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Every project uses a Software Development Kit (SDK). For Java projects, the SDK is referred to as the JDK (Java Development Kit). The SDK determines which API library is used to build the project. If a project is multi-module, the project SDK by default is common for all modules within the project. Optionally, individual SDKs for each module can be configured. For more information about SDKs, see SDK in the IntelliJ IDEA Web Help.

Getting Project SDK Information

The information about the project SDK is accessed via ProjectRootManager like the following example shows

Sdk projectSdk = ProjectRootManager.getInstance(project).getProjectSdk();

Getting and Setting Project SDK Attributes

  • To get the project level SDK
Sdk projectSDK = ProjectRootManager.getInstance(project).getProjectSdk();
  • To get the project level SDK name:
String projectSDKName = ProjectRootManager.getInstance(project).getProjectSdkName();
  • To set the project level SDK:
ProjectRootManager.getInstance(project).setProjectSdk(Sdk jdk);
  • To set the project level SDK name:
ProjectRootManager.getInstance(project).setProjectSdkName(String name);

See the project_model code sample to get more familiar with SDK manipulation toolset.

Available SDKs

ProjectJdkTable can be used to query and modify configured SDKs.

Working with a Custom SDK

To create a custom SDK, provide a class extending SdkType, leave saveAdditionalData() blank, and register it in the com.intellij.sdkType extension point.

To make SDK settings persistent, override setupSdkPaths() and save settings by modificator.commitChanges():

public boolean setupSdkPaths(@NotNull Sdk sdk, @NotNull SdkModel sdkModel) {
    SdkModificator modificator = sdk.getSdkModificator();
    modificator.commitChanges(); // save
    return true;

To let a user select an SDK, see ProjectJdksEditor.

However, it is not recommended to use "SDK" in non-IntelliJ IDEA IDEs. Although "SDK" is available in most JetBrains products, ProjectJdksEditor is specific to Java, making the operation around "SDK" difficult. The recommended way of managing "SDK" settings is to create a CustomStepProjectGenerator implementation and save settings in a PersistentStateComponent.

Assisting in Setting Up an SDK

Register the implementation of ProjectSdkSetupValidator in extension point com.intellij.projectSdkSetupValidator to provide quick fix.