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sbt plugin to create a dependency graph for your project


Visualize your project's dependencies.

How To Use

Since sbt-dependency-graph is an informational tool rather than one that changes your build, you will more than likely wish to install it as a global plugin so that you can use it in any SBT project without the need to explicitly add it to each one. To do this, add the plugin dependency to ~/.sbt/0.13/plugins/plugins.sbt:

addSbtPlugin("net.virtual-void" % "sbt-dependency-graph" % "0.7.5")

Then, apply the plugin's settings in ~/.sbt/0.13/global.sbt, the global build configuration:


For both of the above, be sure to use the version directory matching your version of SBT (e.g. 0.12 or 0.13). Be aware that different projects using SBT may declare particular versions for their builds, so you may need to set up the plugin for an older version if you encounter a project using one.


  • dependency-graph: Shows an ASCII graph of the project's dependencies on the sbt console
  • dependency-graph-ml: Generates a .graphml file with the project's dependencies to target/dependencies-<config>.graphml. Use e.g. yEd to format the graph to your needs.
  • dependency-dot: Generates a .dot file with the project's dependencies to target/dependencies-<config>.dot. Use graphviz to render it to your preferred graphic format.
  • dependency-tree: Shows an ASCII tree representation of the project's dependencies
  • what-depends-on <organization> <module> <revision>: Find out what depends on an artifact. Shows a reverse dependency tree for the selected module.
  • dependency-license-info: show dependencies grouped by declared license
  • ivy-report: let's ivy generate the resolution report for you project. Use show ivy-report for the filename of the generated report

All tasks can be scoped to a configuration to get the report for a specific configuration. test:dependency-graph, for example, prints the dependencies in the test configuration. If you don't specify any configuration, compile is assumed as usual.

Configuration settings

  • filterScalaLibrary: Defines if the scala library should be excluded from the output of the dependency-* functions. If true, instead of showing the dependency "[S]" is appended to the artifact name. Set to false if you want the scala-library dependency to appear in the output. (default: true)
  • dependencyGraphMLFile: a setting which allows configuring the output path of dependency-graph-ml.
  • dependencyDotFile: a setting which allows configuring the output path of dependency-dot.
  • dependencyDotHeader: a setting to customize the header of the dot file (e.g. to set your preferred node shapes).
  • dependencyDotNodeLabel: defines the format of a node label (default set to [organisation]<BR/><B>[name]</B><BR/>[version])

E.g. in build.sbt you can change configuration settings like this:

filterScalaLibrary := false // include scala library in output

dependencyDotFile := file("") //render dot file to `./`

Standalone usage

You can use the project without sbt as well by either depending on the library and calling IvyGraphMLDependencies.saveAsGraphML(IvyGraphMLDependencies.graph(reportFile), outputFile) or by just getting the binary and calling it like scala sbt-dependency-graph-0.7.5.jar <ivy-report-xml-path> <target-path>.

Inner Workings

sbt/Ivy's update task create ivy-report xml-files inside .ivy2/cache (in sbt 0.12.1: <project-dir>/target/resolution-cache/reports/<project-id>). You can just open them with your browser to look at the dependency report for your project. This project takes the report xml of your project and creates a graphml file out of it. (BTW, ivy can create graphml files itself, but since I didn't want to spend to much time getting sbt to call into Ivy to create graphs, I went with the easy way here)

Known issues

  • #19: There's an unfixed bug with graph generation for particular layouts. Workaround: Use dependency-tree instead of dependency-graph.
  • #12: Excluded dependencies will be shown in the graph in sbt < 0.12, works with later versions


  • Matt Russell (@mdr) for contributing the ASCII graph layout.
  • berleon (@berleon) for contributing rendering to dot.


Copyright (c) 2011, 2012 Johannes Rudolph

Published under the Apache License 2.0.

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