Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Migrating NetBeans Settings

I've been using both the Beta and nightly-build releases of NetBeans 6 for the last few weeks.  Every time I move to the next version, I have to sort out settings, preferences and libraries because the IDE doesn't offer to do this for me.  Other folk have a similar complaint, e.g.
Migrating Netbeans class libraries between versions - TEERA 2.0

NetBeans preferences are stored in your profile, which in Windows is a folder structure rooted at: C:\Documents and Settings\<yourUserName>\.netbeans\<versionNumber>

The problem with this folder structure is that it mixes IDE settings with things like the local library collection and worst of all, a local class-information cache and file history (under the var folder). The whole thing can grow to quite a size (mine's well over 80MB).

The key subfolder appears to be config. I managed to migrate all the most important (and time-consuming) settings by copying these folders from one version to the next:

  • Editors

  • Preferences

  • org-netbeans-api-project-libraries

This doesn't quite do everything – docking window positions and toolbar button sizes are obviously stored somewhere else, but I can live with this.

I've voted for this to be fixed: see


  1. Thanks for that!

  2. Netbeans 7.3 has automatic detection/import of settings!

  3. I´ve just realized that :O :D