CLion Interview Questions & Answers

  • Question 1. Should I Use Cmake To Try Clion?

    Answer :

    Yes. CLion supports only CMake-based projects for now.

    But you can try importing non-CMake project into CLion using Import Project functionality.

  • Question 2. Do You Plan To Support Any Other Build Systems? When Is This Going To Happen?

    Answer :

    Yes, this is in our plans. Please find the feature request in our tracker to vote and comment on. CLion 1.0 will definitely come with CMake support only, but later we’ll decide where to move next, by considering your votes in the tracker.

    The most popular options so far are:

    • Make file projects (CPP-494)
    • Qt projects (CPP-318)
    • Auto tools projects (CPP-193)

    Feel free to vote and leave comments in these requests so we can better understand your needs.

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  • Question 3. What Tool Chain Should I Use On Windows?

    Answer :

    You have three options: Cygwin, MinGW and Microsoft Visual C++ compiler. More details on how to configure these tool chains:

    Cygwin: Get the latest available 64-bit version and make sure to select gcc/g++, CMake, make and gdb 7.8 while installing the packages.

    MinGW: CLion currently supports MinGW and MinGW-w64. See the compatible versions list in our quick start guide.

    In addition, don’t forget to install make and gcc/g++ packages from MinGW tool chain to make it work with CLion.

    Microsoft Visual C++ compiler is available starting with v2017.1 via CMake (with NMake generator).

  • Question 4. Can I Change The Tool Chain From What I’ve Selected On The Welcome Screen?

    Answer :

    Sure. Feel free to change it in Preferences/Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Tool chains. Try checking the environment functionality there to understand if anything is missing or wrong with your tool chain. It will try to build a very simple program and inform you of the result.

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  • Question 5. What Compilers Can I Use? How Do I Change The Compiler?

    Answer :

    At present CLion supports GCC and Clang compilers, MSVC is available in the experimental mode and is guided by these two to get the libraries and headers paths. In the next releases we are planning to extend the list of compilers available in CLion.

    Since CLion relies on CMake build system. To change the compiler used in CLion, use method #2 from the official CMake documentation.

    Go to Preferences/Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | CMake | CMake options and pass the following commands:



    The corresponding CMake cache variables will be overwritten.

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  • Question 6. How To Pass Environment Variables And Parameters To Cmake In Clion?

    Answer :

    The best way is to use Preferences/Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | CMake dialog.

  • Question 7. Clion Builds My Project In Some Ide’s Directory? How To Change That?

    Answer :

    This can be done easily with CMake variables. Just set:


    You can change build output directory in Preferences/Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | CMake dialog as well.

    In addition, the Run/Debug Configurations dialog (Run | Edit Configurations…) in CLion allows you to set program execution arguments, working directory, and environment variables.

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  • Question 8. Clion Fails To Find Some Of My Headers. Where Does It Search For Them?

    Answer :

    CLion searches through the same places CMake does. Set the INCLUDE_DIRECTORIES variable in CMake to provide the headers path to the IDE.

    By the way, in this wiki you can find a lot of useful CMake variables with descriptions that can be especially helpful if you are new to CMake.

  • Question 9. I Prefer Visual Studio / Xcode / Etc. Key Map. How Do I Use It In Clion?

    Answer :

    CLion supports a variety of key maps. Choose and use your favorite one, or create a new key map based on an existing one. Go to Preferences/Settings | Appearance and Behavior | Key map to manage key maps, or just press Ctrl to quickly switch the scheme.

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  • Question 10. Is Clion A Paid Product? Is This Functionality Available As A Plugin For Intellij Idea?

    Answer :

    CLion is a commercial product built on our own open-source IntelliJ Platform. As all other Jet Brains products, CLion will most likely have a variety of licensing options, including free and paid ones. For an example, see our AppCode buy page.

    We are not planning a plugin option for IntelliJ IDEA until CLion 1.0 release, but this possibility will be considered later.

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  • Question 11. Is It Possible To Write Plugins For Clion?

    Answer :

    Yes, as all other Jet Brains IntelliJ-Platform-based products, CLion is open to plugin development. Find useful information in our confluence space. 
Still, before v1.0 the API may be unstable and plugins may be broken occasionally.

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