Best Clojure(Script) IDEs


2 min read

Let me share with you my personal opinion about most popular editors and IDEs in the Clojure world.

VsCode and Calva

+ It is vscode. It is quite popular editor now, so you can have one editor for all your projects no matter the language.

+ Calva is highly maintained, just look at releases page.

+ This combo is very powerful, it has even Paredit and debugger.

- It seems Emacs has more mature ecosystem and more packages.

- Each project has to have opened new vscode window => multiple lsp server instances => it takes more ram.

Emacs and CIDER and LSP...

+ It is Emacs. It is LISP! Yeah, so you can write Clojure code and hack your editor in almost the same language!

+ Emacs gives a huge freedom, you can build your own IDE from scratch having everything configured your way.

+ It is the oldest Clojure option. There is a ton of packages for Clojure just look here: :)

- Sometimes you may spend more time tweaking your editor than focusing on learning the language and solving real problems.

- Using both CIDER & LSP might be challange sometimes. Both offer similar functionalities and you need to choose between one or the other for your optimal workflow.


+ It is IntelliJ - solid IDE from JetBrains.

+ If your previous language was Java then most of the keybindings work out of the box.

- It is not free :(

- It takes a lots of ram.


In my opinion the best option for the beginners is Calva. Then you may consider moving to Emacs or Cursive depending on your budget and preferences.

Let me make analogy with operating systems:

  • Calva -> MacOS (it just works)
  • Emacs + Cider + LSP -> Linux (Yeah, sky is the limit in customisation but it takes a lot of time and energy)
  • Cursive -> Windows $$$ (Good commercial product)

Oficjal 2.png BTW Have you heard about Clojure Hacker?

This is my newest Clojure and ClojureScirpt course - perhaps for you!