Building Akka

Building Akka

This page describes how to build and run Akka from the latest source code.

Get the source code

Akka uses Git and is hosted at Github.

You first need Git installed on your machine. You can then clone the source repository from

For example:

git clone git://

If you have already cloned the repository previously then you can update the code with git pull:

git pull origin master

sbt - Simple Build Tool

Akka is using the excellent sbt build system. So the first thing you have to do is to download and install sbt. You can read more about how to do that in the sbt setup documentation.

The sbt commands that you'll need to build Akka are all included below. If you want to find out more about sbt and using it for your own projects do read the sbt documentation.

The Akka sbt build file is project/AkkaBuild.scala.

Building Akka

First make sure that you are in the akka code directory:

cd akka


To compile all the Akka core modules use the compile command:

sbt compile

You can run all tests with the test command:

sbt test

If compiling and testing are successful then you have everything working for the latest Akka development version.

Parallel Execution

By default the tests are executed sequentially. They can be executed in parallel to reduce build times, if hardware can handle the increased memory and cpu usage. Add the following system property to sbt launch script to activate parallel execution:


Publish to local Ivy repository

If you want to deploy the artifacts to your local Ivy repository (for example, to use from an sbt project) use the publish-local command:

sbt publish-local

sbt interactive mode

Note that in the examples above we are calling sbt compile and sbt test and so on, but sbt also has an interactive mode. If you just run sbt you enter the interactive sbt prompt and can enter the commands directly. This saves starting up a new JVM instance for each command and can be much faster and more convenient.

For example, building Akka as above is more commonly done like this:

% sbt
[info] Set current project to default (in build file:/.../akka/project/plugins/)
[info] Set current project to akka (in build file:/.../akka/)
> compile
> test

sbt batch mode

It's also possible to combine commands in a single call. For example, testing, and publishing Akka to the local Ivy repository can be done with:

sbt test publish-local


You can look at the Ivy dependency resolution information that is created on sbt update and found in ~/.ivy2/cache. For example, the ~/.ivy2/cache/com.typesafe.akka-akka-remote-compile.xml file contains the resolution information for the akka-remote module compile dependencies. If you open this file in a web browser you will get an easy to navigate view of dependencies.