A simple-build-tool (sbt) plugin/processor for creating IntelliJ IDEA project files
Scala Shell
Pull request Compare This branch is 303 commits behind mpeltonen:sbt-0.13.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


A simple-build-tool plugin/processor to create IntelliJ IDEA project files for sbt project


  • Sbt version 0.7.x (not compatible with 0.5.x series).
  • IntelliJ Idea version 9.0.3 (Scala plugin 0.3.2039). Not fully compatible with Scala plugin versions prior to
    0.3.2039 because of changes in config xml format.

Main features

  • Creates directory based IDEA project definition (.idea/) for sbt project.
  • Creates IDEA module (.iml) for every sbt subproject. Supports multi-module projects.
  • Creates IDEA module also for sbt project definition (optional, on by default).
  • Can be used as sbt plugin or as sbt processor.


Tool can be used either as sbt plugin or sbt processor (thanks to teigen for the processor integration!).

Usage as plugin requires modification of your project descriptor, whereas usage as processor is non-intrusive and requires only few commands on the sbt console. Instructions for both usage scenarios below.

Usage as plugin

1. In your project/plugins/Plugins.scala:

import sbt._
class Plugins(info: ProjectInfo) extends PluginDefinition(info) {
  val sbtIdeaRepo = "sbt-idea-repo" at "http://mpeltonen.github.com/maven/"
  val sbtIdea = "com.github.mpeltonen" % "sbt-idea-plugin" % "0.2.0"

2. In your project definition file:

import sbt._
class MyProject(info: ProjectInfo) extends DefaultProject(info) with IdeaProject {
   // ...

If you have multi-module project, plugin trait must be mixed into subprojects too, for example:

import sbt._
class MyProject(info: ProjectInfo) extends ParentProject(info) with IdeaProject {
  lazy val mySubProject = project("my-subproject", "my-subproject", new DefaultProject(_) with IdeaProject)
   // ...

3. Run

 sbt update
 sbt idea

4. Open created project (sbt project’s root directory) in Idea

Check out sbt’s plugin documentation for further details.

Usage as processor

1. Start sbt console on the root of your project

2. Enter the following sbt console commands (* is part of sbt processor command syntax):

 > *sbtIdeaRepo at http://mpeltonen.github.com/maven/
 > *idea is com.github.mpeltonen sbt-idea-processor 0.2.0
 > update
 > idea

3. Open created project (sbt project’s root directory) in Idea

Check out sbt’s processor documentation for further details.

4. Upgrade to a new version

To upgrade to a new version of the plugin you need to remove the old version first

 > *remove idea
 > *idea is com.github.mpeltonen sbt-idea-processor 0.2.0
 > update
 > idea



You can customize some aspects of generated Idea project descriptors by creating a property file project/idea.properties
with desired properties. Currently supported properties are:

Property Description Default value
project.jdk.name Value of the ‘project-jdk-name’ attribute of ProjectRootManager component 1.6
project.output.path If defined, use this (project relative) directory as output path for all modules, instead of sbt’s output path no default
java.language.level Value of the ‘languageLevel’ attribute of ProjectRootManager component JDK_1_6
include.sbt.project.definition.module Generate Idea Module also for sbt project definition code true
exclude.libmanaged.folders Mark lib_managed -folders as excluded, causing them to be invisible in IDEA’s project view false
compile.with.idea If defined, sbt’s target resources and test-resources folders will not be added to classpath (since Idea copies them during compile) false

Documentation URL

IDEA has an option of specifying a documentation URL for a dependency artifact. When documentation URL for a library containing given class is specified, pressing Shift+F1 when cursor is over a method or class will open default browser at the corresponding API doc page. You can specify this documentation url in sbt project definition by adding extra attribute called “docUrl” into dependency declaration. For example:

  val jodaTime = "joda-time" % "joda-time" % "1.6.2" extra("docUrl" -> "http://joda-time.sourceforge.net/api-release/")

This currently works only for JavaDoc APIs, not ScalaDoc.


See contributors


Licensed under the New BSD License. See the LICENSE file for details.