Typesafe Activator
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Latest commit 3345b01 Oct 21, 2016 @henrikengstrom henrikengstrom committed on GitHub Merge pull request #1141 from typesafehub/prep-release
prep for 1.3.12 release


Lightbend Activator

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/typesafehub/activator

For more information on using Activator, visit: http://lightbend.com/activator

Activator aims to be a friendly one-stop-shop to bootstrap your Scala, Akka, and Play development. It can be used as a wrapper script that launches into traditional command line sbt, but it also includes a template and tutorial system, and an optional GUI for getting started.

You can think of Activator as traditional sbt (activator shell or activator <sbt command here>), plus an optional UI mode (activator ui), plus a template system (activator new).

Get the latest Activator download.

Activator Developer Documentation

Running the UI

sbt> project activator-ui
sbt> run

or just

sbt "activator-ui/run"

Running from the Launcher

  1. Stage the distribution:

     sbt stage
  2. Force the launcher to use the newly built launcher:

     rm -r ~/.activator
  3. Run Activator:



Here are some potential issues with running a local Launcher:

  1. Stale cache: On it's own, sbt stage and dist/target/stage/activator should work. However, there are several caches between the developer and running dist/target/stage/activator. If it seems like your built version is not running, try clearing out the following caches:




Also, the artifacts generated during the build process can become a problem. In your activator repo directory, you can run git clean -X -d -f to clear them.


There are two types of tests: Unit tests and integration tests.

Unit Tests

To run unit tests, simply:

sbt> test

To run the tests of a particular project, simply:

sbt> <project>/test

To run a specific test, simply:

sbt> test-only TestName

Integration Tests

To run all the integration tests, simply:

sbt> integrationTests

This also runs offlineTests.

Staging a distribution

sbt> activator-dist/stage

or just

sbt> stage

Note: just stage will also run activator-ui/stage

Generates a distribution in the dist/target/stage directory. This will use a launcher version based on the current git commit id. To rebuild a new launcher remove your ~/.sbt/boot/scala-*/com.typesafe.activator directory.

Building the Distribution

Activator is versioned by either the current git tag or if there isn't a tag, the latest commit hash. To see the current version that Activator will use for the distribution run:

sbt show version

To create a distribution optionally create a tag and then run:

sbt dist

This generates the file dist/target/universal/typeasafe-activator-<VERSION>.zip.

Activator auto-checks for new versions so to test a new unreleased version you will need to start Activator with the -Dactivator.checkForUpdates=false flag. If you don't set this Activator will use the latest released version instead of the newly created one.

Publishing the Distribution

Release overview:

  • make sure you have the desired version of the template catalog configured in project/LocalTemplateRepo.scala, setting is localTemplateCacheHash. Run latestTemplateCacheHash task to get latest. Can get the hash for any existing Activator fat distribution by downloading it and digging it out of the included cache.properties file.
  • if you're trying to ship with an old template catalog, you will need to set LocalTemplateRepo.enableCheckTemplateCacheHash := false temporarily before you type publishSigned and s3Upload.
  • commit the desired template catalog hash to git so your build will be reproducible.
  • if you want to make a "real" release (not a git-hash-versioned snapshot), create a git tag for it like v1.0.2.
  • relaunch sbt; type show version and it should have picked up the tag.
  • if you want to make a snapshot/test release, just let sbt use the git commit as the version. show version to verify.
  • be sure test, integrationTests, offlineTests, and checkTemplateCacheHash are passing.
  • publishSigned then s3Upload.
  • push the version tag to github
  • Bump the Heroku configuration for the activator servers so the latest release shows up on typesafe.com and assocaited sites.

We do both publishSigned and s3Upload. To publishSigned you need a GPG key.

After publishSigned, upload to S3.

Make sure your credentials are in an appropriate spot. For me, that's in ~/.sbt/user.sbt with the following content:

credentials += Credentials("Amazon S3", "downloads.typesafe.com.s3.amazonaws.com", <AWS KEY>, <AWS PW>)

Then you can run simply:

sbt> activator-dist/s3Upload


sbt> s3Upload

Publishing NEWS to versions

First, edit the file news/news.html to display the news you'd like within builder.

Then run:

sbt> news/publish-news <version>


If you run into staleness issues with a staged release of Activator, just run reload in SBT to regenerate the version number and then run stage again. This should give you a new stable version of SNAP for the sbt-launcher so that the new code is used. Should only be needed when doing integration tests.