I'm looking for a Java IDE for my PC so I can start to play around with the stuff I've been learning on an online course. Are there any IDEs that have a clean UI, without hundreds of buttons, and a very easy learning curve, even if it's at the expense of more powerful tools?

Edit: basicly I want Notepad but with a run button and highlighting the keywords i'm writing


3 Answers 3


I recommend following 2 based on your requirements. Both support syntax-highlighting and allow to compile & run from the graphical User-Interface. Of course like Java itself they are free open source software and platform independent.


An IDE designed exclusively for learning Java is BlueJ

BlueJ is an integrated development environment for the Java programming language, developed mainly for educational purposes, but also suitable for small-scale software development. It runs with the help of JDK. BlueJ was developed to support the learning and teaching of object-oriented programming, and its design differs from other development environments as a result. The main screen graphically shows the class structure of an application under development, and objects can be interactively created and tested. This interaction facility, combined with a clean, simple user interface, allows easy experimentation with objects under development. Object-oriented concepts are represented visually and in its interaction design in the interface.

Screenshot of BlueJ on


A lightweight Java IDE is DrJava

DrJava is a lightweight IDE for the Java programming language. Designed primarily for beginners and actively developed and maintained by the JavaPLT group at Rice University, its interface uses Sun Microsystems' Swing toolkit and therefore has a consistent appearance on different platforms.

Screenshot of DrJava on MacOS

Other Java IDEs

For the beginner's purpose of learning Java I would not recommend a fully fledged Java IDE. Because most of them bring along distraction; e.g., project support (Maven/Gradle, Git, refactoring, etc.) you probably wouldn't need at the beginning.

Although find a full Comparison of Java IDEs at Wikipedia.

  • Thanks, I was looking at Sublime Text so I'll try drjava and that for awhile and see which one is better.
    – Eric Ryan
    Dec 6, 2020 at 15:16

I would recommend NetBeans, which was an official Java IDE provided by Oracle.

  • Alright i'll check it out
    – Eric Ryan
    Dec 6, 2020 at 3:39
  • 1
    And why would you recommend it? How does it meet the requirements (e.g. "clean UI, without hundreds of buttons, and a very easy learning curve")? Can you please edit your post accordingly?
    – Izzy
    Dec 31, 2021 at 12:33

Eclipse is the IDE for working with Java.

There are many tutorials refering to this IDE. Me personally and many people I know from university have learned Java using this IDE. Also in other university people using this IDE to start learning Java. In some books about learning Java the first chapter was more or less about installing and getting started with Eclipse.

Referring to all that experiances I would say it´s a good IDE for people starting learning Java and should be easy not only for me. If you learning Java not just for fun, then Eclipse is also a good choice, I have worked in many companies and everywhere they used Java Eclipse was the IDE of choice. Without any plugin Eclipse having not too much buttons, but that could be just my subjective opinion, so sorry then.


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