The Java Development Environment for Emacs (JDEE) is an integrated development environment for Emacs. It interfaces Emacs to command-line Java development tools, for instance Oracle’s JDK.

At some point, development of JDEE was by all appearances slow. JDEE 2.4.1 was released in May, 2013 to support the latest CEDET version, but included no new features. Bug reports, patches, volunteers are very welcome! There was extensive discussion in April/May 2013 about a next generation JDEE (possible fork). Fortunately, there are signs of development for Java in CEDET. Since mid-2015, the projects is much more active (see this graph on GitHub: ).

Project site:


Eclim uses Eclipse as a backend to provide intelligent Java completion and coding support in Emacs

lsp-java Java support for lsp-mode using the Eclipse JDT Language Server.

Meghanada is an Emacs mode with a dedicated server component.

IntelliJ LSP Server uses IntelliJ as a backend.

malabar-mode was an effort to create a better Java mode for Emacs. It has been folded into JDEE.


JDEE is available from MELPA.

As of JDEE version 2.4.1, JDEE works with CEDET that comes with Emacs 24.3 release (and is known to work with Emacs 23.4 or later).

Project repo:


Create an issue at Github:



From the webpage:

JDEE Extensions and Plugins

And more.

JDEE's features explained and demonstrated

Others (not so graphical):

Link to your success stories here!

Installation notes


JDEE is available in MELPA.

As of 2013-06-14, Emacs 24.3 and JDEE 2.4.1 are latest releases. This JDEE release will work with Emacs 23.4 or later. See Download section above to obtain JDEE.

Next all you need in your init file is something like:

  (add-to-list 'load-path (format "%s/dist/jdee-2.4.1/lisp" my-jdee-path))
  (autoload 'jde-mode "jde" "JDE mode" t)
  (setq auto-mode-alist
        (append '(("\\.java\\'" . jde-mode)) auto-mode-alist))

See for more details.

Emacs 24 and older JDEE

Download CEDET 1.1 and load it in Elisp. Emacs comes with CEDET 2.0; you must load CEDET 1.1 before other packages load the version in Emacs. Older JDEE are not compatible with new CEDET.

When downloading the prebuilt older release, you’ll need some Elisp to prevent fatal errors:

(setq jde-check-version-flag nil)
(define-obsolete-function-alias 'make-local-hook 'ignore "21.1")
(unless (fboundp 'semantic-format-prototype-tag-java-mode)
  (defalias 'semantic-format-prototype-tag-java-mode 'semantic-format-tag-prototype-java-mode))
(require 'hippie-exp)

Use something like this to load JDEE for .java files:

(add-to-list 'load-path (format "%s/lisp" "~/.emacs.d/jdee-" "Path to JDEE"))
(autoload 'jde-mode "jde" "JDE mode." t)
(setq auto-mode-alist
      (append '(("\\.java\\'" . jde-mode)) auto-mode-alist))

JDEE was confirmed to work in the 24.2.90 pretest release with this approach.

See also: . Note that editing jde.el and deleting jde.elc is not necessary when setting jde-check-version-flag per above.

Emacs 23

If you are using Emacs 23.4 or later use use the latest release (JDEE 2.4.1) without external dependencies as described above.

Install notes for Gnu Emacs 23 and earlier JDEE releases below. This will help you get (require ‘jde) running. No guarantee on anything else.

jde depends: cedet, elib.

(add-to-list 'load-path "/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/cedet-common/")
(add-to-list 'load-path "/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/cedet-contrib/")
;;for jde
(require 'cedet)

(add-to-list 'load-path "/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/elib/")

Then you need to edit jdel.el in lisp dir.

Remove or comment out the following lines, because autoload is now part of emacs, and there is no jde-autoloads.el in jde src.

(require 'jde-autoload)
    (and jde-xemacsp
	 (require 'jde-autoload))

For jde itself, add these to .emacs, change the dirs to fit your install of course:

;; jde

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/jde-current/")
(require 'jde)
(setq jde-web-browser "firefox")
(setq jde-doc-dir "~/d/jdk-6-doc/")

I don’t know much about it myself. I guess there are more problems waiting.

How to load JDE in Emacs >=23.2 (after CEDET integration into Emacs trunk):

Use the latest release, JDEE 2.4.1! For prior JDEE releases:

I fear it is complex, as the CEDET inclusion changed package names but JDEE is still using the old ones (tested in branches 2.4 and trunk). For instance (require ‘semantic-ctxt) is the old name (standalone CEDET), but in the Emacs-included CEDET it should be transformed to (require ‘semantic/ctxt). Someone must update JDEE. 24.m3.2010, DanielClemente

I finally got JDE to work (mostly) with emacs 23.2. Here is what I did:

1) Download trunk source from svn. 2) Extract the source 3) ant configure 4) ant

here is my init file… There a few ‘tricks’ in here:

;; Update the Emacs load-path to include the path to
;; the JDE and its require packages. This code assumes
(add-to-list 'load-path (expand-file-name "~/Documents/elisp/jdee/lisp"))

 (setq semantic-default-submodes '(global-semantic-idle-scheduler-mode

(add-to-list 'load-path (expand-file-name "~/Documents/elisp/jdibug-0.2"))
(setq semantic-load-turn-everything-on t)
(semantic-mode 1)
(require 'semantic/senator)
(require 'semantic)
(require 'semantic/ia)
(require 'semantic/wisent)
(require 'semantic/wisent/java-tags)

;; Use the full Java 1.5 grammer to parse Java
(autoload 'wisent-java-default-setup "wisent" "Hook run to setup Semantic in 'java-mode'." nil nil)

(setq jde-auto-parse-enable nil)
(setq jde-enable-senator nil)
(load "jde-autoload")

;; load jde-testng
(require 'jde-testng)

;; load jde-maven
(require 'jde-maven2)

(require 'jdibug)

;; If you want Emacs to defer loading the JDE until you open a 
;; Java file, edit the following line
(setq defer-loading-jde nil)
;; to read:
;;  (setq defer-loading-jde t)

(if defer-loading-jde
      (autoload 'jde-mode "jde" "JDE mode." t)
      (setq auto-mode-alist
	     '(("\\.java\\'" . jde-mode))
  (require 'jde))

 jde-sourcepath '( "/Users/ldangelo/Development" )
 jde-db-option-connect-socket '(nil "28380")
 jde-jdk-registry (quote (
			  ("1.5" . "/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5/")
			  ("1.6" . "/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6/")
 jde-jdk `("1.6")


;; Include the following only if you want to run
;; bash as your shell.

;; Setup Emacs to run bash as its primary shell.
(setq shell-file-name "bash")
(setq shell-command-switch "-c")
(setq explicit-shell-file-name shell-file-name)
(setenv "SHELL" shell-file-name)
(setq explicit-sh-args '("-login" "-i"))
(if (boundp 'w32-quote-process-args)
  (setq w32-quote-process-args ?\")) ;; Include only for MS Windows.

;; Location of you emacs directory
(setq my-emacs-dir (concat (getenv "HOME") "/.emacs.d/tmp/emacs-jde"))

;; save all the semantic.cache files to one place
(when (locate-library "semantic")
  (let ((semcach (concat my-emacs-dir "/semantic-cache")))
    (unless (file-directory-p semcach)
      (make-directory semcach))
    (setq semanticdb-default-save-directory semcach)))

(define-key jde-mode-map [f8]   'jdibug-step-over) 
(define-key jde-mode-map [M-f8] 'jdibug-step-into) 
(define-key jde-mode-map [f7]   'jdibug-step-out) 
(define-key jde-mode-map [M-f7] 'jdibug-resume)

(require 'flymake)

(defun skip-cleanup())

;; function does not exist in emacs 23.2
(defun semantic-parse())

(defun flymake-java-ecj-init ()
  (let* ((temp-file   (flymake-init-create-temp-buffer-copy
         (local-file  (file-relative-name
                       (file-name-directory buffer-file-name))))
    ;; Change your ecj.jar location here
    (list "java" (list "-jar" "/Users/ldangelo/Development/ecj.jar" "-Xemacs" "-d" "/dev/null"
                       "-source" "1.5" "-target" "1.5" "-proceedOnError"
                       (jde-build-classpath jde-global-classpath) local-file))))
(defun flymake-java-ecj-cleanup ()
  "Cleanup after `flymake-java-ecj-init' -- delete temp file and dirs."
  (flymake-safe-delete-file flymake-temp-source-file-name)
  (when flymake-temp-source-file-name
    (flymake-safe-delete-directory (file-name-directory flymake-temp-source-file-name))))

(defun jde-ecj-create-temp-file (file-name prefix)
  "Create the file FILE-NAME in a unique directory in the temp directory."
  (file-truename (expand-file-name (file-name-nondirectory file-name)
                                   (expand-file-name  (int-to-string (random)) (flymake-get-temp-dir)))))
(push '(".+\\.java$" flymake-java-ecj-init flymake-java-ecj-cleanup) flymake-allowed-file-name-masks)
(push '("\\(.*?\\):\\([0-9]+\\): error: \\(.*?\\)\n" 1 2 nil 2 3 (6 compilation-error-face)) compilation-error-regexp-alist)
(push '("\\(.*?\\):\\([0-9]+\\): warning: \\(.*?\\)\n" 1 2 nil 1 3 (6 compilation-warning-face)) compilation-error-regexp-alist)

;; Sets the basic indentation for Java source files
;; to two spaces.
(defun my-jde-mode-hook ()
  "Hook for running java file..."
  (message " Loading my-jde-mode-hook...")
  (c-set-offset 'substatement-open 0)
  (c-set-offset 'statement-case-open 0)
  (c-set-offset 'case-label '+)
   indent-tabs-mode nil
   tab-width 4
   c-basic-offset 2
   tempo-interactive t

(add-hook 'jde-mode-hook 'my-jde-mode-hook)


Note from 2004: If you use the Debian Sid jde package with CVS Emacs, you may need to apply this patch.

JDEE compared with other IDEs

Frequently Given Answers (FGA)

Did you install it correctly as documented? The website says: “Nearly all the JDEE problems that I have seen are caused by faulty setups,” and “Most problems reported by users are installation/setup problems.” See the Trouble Shooting Guide (Dead link).


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