SBT plugin to verify the integrity of remote dependencies
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sbt-verify Linux Build Status Windows Build status

An SBT 0.13+ plugin that verifies the integrity of downloaded dependencies, similar to gradle-witness.

SBT allows you to easily use remote dependencies without having to check them into your source tree by specifying libraryDependencies:

libraryDependencies += "" % "gson" % "2.6.2"

The published Maven-compatible artifact for a dependency consists of a POM file and a jar or other artifact, along with SHA1 and MD5 checksum hash values for those files, for example:


When SBT/Ivy downloads the artifact it also retrieves the checksum files for each file and verifies that the downloaded file matches the SHA1/MD5 stored in the checksum file. However this serves only to verify that the file was downloaded correctly - if someone is able to compromise the remote Maven repository they could easily alter the MD5 and SHA1 checksum values the repository advertises as well as the artifact itself.

The sbt-verify allows you to statically specify the SHA1 or MD5 checksum that a dependency should match through the verifyDependencies setting:

scalaVersion = "2.10.4"

libraryDependencies += "" % "gson" % "2.6.2"

verifyDependencies in verify ++= Seq(
  "org.scala-lang" % "scala-library" sha1 "9aae4cb1802537d604e03688cab744ff47b31a7d",
  "" % "gson" sha1 "17484370291d4a8191344ec4930a1c655b1d15e2"

Running the SBT task verify will check that all of the project's dependencies have the correct checksums. If there's a mismatch, or a checksum is a missing for a file the build is failed, preventing an attacker undetectably modifying artifacts.

Getting started

Unfortunately sbt-verify is not available as a published artifact since that would create a bootstrapping problem: nothing would verify the integrity of the downloaded sbt-verify, so an attacker could compromise that to always report a successful checksum match. Therefore to use sbt-verify it must be built from source.

Clone the sbt-verify repository, verify the source code, then build and publish it locally:

sbt publishLocal

Add sbt-verify as a plugin in your project's project/plugins.sbt:

addSbtPlugin("" % "sbt-verify" % "0.2.1")


Verifying dependencies

To verify your project's dependencies first list all of your dependencies together with the hash (sha1 or md5) using the verifyOptions in verify setting:

verifyDependencies in verify ++= Seq(
  "org.scala-lang" % "scala-library" sha1 "9aae4cb1802537d604e03688cab744ff47b31a7d",
  "" % "guava" sha1 "6ce200f6b23222af3d8abb6b6459e6c44f4bb0e9"

Run the verify task to verify all downloaded dependencies have the correct hash.

By default the plugin will fail the build if it finds any unverified dependencies, or if any of the verifications (verifyDependencies) are unused.

To change the options, for instance to ignore Scala library files, use the verifyOptions in verify setting:

verifyOptions in verify := VerifyOptions(includeScala = false)

Generating verification for dependencies

You can generate a verify.sbt file containing the verifyDependencies for all dependencies in your project by running the verifyGenerate task.

If you want to configure options for generating, set the verifyOptions in verifyGenerate in your build.sbt. This will generate a corresponding verifyOptions in verify in the generated verify.sbt.

The verify.sbt file is generated in the cross-target directory, you can change this using the verifyOutputFile setting:

verifyOutputFile in verifyGenerate := baseDirectory.value / "verify.sbt"

To change the hashing algorithm used when generating the file from the default (sha1) use the verifyAlgorithm setting:

verifyAlgorithm in verifyGenerate := HashAlgorithm.MD5



  • Description: Set the options for verify and verifyGenerate.
  • Accepts: VerifyOptions
  • Default: VerifyOptions(includeBin = true, includeScala = true, includeDependency = true, excludedJars = Nil)


  • Description: List of dependencies and hashes to use for verify.
  • Accepts: Seq(VerifyID)
  • Default: Nil


  • Description: File to write verifications to when running verifyGenerate.
  • Tasks: verifyGenerate
  • Accepts: File
  • Default: crossTarget(_ / "verify.sbt").value


  • Description: Algorithm to use when generating verifications with verifyGenerate.
  • Tasks: verifyGenerate
  • Accepts: HashAlgorithm.{SHA1, MD5}
  • Default: HashAlgorithm.SHA1

Related projects

  • sbt/sbt-pgp - Validate the PGP signatures of your dependencies