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IntelliJ's hooks into the file system

Matthew Taylor

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 110
Hello Dmitry Jemerov. First of all, I think that IntelliJ is really quite awesome. But it seems like the reason it is awesome is also the cause of its most frustrating problem. There are times when I am right in the middle of writing a line of code or navigating to another part of a class when IntelliJ locks up to update itself for upwards of 30 seconds at a time.

I think this has to do with it reinvestigating all the hooks it has in the files it is monitoring. While this is necessary to give it all the quick access to every class, it frustrates me as a developer when I'm in the middle of a thought and I have to wait for my IDE to catch up to me. This also occurs whenever I clean using ANT. It takes as long for IntelliJ to catch up with the cleaning as it does on startup.

My questions are: Does this problem have to do with all the monitoring of the file system that IDEA does? Is there any way you can think of to solve this problem?


Grails Consultant
Steve Chaloner

Joined: Jan 07, 2005
Posts: 22
Have you disabled "Synchronize files on frame activation" to minimise the updates that take place?

Also, since IDEA 5 (i think - don't recall it being present on IDEA 4) you can sync subtrees of the file system so you can pre-empt some syncs taking place.

I agree though - when it does happen, it's very annoying. Some of our projects are so large it's quicker to shut down and restart IDEA than to synchronize.

Steve Chaloner<br />-----------<br />SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.4
Dmitry Jemerov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 24, 2006
Posts: 120
Hello Peter,

If a pause happens in the middle of some action you're performing inside IDEA, most likely it's a garbage collection pause and not something related to file synchronization. To reduce the likelihood of such pauses, it's recommended not to make the heap excessively large (-Xmx256M should be sufficient for working with a single large project). Also, you can try to tune the garbage collector using the Hotspot VM options.

Also, a significant performance problem which was related to file synchronization will be fixed in the 6.0.3 release. You can download an Early Access Preview build for 6.0.3 at

Dmitry Jemerov<br />Development Lead<br />JetBrains, Inc.<br /><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a><br />"Develop with Pleasure"
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: IntelliJ's hooks into the file system
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