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This sbt plugin for Play 2.1.x and 2.2.x provides the ability to use command line tools to compile less through Node.

For Play 2.3.x refer to sbt-less.


This plugin was created to speed up Less compilation within Play.

Adding Twitter Bootstrap less files or using Lesshat mixins can make your applications take minutes to compile.

This plugin helps tremendously speed up your development by compiling less through Node instead of Rhino.


This plugin requires lessc - Less command line program - which can be installed through Node.js and npm:


npm install -g less


npm install less


Add the sbt plugin to your project/plugins.sbt file:

addSbtPlugin("com.jmparsons" % "play-lessc" % "0.1.2")


Set the default lessEntryPoints to Nil and put in your custom ones into lesscEntryPoints:

def customLessEntryPoints(base: File): PathFinder = (
  (base / "app" / "assets" / "stylesheets" * "*.less")

build.sbt example:

play.Project.playScalaSettings ++ lesscSettings

lessEntryPoints := Nil

lesscEntryPoints in Compile <<= baseDirectory(customLessEntryPoints)

Build.scala example:

import com.jmparsons.plugin.LesscPlugin._

lazy val main = play.Project(appName, appVersion, mainDeps).settings(lesscSettings: _*).settings(
  lessEntryPoints := Nil,
  lesscEntryPoints in Compile <<= baseDirectory(customLessEntryPoints)

Less command line options can be passed in using lesscOptions:

lesscOptions in Compile := Seq("--no-color", "--yui-compress")

The --verbose option outputs each lessc command into the console:

lesscOptions in Compile := Seq("--no-color", "--verbose")

A directory value is required for a non global copy of lessc (trailing slash optional):

lesscOptions in Compile := Seq("dir=node_modules/.bin")


0.1.2 - November 11, 2013

  • Now using Typesafe's community repository, removing the resolver dependency.

0.1.1 - October 4, 2013

  • Updated to work with Play 2.2.x.

0.1.0 - September 2, 2013

  • Windows works now with a global or local copy of lessc using lessc.cmd as a fallback.

0.0.9 - August 31, 2013

  • Added fallback to Play's LessCompiler if the lessc command is not found.
  • New directory configuration option for a local copy of lessc.
  • Only the normal LessCompiler works on Heroku. The lessc command is not available at compile time even if using a multipack with installing Node before scala.

0.0.8 - July 23, 2013

  • Fixed regex issue with dependencies having leading spaces.

0.0.6 - July 11, 2013

  • Made settings optional instead of an override. Requires importing into settings now.

0.0.5 - July 8, 2013

  • Added compliling of dependencies after modifying an imported file.
  • Non minified files will include line comments by default.

0.0.4 - July 2, 2013

  • Added trim to output to remove the default less newline.

Older Version Installation - 0.1.1 and older

Add the resolver and sbt plugin to your project/plugins.sbt file:

resolvers += "JMParsons Releases" at ""

addSbtPlugin("com.jmparsons" % "play-lessc" % "0.1.1")

For Play 2.1, use version 0.1.0.


This plugin is based off of play-stylus and play-sass.


MIT: - @jmparsons


This sbt plugin for Play provides the ability to use command line tools to compile less through Node.






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