Version Matrix

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Ide Probe is a framework for testing IntelliJ platform plugins. It can be used both locally and in the CI pipeline.

The framework itself comprises two components:

  • driver - responsible for controlling the workspace and IDE startup
  • probe - used to interact with the IDE


Sometimes, unit tests cannot be used to reliably reproduce a failure or test some specific feature. This happens because the testing environment used by IDEs most often differs from the actual, production-like environment experienced by the user. Be it a disabled UI, forced single threaded execution, or just different control flow, the unit tests are just not the right tool to use sometimes.

Using Probe fixes those problems at the non-avoidable cost of slightly longer execution time when compared to unit tests. With it, not only a proper environment is used but one can also guard against new classes of errors, like:

  • UI freezes
  • background plugin errors
  • unexpected behavior after starting or restarting IDE sessions
  • invalid interactions between multiple IDE sessions running in parallel


A single test case consists of a configuration and workflow specification. Configuration can either be:

A) loaded from file,

private val config = Config.fromClasspath("path/to/file")

@Test def test = IntelliJFixture.fromConfig(config).run {intelliJ => 
    // workflow steps

B) provided as a string, or

private val config = Config.fromString("""probe { workspace.path = /foo/bar } """)
@Test def test = IntelliJFixture.fromConfig(config).run {intelliJ => 
    // workflow steps

C) specified programmatically.

private val fixture = IntelliJFixture(
  workspaceProvider = WorkspaceTemplate.fromFile(path),
  version = IntelliJVersion("202.5792.28-EAP-SNAPSHOT"),
  plugins = List(Plugin("org.intellij.scala", "2020.2.7"))

@Test def test = {intelliJ => 
    // workflow steps

Workflow can only be defined programmatically, since it comprises sequence of intertwined:

  1. probe commands,
  2. IDE state queries,
  3. workspace manipulation,
  4. custom verification logic.
@Test def test = { intelliJ =>
  val buildSbt = intelliJ.workspace.resolve("build.sbt")
  Files.write(buildSbt, """name := "foo" """)

  val projectRef = intelliJ.probe.openProject(buildSbt)
  val structure = intelliJ.probe.projectModel(projectRef)


To see the full list of probe endpoints see Commands or Queries.

Note, that any communication with the probe is synchronous.


To include Probe in your sbt project add following lines: += MavenRepository("jetbrains-3rd", "")
libraryDependencies += "org.virtuslab.ideprobe" %% "junit-driver" % "0.1.3"

To use snapshots versions, add another repository: += Resolver.sonatypeRepo("snapshots")


  1. Driver
  2. Resolvers
  3. Workspace
  4. Display
  5. Debugging


Probe is currently being actively used in:

  1. IntelliJ Pants plugin

It discovered or reproduced following issues:

  1. Failing to import SBT projects without any JDK specified pull request
  2. Malfunctioning VCS root detection for pants plugin
  3. Missing thrift-related objects in the find window
  4. Failing to import pants project using BSP
  5. Incorrect pants project name generation