Getting Started

Getting Started

The best way to start learning Akka is to try the Getting Started Tutorial, which comes in several flavours depending on you development environment preferences:

The Getting Started Tutorial describes everything you need to get going, and you don’t need to read the rest of this page if you study the tutorial. For later look back reference this page describes the essential parts for getting started with different development environments.


Akka requires that you have Java 1.6 or later installed on you machine.


There are several ways to download Akka. You can download the full distribution with microkernel, which includes all modules. You can download just the core distribution. Or you can use a build tool like Maven or SBT to download dependencies from the Akka Maven repository.


Akka is split up into two different parts:

  • Akka - The core modules. Reflects all the sections under Scala API and Java API.
  • Akka Modules - The microkernel and add-on modules, described in Add-on Modules.

Akka is very modular and has many JARs for containing different features. The core distribution has seven modules:

  • akka-actor-1.3.1 – Standard Actors
  • akka-typed-actor-1.3.1 – Typed Actors
  • akka-remote-1.3.1 – Remote Actors
  • akka-stm-1.3.1 – STM (Software Transactional Memory), transactors and transactional datastructures
  • akka-http-1.3.1 – Akka Mist for continuation-based asynchronous HTTP and also Jersey integration
  • akka-slf4j-1.3.1 – SLF4J Event Handler Listener
  • akka-testkit-1.3.1 – Toolkit for testing Actors

We also have Akka Modules containing add-on modules outside the core of Akka.

  • akka-kernel-1.3.1 – Akka microkernel for running a bare-bones mini application server (embeds Jetty etc.)
  • akka-amqp-1.3.1 – AMQP integration
  • akka-camel-1.3.1 – Apache Camel Actors integration (it’s the best way to have your Akka application communicate with the rest of the world)
  • akka-camel-typed-1.3.1 – Apache Camel Typed Actors integration
  • akka-scalaz-1.3.1 – Support for the Scalaz library
  • akka-spring-1.3.1 – Spring framework integration
  • akka-osgi-dependencies-bundle-1.3.1 – OSGi support

How to see the JARs dependencies of each Akka module is described in the Dependencies section. Worth noting is that akka-actor has zero external dependencies (apart from the scala-library.jar JAR).

Using a release distribution

Download the release you need, Akka core or Akka Modules, from and unzip it.


The Akka Modules distribution includes the microkernel. To run the microkernel:

  • Set the AKKA_HOME environment variable to the root of the Akka distribution.
  • To start the kernel use the scripts in the bin directory and deploy all samples applications from ./deploy dir.

More information is available in the documentation of the Microkernel in Add-on Modules.

Using a build tool

Akka can be used with build tools that support Maven repositories. The Akka Maven repository can be found at and Typesafe provides that proxies several other repositories, including

Using Akka with Maven

Information about how to use Akka with Maven, including how to create an Akka Maven project from scratch, can be found in the Getting Started Tutorial (Java): First Chapter.

Summary of the essential parts for using Akka with Maven:

  1. Add this repository to your pom.xml:
  <name>Typesafe Repository</name>
  1. Add the Akka dependencies. For example, here is the dependency for Akka Actor 1.3.1:

Using Akka with SBT

Information about how to use Akka with SBT, including how to create an Akka SBT project from scratch, can be found in the Getting Started Tutorial (Scala): First Chapter.

Summary of the essential parts for using Akka with SBT:

SBT installation instructions on

build.sbt file:

name := "My Project"

version := "1.0"

scalaVersion := "2.9.1"

resolvers += "Typesafe Repository" at ""

libraryDependencies += "se.scalablesolutions.akka" % "akka-actor" % "1.3.1"

Using Akka with Eclipse

Information about how to use Akka with Eclipse, including how to create an Akka Eclipse project from scratch, can be found in the Getting Started Tutorial (Scala with Eclipse): First Chapter.

Setup SBT project and then use sbteclipse to generate Eclipse project.

Using Akka with IntelliJ IDEA

Setup SBT project and then use sbt-idea to generate IntelliJ IDEA project.

Build from sources

Akka uses Git and is hosted at Github.

Continue reading the page on Building Akka

Need help?

If you have questions you can get help on the Akka Mailing List.

You can also ask for commercial support.

Thanks for being a part of the Akka community.