour and i can then install plugins as and when required by the project.

For android development, I had to learn a bit about how IntelliJ IDE works.