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An easy-to-use sbt plugin for working with all Android projects
Java Scala Other
Latest commit 2bb1d04 @pfn back to plugin snapshot version

Android SDK Plugin for SBT

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Current version is 1.5.9 (Change log)

Auto-import from gradle using android-gradle-build


This is an easy-to-use plugin for existing and newly created android projects. It is tested and developed against 0.13.6+.

The plugin supports normal android projects and projects that reference library projects. 3rd party libraries can be included by placing them in libs as in regular projects, or they can be added by using sbt's libraryDependencies feature. This build setup is 100% compatible with Google's own gradle build system due to the use of the same underlying implementation.

NOTE: proguard 5.1 does not like old versions of scala. Projects that wish to use Proguard 5.1 and Scala should use scalaVersion := "2.11.5" or newer. For compatible scala projects and java-based projects which wish to use proguard 5.1 (to fix issues around generic types being removed from base-classes) a workaround is to add a local file, project/proguard.sbt, containing: libraryDependencies += "net.sf.proguard" % "proguard-base" % "5.1". See proguard bug #549 and SI-8931

NOTE: support-v4 22.2.x triggers compilation errors, see #173 and SI-7741

Support and Help

The first line of support is reading this README, beyond that, help can be found on the #sbt-android IRC channel on Freenode

Example projects

  • A variety of my own projects can be found on github that use this plugin
  • In addition to this, a growing collection of tests can be found under sbt-test/android-sdk-plugin/. These projects are examples of how to use the plugin in various configurations.
  • Tests can be run via sbt scripted, they require ANDROID_HOME and ANDROID_NDK_HOME to be set in addition to having platform android-17 installed.
  • All tests have auto-generated and auto_plugins.sbt files that set the current version of sbt and the android-sdk-plugin to use for testing.


  1. Install sbt (from or use your local packaging system like macports, brew, etc.) -- make sure the Android SDK is fully updated (minimum build-tools 19.1.0 and up)

    • (OPTIONAL) Install the plugin globally by adding the following line in the file ~/.sbt/0.13/plugins/android.sbt:
    addSbtPlugin("com.hanhuy.sbt" % "android-sdk-plugin" % "1.5.9")

2 Set the environment variable ANDROID_HOME pointing to the path where the Android SDK is unpacked. 3. Create a new android project using gen-android if the plugin is installed globally

  • Instead of creating a new project, one can also do sbt gen-android-sbt to make sure everything is properly setup in an existing project.
  • When using gen-android, the platformTarget is automatically set to the newest version available in your local SDK, override this by setting target in a file, or setting platformTarget in Android

    1. (N/A if globally configured) Create a directory named project within your project and add the file project/plugins.sbt, in it, add the following line:
    addSbtPlugin("com.hanhuy.sbt" % "android-sdk-plugin" % "1.5.9")
  1. Create a file named project/build.scala and add the following line, (automatically performed if using gen-android) :

    object Build extends android.AutoBuild
  2. Now you will be able to run SBT, some available commands in sbt are:

    • compile
      • Compiles all the sources in the project, java and scala
      • Compile output is automatically processed through proguard if there are any Scala sources, otherwise; it can be enabled manually.
    • android:package-release
      • Builds a release APK and signs it with a release key if configured
    • android:package-debug
      • Builds a debug APK and signs it using the debug key
    • android:package
      • Builds an APK for the project of the last type selected, by default debug
    • android:test
      • run instrumented android unit tests
    • android:install
      • Install the application to device
    • android:run
      • Install and run the application on-device
    • android:uninstall
      • Uninstall the application from device
    • Any task can be repeated continuously whenever any source code changes by prefixing the command with a ~. ~ android:package-debug will continuously build a debug build any time one of the project's source files is modified.
  3. If you want android-sdk-plugin to automatically sign release packages add the following lines to (or any of your choice that you will not check in to source control):
    • key.alias: KEY-ALIAS
    • key.alias.password: PASSWORD (optional, defaults to
    • /path/to/your/.keystore
    • pkcs12 (optional, defaults to jks)

Advanced Usage

  • IDE integration
    • The primary IDE recommendation is IntelliJ, not Android Studio nor Eclipse.
    • When loading a project into IntelliJ, it is required that the Android and Scala plugins are installed
    • The best practice is to set the IDE's run task to invoke sbt android:package instead of Make; this is found under the Run Configurations
    • The SBT plugin for IntelliJ is the one from orfjackal/idea-sbt-plugin
    • The Scala plugin is still required for non-Scala projects in order to edit sbt build files from inside the IDE.
    • IntelliJ 14 now includes native support for importing projects from android-sdk-plugin. The process generally works well, however there are still several caveats:
      • Android configurations will not load properly until Scala plugin 1.5.4 is released
      • The idea-sbt-plugin is still required to actually perform the build
      • classDirectory in Compile is not automatically included as a library, as a result apklib classes will not resolve unless it is added manually (bin/android/intermediates/classes or target/android/intermediates/classes) as a library. SCL-7973
  • Consuming apklib and aar artifacts from other projects
    • Optionally use apklib() or aar()
      • using apklib() and aar() are only necessary if there are multiple filetypes for the dependency, such as jar, etc.
    • libraryDependencies += apklib("groupId" % "artifactId" % "version", "optionalArtifactFilename")
      • Basically, wrap the typical dependency specification with either apklib() or aar() to consume the library
      • If aars or apklibs are duplicately included in a multi-project build, specify transitiveAndroidLibs in Android := false
      • apklib and aar that transitively depend on apklib and aar will automatically be processed. To disable set transitiveAndroidLibs in Android := false
    • Sometimes library projects and apklibs will incorrectly bundle android-support-v4.jar, to rectify this, add this setting, repeat for any other incorrectly added jars: unmanagedJars in Compile ~= { _ filterNot ( startsWith "android-support-v4") }
  • Using the google gms play-services aar:

    libraryDependencies +=
      "" % "play-services" % "VERSION"
  • Generating apklib and/or aar artifacts

    • To specify that your project will generate and publish either an aar or apklib artifact simply change the android.Plugin.androidBuild line to one of the variants that will build the desired output type.
      • For apklib use android.Plugin.androidBuildApklib
      • For aar use android.Plugin.androidBuildAar
    • Alternatively, use android.Plugin.buildAar and/or android.Plugin.buildApklib in addition to any of the variants above
      • In build.sbt, add android.Plugin.buildAar and/or android.Plugin.buildApklib on a new line.
      • It could also be specified, for example, like so: android.Plugin.androidBuild ++ android.Plugin.buildAar
  • Multi-project builds
    • See multi-project build examples in the test cases for an example of configuration.
    • androidBuild(...) should be used to specify all dependent library-projects
    • All sub-projects in a multi-project build must specify exportJars := true. Android projects automatically set this variable.
    • When using multi-project builds in Scala, where library projects have scala code, but the main project(s) do(es) not, you will need to specify that proguard must run. To do this, the following must be set for each main project: proguardScala in Android := true
  • Configuring android-sdk-plugin by editing build.sbt
    • import android.Keys._ at the top to make sure you can use the plugin's configuration options (not required with sbt 0.13.5+ and AutoPlugin)
    • Add configuration options according to the sbt style:
      • useProguard in Android := true to enable proguard. Note: if you disable proguard for scala, you must specify uses-library on a pre-installed scala lib on-device or enable multi-dex.
    • Configurable keys can be discovered by typing android:<tab> at the sbt shell
  • Configuring proguard, some options are available
    • proguardOptions in Android += Seq("-dontobfuscate", "-dontoptimize") - will tell proguard not to obfuscute nor optimize code (any valid proguard option is usable here)
    • proguardConfig in Android ... can be used to replace the entire proguard config included with android-sdk-plugin
  • On-device testing, use android:test and see Android Testing Fundamentals
  • Unit testing with robolectric and Junit (use the test task), see how it works in the robo-junit-test test case
    • Be sure to set fork in Test := true otherwise the classloading black magic in robolectric will fail.
  • Device Management
    • The commands devices and device are implemented. The former lists all connected devices. The latter command is for selecting a target device if there is more than one device. If there is more than one device, and no target is selected, all commands will execute against the first device in the list.
    • android:install, android:run and android:test are tasks that can be used to install, run and test the built apk on-device, respectively.
    • Type help for a list of all available commands.

TODO / Known Issues

  • autolibs do not properly process apklib and aar resources. If anything in an autolib uses resources from such a library, the answer is to create a standard multi-project build configuration rather than utilize autolibs. autolibs can be disabled by manually configuring localProjects in Android
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