Using with other editors

Gorilla REPL works well with other editors and IDEs. This page has some setup hints to get Gorilla and your editor/IDE of choice working well together.

IntelliJ IDEA / Cursive Clojure

It’s straightforward to get Cursive and Gorilla to share an nREPL server, so that you can work on the worksheets and code in a project together.

Note that Gorilla must start the nREPL server, as it needs to insert its own rendering middleware. So, the way to do it is, first run an instance of Gorilla. And then second, use a “remote” REPL connection in Cursive to connect to the nREPL server that Gorilla started. Gorilla will write out a .nrepl-port file that Cursive can use to auto-detect the port that Gorilla started the nREPL server on.

It’s convenient to run Gorilla from within IntelliJ. You can very easily do this by making a “Leiningen” run configuration, that starts in your project’s directory, to run the gorilla task.

There are a couple of videos that go through in detail setting up Leiningen, Gorilla and Cursive to work well together.

Emacs and CIDER

Should you prefer more of a vintage editing experience, then Gorilla also works well with Emacs :-) You can connect CIDER and Gorilla to the same nREPL server and enjoy editing your code in Emacs while editing your notebooks in Gorilla.

The only thing to note is that you must start the nREPL server by running lein gorilla, and then connect to this from Emacs with cider-connect. Gorilla will write out a .nrepl-port file in the standard place, so CIDER will be able to autodetect the port. It’s necessary to do it this way round because Gorilla needs to insert its own rendering middleware in to the nREPL server. By default Gorilla will insert a recent version of the cider-nrepl middleware, but you can override this with a version of your choosing by adding cider-nrepl to your :plugins vector in the usual way (see the CIDER readme for more details). Note that forcing a cider-nrepl version of < “0.8.1” will break Gorilla’s autocompletion.


I am told that Gorilla works with VIM and fireplace, but haven’t used it myself. Fireplace uses cider-nrepl so the instructions above for Emacs should be useful. If anyone wants to contribute some detailed notes, they’d be very welcome :-)