IntelliJ Scala and Apache Spark Happy Together

In this tutorial, we’re going to review one way to setup IntelliJ for Scala and Spark development.  The IntelliJ Scala combination is the best, free setup for Scala and Spark development.  And I have nothing against ScalaIDE (Eclipse for Scala) or using editors such as Sublime.  I switched from Eclipse years ago and haven’t looked back.  I’ve also sincerely tried to follow the Pragmatic Programmer suggestion of using one editor (IDE), but I keep coming back to IntelliJ when doing JVM-based development.

But, you probably don’t really care about all my history, though.  Let’s get back to you.  You’re here to setup IntelliJ with Scala and hopefully use it with Spark, right?

Table of Contents

IntelliJ Scala and Spark Setup Overview

In this tutorial, we’re going to try to go fast with lots of screenshots.  If you have questions or comments on how to improve, let me know.

After you complete this Spark with IntelliJ tutorial, I know you’ll find the Spark Debug in IntelliJ tutorial helpful as well.


I’m going to make assumptions about you in this post.

  1. You are not a newbie to programming and computers.  You know how to download and install software.
  2. You might need to update these instructions for your environment.  YMMV.  I’m not going to cover every nuance between Linux, OS X and Windows.  And no, I’m not going to cover SunOS vs Solaris for you old timers like me.
  3. You will speak up if you have questions or suggestions on how to improve.  There should be a comments section at the bottom of this post.
  4. You’re a fairly nice person who appreciates a variety of joke formats now and again.
See also  Apache Spark with Cassandra Example with Game of Thrones

If you have any issues or concerns with these assumptions, please leave now.  It will be better for both of us.


Configuration Steps

  1. Start IntelliJ for first time
  2. Install Scala plugin
  3. Create New Project for Scala Spark development
  4. Scala Smoketest.  Create and run Scala HelloMundo program
  5. Scala Spark Smoketest.  Create and run a Scala Spark program
  6. Eat, drink and be merry

Ok, let’s go.

1. Start IntelliJ for first time

Is this your first time running IntelliJ?  If so, start here.  Otherwise, move to #2.

When you start IntelliJ for the first time, it will guide you through a series of screens similar to the following.

At one point, you will be asked if you would like to install the Scala plugin from “Featured” plugins screen such as this:

intellij scala

Do that.  Click Install to install the Scala plugin.

2. Install Scala plugin

If this is not the first time, you’ve launched IntelliJ and you do not have the Scala plugin installed, then stay here.  To install the Scala plugin, here’s a screencast how to do it from a Mac.  (Note: I already have it installed, so you need to check the box)

3. Create New Project for Scala Spark development

Ok, we want to create a super simple project to make sure we are on the right course.  Here’s a screencast of me being on the correct course for Scala Intellij projects

4. Create and Run Scala HelloMundo program

Well, nothing to see here.  Take a break if you want.  We are halfway home.  See the screencast in the previous step.  That’s it, because we ran the HelloMundo code in that screencast already.

See also  Begin Apache Spark Transformations in Scala [15 Examples]

5. Create and Run Scala Spark program

Let’s create another Scala object and add some Spark API calls to it.  Again, let’s make this as simple (AKA: KISS principle)  as possible to make sure we are on the correct course.  In this step, we create a new Scala object and import Spark jars as library dependencies in IntelliJ.  Everything doesn’t run perfectly, so watch how to address it in the video.  Oooh, we’re talking bigtime drama here people.  Hold on.

Here’s a screencast