The canonical way to install CIDER is via package.el (Emacs's built-in package manager), but it can be installed manually or via alternative package managers such as el-get.


You'll need to have Emacs installed (preferably the latest stable release). If you're new to Emacs you might want to go through the guided tour of Emacs and the built-in tutorial (just press C-h t).

CIDER officially supports Emacs 25.1+, Java 8+ and Clojure(Script) 1.8+. CIDER 0.17 (AndalucĂ­a) was the final release which supported Java 7 and Clojure(Script) 1.7.

You'll also need a recent version of either the Clojure CLI tools or your favorite build tool (Leiningen, Boot or Gradle) to be able to start CIDER via cider-jack-in. Generally it's a good idea to use their latest stable versions.


CIDER does not support ClojureCLR.

Installation via package.el

CIDER is available on the two major package.el community maintained repos - MELPA Stable and MELPA.

You can install CIDER with the following command:

M-x package-install [RET] cider [RET]

or by adding this bit of Emacs Lisp code to your Emacs initialization file (.emacs or init.el):

(unless (package-installed-p 'cider)
  (package-install 'cider))

If the installation doesn't work try refreshing the package list:

M-x package-refresh-contents [RET]

Keep in mind that MELPA packages are built automatically from the master branch, meaning bugs might creep in there from time to time. Never-the-less, installing from MELPA is a reasonable way of obtaining CIDER, as the master branch is normally quite stable and serious regressions there are usually fixed pretty quickly.


If you don't want to (or can't) wait for MELPA to rebuild CIDER, you can easily build and install an up-to-date MELPA package locally yourself. Check out this article for details on the subject.

Generally, users of the non-adventurous kind are advised to stick with the stable releases, available from MELPA Stable. You can pin CIDER to always use MELPA Stable by adding this to your Emacs initialization:

(add-to-list 'package-pinned-packages '(cider . "melpa-stable") t)


CIDER has dependencies (e.g. queue & seq) that are only available in the GNU ELPA repository. It's the only package repository enabled by default in Emacs and you should not disable it!

Installation via use-package

use-package can be used to install CIDER via the package.el's repositories MELPA Stable and MELPA.

If you wanted to install the version of CIDER which is what is to be found in the master branch, declare the following in your Emacs initialization file (.emacs or init.el):

(use-package cider
  :ensure t)

However, if you wanted to be a bit more conservative and only use the stable releases of CIDER, you'd declare the following:

(use-package cider
  :ensure t
  :pin melpa-stable)

After placing one of the above s-expressions, evaluate it, for it to take effect by entering: C-x C-e.

For further configuration options with use-package, consult the official use-package repository.

Installation via el-get

CIDER is also available for installation from the el-get package manager.

Provided you've already installed el-get you can install CIDER with the following command:

M-x el-get-install [RET] cider [RET]

Manual installation

Installing CIDER manually is discouraged unless you plan to work with CIDER's codebase. The manual installation is relatively involved as it requires manual installation of the dependencies and manual generation of the package autoloads. Check out the section Hacking on CIDER for more details.

CIDER's nREPL middleware

Much of CIDER's functionality depends on the presence of CIDER's own nREPL middleware. Starting with version 0.11, When cider-jack-in (C-c C-x (C-)j (C-)j) is used, CIDER takes care of injecting it and its other dependencies.

profiles.clj or profile.boot don't need to be modified anymore for the above use case!


If you don't want cider-jack-in to inject dependencies automatically, set cider-inject-dependencies-at-jack-in to nil. Note that you'll have to setup the dependencies yourself (see the section below), just as in CIDER 0.10 and older.

CIDER can also inject a Clojure dependency into your project, which is useful, for example, if your project defaults to an older version of Clojure than that supported by the CIDER middleware. Set cider-jack-in-auto-inject-clojure appropriately to enable this.

If a standalone REPL is preferred, you need to invoke cider-connect (instead of cider-jack-in) and you'll need to manually add the dependencies to your Clojure project (explained in the following section).

Setting up a standalone REPL

Using Leiningen

Use the convenient plugin for defaults, either in your project's project.clj file or in the :repl profile in ~/.lein/profiles.clj.

:plugins [[cider/cider-nrepl "x.y.z"]]

A minimal profiles.clj for CIDER would be:

{:repl {:plugins [[cider/cider-nrepl "0.18.0"]]}}


Be careful not to place this in the :user profile, as this way CIDER's middleware will always get loaded, causing lein to start slower. You really need it just for lein repl and this is what the :repl profile is for.

Using Boot


It's highly recommended to use Boot 2.8.2 or newer, as 2.8.2 is the first release to ship with nREPL 0.4.

Boot users can configure the tool to include the middleware automatically in all of their projects using a ~/.boot/profile.boot file like so:

(require 'boot.repl)

(swap! boot.repl/*default-dependencies*
       concat '[[cider/cider-nrepl "0.18.0"]])

(swap! boot.repl/*default-middleware*
       conj 'cider.nrepl/cider-middleware)

For more information visit boot-clj wiki.

Using embedded nREPL server

If you're embedding nREPL in your application you'll have to start the server with CIDER's own nREPL handler.

(ns my-app
  (:require [nrepl.server :as nrepl-server]
            [cider.nrepl :refer (cider-nrepl-handler)]))

(defn -main
  (nrepl-server/start-server :port 7888 :handler cider-nrepl-handler))

It goes without saying that your project should depend on cider-nrepl.


x.y.z should be compatible with the version of CIDER you're currently using. The required version can be checked in cider-required-middleware-version. Prior to CIDER 0.18, CIDER and cider-nrepl were always released together and their versions had to match for things to work, but as the prominence of cider-nrepl grew and many other tools started using, this was changed.