Mule 4 Kernel – IntelliJ IDEA

Last Updated on 30/03/2020 by Patryk Bandurski

Mule Kernel

I received lately a lot of questions regarding Community Edition of Mule ESB in version 4. Therefore I have decided to write a couple of articles about this . First of all MuleSoft has rebranded community version into the Mule 4 Kernel. Some brief information I have contained within previous article. In this article I had in mind to show, how to write a simple application using IntelliJ IDEA community IDE. However this is impossible yet. You will see only how to setup Kernel runtime and what is going on with IntelliJ plugin for newest Mule Runtime.  In the next article I will use Anypoint Studio instead.

Environment setup

First we need to setup our environment. During this step I will install Mule Runtime for our application and IDE for application development.

Mule Runtime

Mule 4 Kernel Runtime is available for download here. After you download the archive, unzip it. Run mule.bat from the bin directory. You should see information that Mule is up and kicking and default domain is deployed.

Mule run status
Mule run status

Now you may install your domains and applications.

Verify Runtime

You may have Mule 4 Runtime already installed. How to verify if this is Kernel edition or not? It is as simple as typing following command into a command line (when you are in the bin directory):
mule.bat -verifyLicense
Mule 4 Kernel does not have such option to select, therefore Runtime will start instead of displaying license info. On screenshot below you can see sample response for valid verifyLicence call on enterprise runtime.

Runtime verification output for enterprise runtime
Runtime verification output for enterprise runtime

IntelliJ IDEA

If you do not have already IntelliJ IDE installed, you can find setup file here. You may chose community version or ultimate one. In order to develop Mule projects you need to install appropriate plugin. There is quite good working one for Mule 3.x. However this works for version 3 only. Therefore another plugin is being prepared and it is called Mule 4 Runtime.

Mule 4 Runtime

Mule 4 Runtime plugin is available here. You have there stable and develop versions to choose. When you download the plugin. You need to start IntelliJ IDE. In the main screen you need to click Configure and then Plugins.

From the bottom, click Install plugin from the disk … and select the zip file. You will be asked to restart the IDE. After that you should be able to create new projects. However here started only problems!

The documentation does not exist yet. You have only gif picture showing how to install plugin. In contrast, previous version for Mule 3 has large documentation with installation and usage instructions. Without proper documentation I think it is hard to use this at all.

The stable release allowed me only to created Mule modules. Nightly builds from November, event did not allow to create project because of some null pointer exception error. Horror! After a couple of hours of attempts to start working with it I have gave up. I created ticket on their Github and that is all.

Intellij IDEA plugin's error
Intellij IDEA plugin’s error

However I will try another attempt when this issue will be resolved. One of the plugin’s developer informed me, that for now, this plugin will work only with enterprise runtime.


I guess that it is too early to work with this plugin. I hope that guys will work hard on their code as for now it is not useful on my Laptop. I expect that documentation will be provided as well. I will come back to this article later on, when I notice some changes with this plugin or my ticket. In the next article I will describe how to develop community application within Anypoint Studio.

Mule 4 Kernel – IntelliJ IDEA

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