IntelliJ IDEA Error – Cannot run program – No such file or directory

For developing applications in JAVA, most developers typically use an Integrated Development Environment to leverage built-in features to improve productivity. The most popular JAVA IDEs are NetBeans, Eclipse, Android Studio and IntelliJ IDEA.

Researching over internet, I was quite impressed with the features provided by RedGate’s IntelliJ IDEA – hence I downloaded it and wanted to quickly spin up a Hello World application.

IntelliJ Idea

However while building the project, I bumped into an unexpected error —

Intellij IDEA Build Error

Error:Cannot run program “/Applications/IntelliJ” (in directory “/Users/samir/Library/Caches/IntelliJIdea2017.3/compile-server”): error=2, No such file or directory

Being new to the IDE, it took me some time to figure out the root cause of this error. Even though the fix was simple, I wanted to document this so that others bumping into the same error can quickly proceed, without getting stuck.

While working in IntelliJ, you can access the IDE log files to view additional details on the error — Help Menu -> Show Log in Finder

java.util.concurrent.ExecutionException: com.intellij.execution.process.ProcessNotCreatedException: Cannot run program “/Applications/IntelliJ” (in directory “/Users/samir/Library/Caches/IntelliJIdea2017.3/compile-server”): error=2, No such file or directory

Looking at my Project Settings, I figured out that I need to specify the SDK I want to use in my project.

IntelliJ Project Structure

Next I checked the SDK version installed in my new laptop and figured out there was not any!  I went ahead and installed the JDK 9 on my Mac from here —

Install Java JDK

After I installed the SDK, I navigated to the Project Settings and selected the new JDK configuration from the installation location in my local.

IntelliJ New SDK Version

I then attempted to build the project and it ran successfully. YAY!!

IntelliJ Build Successful

Summing up this article, in case you see this specific build error —

Navigate to the File Menu and go to Project Structure.  Under the Project SDK section, make sure to add the new SDK you have installed in the system.

When you are creating a new project, you can also set the Project SDK at that point –

Project SDK New Project

It would have been nice if IntelliJ IDEA installation also included a default SDK so that developers can get started right from the word go. I did not want to miss out on this opportunity & went ahead and suggested the same to the IntelliJ Team –

Incase you bump into issues with IntelliJ, you can report them to JetBrains Team here —


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Categories: Java


11 replies

  1. i did not test it but Thx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This works also if you Switch your JDK Version while having already one set up in your Project. Much Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing that experience. Appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks everyone for your comments. I am glad that you found the blog useful.


  5. Thanks for details, very useful blog for java beginner

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My Isuue is not resolved yet after changing the JDK


  7. Perfect solution!

    Liked by 1 person

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