Grails and GWT in IntelliJ’s IDEA: Not a valid GWT installation Error

The other day I treated myself to a license of IntelliJ’s IDEA and I am loving it especially when working with Grails projects.

When I started toying around with the GWT plugin for Grails however, I ran into trouble because apparently the GWT_HOME environment variable that I defined for the bash shell is not visible to IDEA which results in a nasty ERROR: null is not a valid GWT installation show stopper – among others.

To solve the problem I created the file ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist and edited it so that it looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
<key>GWT_HOME</key>
<string>/usr/share/gwt</string>
</dict>
</plist>

In IDEA’s Run Debug configuration make sure that the include parent environment variables option is selected.
In this way any environment variable defined in the file environment.plist is passed to applications that are started from the finder such as IDEA.

Instead of defining GWT_HOME for the finder I could have added it to IDEA’s Run / Debug Configurations but the downside to this solution is that any script triggered by Run Target that depends on environment variables such as run-gwt-client would fall flat again.