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. Or you can use a build tool like Maven or sbt to download dependencies from the Akka Maven repository.


Akka is very modular and has many JARs for containing different features.

  • akka-actor-2.0.2.jar – Standard Actors, Typed Actors and much more
  • akka-remote-2.0.2.jar – Remote Actors
  • akka-slf4j-2.0.2.jar – SLF4J Event Handler Listener
  • akka-testkit-2.0.2.jar – Toolkit for testing Actors
  • akka-kernel-2.0.2.jar – Akka microkernel for running a bare-bones mini application server
  • akka-<storage-system>-mailbox-2.0.2.jar – Akka durable mailboxes

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 from and unzip it.

Using a snapshot version

The Akka nightly snapshots are published to and are versioned with both SNAPSHOT and timestamps. You can choose a timestamped version to work with and can decide when to update to a newer version. The Akka snapshots repository is also proxied through which includes proxies for several other repositories that Akka modules depend on.


The Akka distribution includes the microkernel. To run the microkernel put your application jar in the deploy directory and use the scripts in the bin directory.

More information is available in the documentation of the microkernel (Microkernel (Java), Microkernel (Scala)).

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 2.0.2:

Note: for snapshot versions both SNAPSHOT and timestamped versions are published.

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 += "com.typesafe.akka" % "akka-actor" % "2.0.2"

Using Akka with Eclipse

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.