Activator trace instrumentation
Scala AspectJ Java
Latest commit 4b5d13d Dec 4, 2014 @havocp havocp Play version to 2.3.6


This project contains tracing for applications based on Play, Akka and Scala Futures.
It uses load time weaving and AspectJ to do so.
The project is a subset of what constitutes the Typesafe Console and is used in Typesafe Activator under the Inspect tab.


To run the project you should

> sbt
> project collector
> run

or simply,

>sbt collector/run

This will start a collector that listens to trace events emitted from a traced application.

Please note that by just running this project you will not achieve much as it is intended to be used in collaboration with Elucidator.

Tracing of Applications

If you want to trace an application you must make sure that the AOP files (*.aj) are availble to the load time weaver.

There are a set of defined AOP files in the project that are based on what version of Play, Akka or Scala. You can find these files under the tracefolder in the project.

Tracing Example

Say you want to trace an Akka 2.2 + Scala 2.10 based application. The absolutely simplest way to go about is to use the sbt-echo plugin. It is also possible to run everything manually should you need/want to. The two sections below describe the two alternatives.

Running from sbt

There is a convenient sbt plugin for this named sbt-echo. See the project for more information of how to get started.

Running manually

There will be a published version availble that you should refer to in your sbt project, e.g.

"com.typesafe.trace" %% "trace-akka-2.2.1" % "0.1"

Replace 0.1 with whatever version it is you want to use.

It is also possible to publish a version locally should you like to add things and experiment with the code, i.e.,

> sbt
> project trace-akka22-scala210
> publish-local

This publishes the JAR file into your local repository which can be found here ~/.ivy2/local.

Thereafter you must also instruct the tracer what to trace in an application.conf file in your project, e.g.

activator {
    trace {
        enabled = true
        node = AwesomeApplication

        traceable {
            "*" = on     

        sampling {
            "*" = 1   

    collect {
        # Remote setting - where the remote collector resides
        remote {
            hostname = ""
            port = 2553

The application.conf file should be put src/main/resources.

The next step is to ensure that AspectJ is used when you run your application. This is done by adding a javaagent to the start command of your application, e.g.

>java -javaagent:<your_lib>/aspectjweaver.jar

Of course you have to replace above with the actual path to the aspectweaver.jar file.

Standalone JAR

You can create a JAR file out of your sbt project with the plugin sbt-onejar.

Now you should be good to go. Add your project to the Java command above, i.e.

>java -jar -javaagent:<your_lib>/aspectjaweaver.jar YourAwesomeApp.jar


If you haven't started the collector process (see Running section above) you will see the following warning when you run your traced application: WARN: No trace receiver on port [28667] (retry enabled).