Sofar I always installed apps from a store or using a wizard. I never installed them manually, so now it's my first time.

For example I just downloaded IntelliJ from the official website: https://www.jetbrains.com/de-de/idea/download/#section=linux.

I unpacked the tar.gz and now I have the app in my download folder. When I cd into the bin folder I find the script to run the app: idea.sh.

I think the download folder is the wrong location for installing any apps.

My questions:

  • Where should I move it?
  • What do I need to do to run it by the terminal?
  • How do I get the shortcut in the apps overview?
  • I would suggest you use the JetBrains Toolbox app mentioned by tones as if you manually install into /opt as in the accepted answer, you will have to manually keep the application up to date
    – finsbury
    Aug 8 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


Where should I move it?


That is the directory for 3rd party applications (ie. tar.gz installations). Mind that you can also use the debian installer if you downloaded those using dpkg but that also means you need to download and install dependencies.

tar.gzs have all permissions already correctly set so it is best to do

sudo cp {downloadedfile}.tar.gz /opt/ 
cd /opt/
sudo tar xvfz {downloadedfile}.tar.gz .

then cd into the new directory and execute the main program.

What do I need to do to run it by the terminal?

See inside the directory as it depends on what you install. Generally there will be a "readme" explaining what to do (sometimes you need to copy a file, like a serice, into the system or change an environment variable and your PATH so it is available to the system) but there will be an executable in there too that is the main program to start what is installed.

How do I get the shortcut in the apps overview?

Check for a .desktop file inside the directory and copy that over to

  • /usr/share/applications for universal and admin usage
  • ~/.local/share/applications for personal usage (when there are more than 1 user you can copy it to all those homes).

If there is none check one of those two directories and copy one to a new name for that application (the name tends to be {application}.desktop) and edit the contents to point to the directory and executable in /opt/.

  • 1
    Thank you! You answered all my questions! Aug 7 at 18:22
  • 1
    I installed it from the snap. sudo snap install intellij-idea-community --classic
    – Sildeag
    Aug 7 at 21:05
  • 1
    For the JetBains IDEs I'd recommend using the JetBrains Toolbox app. It'll handle installing and keeping any of their IDEs up to date, including IDEA. askubuntu.com/questions/1410885/…
    – tones
    Aug 8 at 8:21
  • 1
    I know. Of course there are other methods but the question was about how to handle the manual install. So these comments might be better set against the question not the answer ;)
    – Rinzwind
    Aug 8 at 8:27
  • IntelliJ was just an example. When I wrote the question I didnt mention IntelliJ in it. Someone updated it. I was interested in general manual install. Thx @Rinzwind Aug 9 at 17:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.