Migration Guide 2.2.x to 2.3.x

Migration Guide 2.2.x to 2.3.x

The 2.3 release contains some structural changes that require some simple, mechanical source-level changes in client code.

When migrating from earlier versions you should first follow the instructions for migrating 1.3.x to 2.0.x and then 2.0.x to 2.1.x and then 2.1.x to 2.2.x.

Removed hand over data in cluster singleton

The support for passing data from previous singleton instance to new instance in a graceful leaving scenario has been removed. Valuable state should be persisted in durable storage instead, e.g. using akka-persistence. The constructor/props parameters of ClusterSingletonManager has been changed to ordinary Props parameter for the singleton actor instead of the factory parameter.

Changed cluster auto-down configuration

akka.cluster.auto-down setting has been replaced by akka.cluster.auto-down-unreachable-after, which instructs the cluster to automatically mark unreachable nodes as DOWN after this configured time of unreachability. This feature is disabled by default, as it also was in 2.2.x.

During the deprecation phase akka.cluster.auto-down=on is interpreted at as instant auto-down.


The routers have been cleaned up and enhanced. The routing logic has been extracted to be usable within normal actors as well. Some usability problems have been have been solved, such as properly reject invalid configuration combinations. Routees can be dynamically added and removed by sending special management messages to the router.

The two types of routers have been named Pool and Group to make them more distinguishable and reduce confusion of their subtle differences:

  • Pool - The router creates routees as child actors and removes them from the router if they terminate.
  • Group - The routee actors are created externally to the router and the router sends messages to the specified path using actor selection, without watching for termination.

Configuration of routers is compatible with 2.2.x, but the router type should preferably be specified with -pool or -group suffix.

Some classes used for programmatic definition of routers have been renamed, but the old classes remain as deprecated. The compiler will guide you with deprecation warning. For example RoundRobinRouter has been renamed to RoundRobinPool or RoundRobinGroup depending on which type you are actually using.

There is no replacement for SmallestMailboxRouter combined with routee paths, i.e. a group, because that combination is not useful.

An optional API enhancement that makes the code read better is to use the props method instead of withRouter. withRouter has not been deprecated and you can continue to use that if you prefer that way of defining a router.

Example in Scala:

context.actorOf(FromConfig.props(Props[Worker]), "router1")
context.actorOf(RoundRobinPool(5).props(Props[Worker]), "router2")

Example in Java:


getContext().actorOf(new RoundRobinPool(5).props(Props.create(Worker.class)),

To support multiple routee paths for a cluster aware router sending to paths the deployment configuration property cluster.routees-path has been changed to string list routees.paths property. The old cluster.routees-path is deprecated, but still working during the deprecation phase.


/router4 {
  router = round-robin
  nr-of-instances = 10
  routees.paths = ["/user/myserviceA", "/user/myserviceB"]
  cluster.enabled = on

The API for creating custom routers and resizers have changed without keeping the old API as deprecated. That should be a an API used by only a few users and they should be able to migrate to the new API without much trouble.

Read more about the new routers in the documentation for Scala and documentation for Java.

Akka IO is no longer experimental

The core IO layer introduced in Akka 2.2 is now a fully supported module of Akka.

Experimental Pipelines IO abstraction has been removed

Pipelines in the form introduced by 2.2 has been found unintuitive and are therefore discontinued. A new more flexible and easier-to-use abstraction will replace their role in the future. Pipelines will be still available in the 2.2 series.

Changed cluster expected-response-after configuration

Configuration property akka.cluster.failure-detector.heartbeat-request.expected-response-after has been renamed to akka.cluster.failure-detector.expected-response-after.

Removed automatic retry feature from Remoting in favor of retry-gate

The retry-gate feature is now the only failure handling strategy in Remoting. This change means that when remoting detects faulty connections it goes into a gated state where all buffered and subsequent remote messages are dropped until the configurable time defined by the configuration key akka.remote.retry-gate-closed-for elapses after the failure event. This behavior prevents reconnect storms and unbounded buffer growth during network instabilities. After the configured time elapses the gate is lifted and a new connection will be attempted when there are new remote messages to be delivered.

In concert with this change all settings related to the old reconnect behavior (akka.remote.retry-window and akka.remote.maximum-retries-in-window) were removed.

The timeout setting akka.remote.gate-invalid-addresses-for that controlled the gate interval for certain failure events is also removed and all gating intervals are now controlled by the akka.remote.retry-gate-closed-for setting instead.

Reduced default sensitivity settings for transport failure detector in Remoting

Since the most commonly used transport with Remoting is TCP, which provides proper connection termination events the failure detector sensitivity setting akka.remote.transport-failure-detector.acceptable-heartbeat-pause now defaults to 20 seconds to reduce load induced false-positive failure detection events in remoting. In case a non-connection-oriented protocol is used it is recommended to change this and the akka.remote.transport-failure-detector.heartbeat-interval setting to a more sensitive value.

Quarantine is now permanent

The setting that controlled the length of quarantine akka.remote.quarantine-systems-for has been removed. The only setting available now is akka.remote.prune-quarantine-marker-after which influences how long quarantine tombstones are kept around to avoid long-term memory leaks. This new setting defaults to 5 days.

Remoting uses a dedicated dispatcher by default

The default value of akka.remote.use-dispatcher has been changed to a dedicated dispatcher.

Dataflow is Deprecated

Akka dataflow is superseded by Scala Async.

Durable Mailboxes are Deprecated

Durable mailboxes are superseded by akka-persistence, which offers several tools to support reliable messaging.

Read more about akka-persistence in the documentation for Scala and documentation for Java.

Deprecated STM Support for Agents

Agents participating in enclosing STM transaction is a deprecated feature.

Transactor Module is Deprecated

The integration between actors and STM in the module akka-transactor is deprecated and will be removed in a future version.

Typed Channels has been removed

Typed channels were an experimental feature which we decided to remove: its implementation relied on an experimental feature of Scala for which there is no correspondence in Java and other languages and its usage was not intuitive.

Removed Deprecated Features

The following, previously deprecated, features have been removed:

publishCurrentClusterState is Deprecated

Use sendCurrentClusterState instead. Note that you can also retrieve the current cluster state with the new Cluster(system).state.

CurrentClusterState is not a ClusterDomainEvent

CurrentClusterState does not implement the ClusterDomainEvent marker interface any more.

Note the new initialStateMode parameter of Cluster.subscribe, which makes it possible to handle the initial state as events instead of CurrentClusterState. See documentation for Scala and documentation for Java.

BalancingDispatcher is Deprecated

Use BalancingPool instead of BalancingDispatcher. See documentation for Scala and documentation for Java.

During a migration period you can still use BalancingDispatcher by specifying the full class name in the dispatcher configuration:

type = "akka.dispatch.BalancingDispatcherConfigurator"

akka-sbt-plugin is Removed

akka-sbt-plugin for packaging of application binaries has been removed. Version 2.2.3 can still be used independent of Akka version of the application. Version 2.2.3 can be used with both sbt 0.12 and 0.13.

sbt-native-packager is the recommended tool for creating distributions of Akka applications when using sbt.

Parens Added to sender

Parens were added to the sender() method of the Actor Scala API to highlight that the sender() reference is not referentially transparent and must not be exposed to other threads, for example by closing over it when using future callbacks.

It is recommended to use this new convention:

sender() ! "reply"

However, it is not mandatory to use parens and you do not have to change anything.

ReliableProxy Constructor Changed

The constructor of ReliableProxy in akka-contrib has been changed to support reconnection. Use the new props factory methods, ReliableProxy.props.