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This is Scala 2! Welcome!

This is the home of the Scala 2 standard library, compiler, and language spec.

For Scala 3, visit scala/scala3.

How to contribute

Issues and bug reports for Scala 2 are located in scala/bug. That tracker is also where new contributors may find issues to work on: good first issues, help wanted.

For coordinating broader efforts, we also use the scala/scala-dev tracker.

To contribute here, please open a pull request from your fork of this repository.

Be aware that we can't accept additions to the standard library, only modifications to existing code. Binary compatibility forbids adding new public classes or public methods. Additions are made to scala-library-next instead.

We require that you sign the Scala CLA before we can merge any of your work, to protect Scala's future as open source software.

The general workflow is as follows.

  1. Find/file an issue in scala/bug (or submit a well-documented PR right away!).
  2. Fork the scala/scala repo.
  3. Push your changes to a branch in your forked repo. For coding guidelines, go here.
  4. Submit a pull request to scala/scala from your forked repo.

For more information on building and developing the core of Scala, read the rest of this README, especially for setting up your machine!

Get in touch!

In order to get in touch with other Scala contributors, join the #scala-contributors channel on the Scala Discord chat, or post on (Discourse).

If you need some help with your PR at any time, please feel free to @-mention anyone from the list below, and we will do our best to help you out:

username talk to me about...
@lrytz back end, optimizer, named & default arguments, reporters
@retronym 2.12.x branch, compiler performance, weird compiler bugs, lambdas
@SethTisue getting started, build, CI, community build, Jenkins, docs, library, REPL
@dwijnand pattern matcher, MiMa, partest
@som-snytt warnings/lints/errors, REPL, compiler options, compiler internals, partest
@Ichoran collections library, performance
@viktorklang concurrency, futures
@sjrd interactions with Scala.js
@NthPortal library, concurrency, scala.math, LazyList, Using, warnings
@bishabosha TASTy reader
@joroKr21 higher-kinded types, implicits, variance

P.S.: If you have some spare time to help out around here, we would be delighted to add your name to this list!


Target the oldest branch you would like your changes to end up in. We periodically merge forward from older release branches (e.g., 2.12.x) to new ones (e.g. 2.13.x).

If your change is difficult to merge forward, you may be asked to also submit a separate PR targeting the newer branch.

If your change is version-specific and shouldn't be merged forward, put [nomerge] in the PR name.

If your change is a backport from a newer branch and thus doesn't need to be merged forward, put [backport] in the PR name.

Choosing a branch

Most changes should target 2.13.x. We are increasingly reluctant to target 2.12.x unless there is a special reason (e.g. if an especially bad bug is found, or if there is commercial sponsorship).

The 2.11.x branch is now inactive and no further 2.11.x releases are planned (unless unusual, unforeseeable circumstances arise). You should not target 2.11.x without asking maintainers first.

Repository structure

Most importantly:

+--build.sbt                 The main sbt build definition
+--project/                  The rest of the sbt build
+--src/                      All sources
   +---/library              Scala Standard Library
   +---/reflect              Scala Reflection
   +---/compiler             Scala Compiler
+--test/                     The Scala test suite
   +---/files                Partest tests
   +---/junit                JUnit tests
   +---/scalacheck           ScalaCheck tests
+--spec/                     The Scala language specification

but also:

   +---/library-aux          Scala Auxiliary Library, for bootstrapping and documentation purposes
   +---/interactive          Scala Interactive Compiler, for clients such as an IDE (aka Presentation Compiler)
   +---/intellij             IntelliJ project templates
   +---/manual               Scala's runner scripts "man" (manual) pages
   +---/partest              Scala's internal parallel testing framework
   +---/partest-javaagent    Partest's helper java agent
   +---/repl                 Scala REPL core
   +---/repl-frontend        Scala REPL frontend
   +---/scaladoc             Scala's documentation tool
   +---/scalap               Scala's class file decompiler
   +---/testkit              Scala's unit-testing kit
+--admin/                    Scripts for the CI jobs and releasing
+--doc/                      Additional licenses and copyrights
+--scripts/                  Scripts for the CI jobs and releasing
+--tools/                    Scripts useful for local development
+--build/                    Build products
+--dist/                     Build products
+--target/                   Build products

Get ready to contribute


You need the following tools:

  • Java SDK. The baseline version is 8 for both 2.12.x and 2.13.x. It is almost always fine to use a later SDK such as 11 or 15 for local development. CI will verify against the baseline version.
  • sbt

MacOS and Linux work. Windows may work if you use Cygwin. Community help with keeping the build working on Windows and documenting any needed setup is appreciated.

Tools we use

We are grateful for the following OSS licenses:

Build setup


During ordinary development, a new Scala build is built by the previously released version, known as the "reference compiler" or, slangily, as "STARR" (stable reference release). Building with STARR is sufficient for most kinds of changes.

However, a full build of Scala is bootstrapped. Bootstrapping has two steps: first, build with STARR; then, build again using the freshly built compiler, leaving STARR behind. This guarantees that every Scala version can build itself.

If you change the code generation part of the Scala compiler, your changes will only show up in the bytecode of the library and compiler after a bootstrap. Our CI does a bootstrapped build.

Bootstrapping locally: To perform a bootstrap, run restarrFull within an sbt session. This will build and publish the Scala distribution to your local artifact repository and then switch sbt to use that version as its new scalaVersion. You may then revert back with reload. Note restarrFull will also write the STARR version to so you can switch back to it with restarr without republishing. This will switch the sbt session to use the build-restarr and target-restarr directories instead of build and target, which avoids wiping out classfiles and incremental metadata. IntelliJ will continue to be configured to compile and run tests using the starr version in

For history on how the current scheme was arrived at, see

Building with fatal warnings: To make warnings in the project fatal (i.e. turn them into errors), run set Global / fatalWarnings := true in sbt (replace Global with the name of a module—such as reflect—to only make warnings fatal for that module). To disable fatal warnings again, either reload sbt, or run set Global / fatalWarnings := false (again, replace Global with the name of a module if you only enabled fatal warnings for that module). CI always has fatal warnings enabled.

Using the sbt build

Once you've started an sbt session you can run one of the core commands:

  • compile compiles all sub-projects (library, reflect, compiler, scaladoc, etc)
  • scala / scalac run the REPL / compiler directly from sbt (accept options / arguments)
  • enableOptimizer reloads the build with the Scala optimizer enabled. Our releases are built this way. Enable this when working on compiler performance improvements. When the optimizer is enabled the build will be slower and incremental builds can be incorrect.
  • setupPublishCore runs enableOptimizer and configures a version number based on the current Git SHA. Often used as part of bootstrapping: sbt setupPublishCore publishLocal && sbt -Dstarr.version=<VERSION> testAll
  • dist/mkBin generates runner scripts (scala, scalac, etc) in build/quick/bin
  • dist/mkPack creates a build in the Scala distribution format in build/pack
  • junit/test runs the JUnit tests; junit/testOnly *Foo runs a subset
  • scalacheck/test runs scalacheck tests, use testOnly to run a subset
  • partest runs partest tests (accepts options, try partest --help)
  • publishLocal publishes a distribution locally (can be used as scalaVersion in other sbt projects)
    • Optionally set baseVersionSuffix := "bin-abcd123-SNAPSHOT" where abcd123 is the git hash of the revision being published. You can also use something custom like "bin-mypatch". This changes the version number from 2.13.2-SNAPSHOT to something more stable (2.13.2-bin-abcd123-SNAPSHOT).
    • Note that the -bin string marks the version binary compatible. Using it in sbt will cause the scalaBinaryVersion to be 2.13. If the version is not binary compatible, we recommend using -pre, e.g., 2.14.0-pre-abcd123-SNAPSHOT.
    • Optionally set ThisBuild / Compile / packageDoc / publishArtifact := false to skip generating / publishing API docs (speeds up the process).

If a command results in an error message like a module is not authorized to depend on itself, it may be that a global sbt plugin is causing a cyclical dependency. Try disabling global sbt plugins (perhaps by temporarily commenting them out in ~/.sbt/1.0/plugins/plugins.sbt).


We recommend keeping local test files in the sandbox directory which is listed in the .gitignore of the Scala repo.

Incremental compilation

Note that sbt's incremental compilation is often too coarse for the Scala compiler codebase and re-compiles too many files, resulting in long build times (check sbt#1104 for progress on that front). In the meantime you can:

  • Use IntelliJ IDEA for incremental compiles (see IDE Setup below) - its incremental compiler is a bit less conservative, but usually correct.

IDE setup

We suggest using IntelliJ IDEA (see src/intellij/

Metals may also work, but we don't yet have instructions or sample configuration for that. A pull request in this area would be exceedingly welcome. In the meantime, we are collecting guidance at scala/scala-dev#668.

In order to use IntelliJ's incremental compiler:

  • run dist/mkBin in sbt to get a build and the runner scripts in build/quick/bin
  • run "Build" - "Make Project" in IntelliJ

Now you can edit and build in IntelliJ and use the scripts (compiler, REPL) to directly test your changes. You can also run the scala, scalac and partest commands in sbt. Enable "Ant mode" (explained above) to prevent sbt's incremental compiler from re-compiling (too many) files before each partest invocation.

Coding guidelines

Our guidelines for contributing are explained in It contains useful information on our coding standards, testing, documentation, how we use git and GitHub and how to get your code reviewed.

You may also want to check out the following resources:

Scala CI

Build Status

Once you submit a PR your commits will be automatically tested by the Scala CI.

Our CI setup is always evolving. See scala/scala-dev#751 for more details on how things currently work and how we expect they might change.

If you see a spurious failure on Jenkins, you can post /rebuild as a PR comment. The scabot README lists all available commands.

If you'd like to test your patch before having everything polished for review, you can have Travis CI build your branch (make sure you have a fork and have Travis CI enabled for branch builds on it first, and then push your branch). Also feel free to submit a draft PR. In case your draft branch contains a large number of commits (that you didn't clean up / squash yet for review), consider adding [ci: last-only] to the PR title. That way only the last commit will be tested, saving some energy and CI-resources. Note that inactive draft PRs will be closed eventually, which does not mean the change is being rejected.

CI performs a compiler bootstrap. The first task, validatePublishCore, publishes a build of your commit to the temporary repository Note that this build is not yet bootstrapped, its bytecode is built using the current STARR. The version number is 2.13.2-bin-abcd123-SNAPSHOT where abcd123 is the commit hash. For binary incompatible builds, the version number is 2.14.0-pre-abcd123-SNAPSHOT.

You can use Scala builds in the validation repository locally by adding a resolver and specifying the corresponding scalaVersion:

$ sbt
> set resolvers += "pr" at ""
> set scalaVersion := "2.12.2-bin-abcd123-SNAPSHOT"
> console

"Nightly" builds

The Scala CI builds nightly download releases and publishes them to .

Using a nightly build in sbt is explained in this Stack Overflow answer

Although we casually refer to these as "nightly" builds, they aren't actually built nightly, but "mergely". That is to say, a build is published for every merged PR.

Scala CI internals

The Scala CI runs as a Jenkins instance on, configured by a chef cookbook at scala/scala-jenkins-infra.

The build bot that watches PRs, triggers testing builds and applies the "reviewed" label after an LGTM comment is in the scala/scabot repo.

Community build

The Scala community build is an important method for testing Scala releases. A community build can be launched for any Scala commit, even before the commit's PR has been merged. That commit is then used to build a large number of open-source projects from source and run their test suites.

To request a community build run on your PR, just ask in a comment on the PR and a Scala team member (probably @SethTisue) will take care of it. (details)

Community builds run on the Scala Jenkins instance. The jobs are named ..-integrate-community-build. See the scala/community-builds repo.