Activator will be EOL-ed on May 24, 2017.

Activator will be EOL-ed on May 24, 2017.

We’re making it easier and simpler for developers to get started with Lightbend technologies. This unfortunately means that future releases of Play, Akka and Scala will no longer include Activator support, and Lightbend’s Activator server will be decommissioned by the end of 2017. Instead of supporting Activator to create and set up development projects, we'll be supporting standard Giter8 templates for sbt users and Maven archetypes for Maven users. So going forward,

To create new Lightbend projects

Instead of using the Activator command, make sure you have sbt 0.13.13 (or higher), and use the “sbt new” command, providing the name of the template. For example, “$ sbt new akka/hello-akka.g8”. You can find a list of templates here.

Also, as a convenience, the Lightbend Project Starter allows you to quickly create a variety of example projects that you just unzip and run.

To create new templates

If you want to create new templates, you can now do that in Giter8.

To migrate templates from Activator to Giter8

If you created Activator templates in the past, please consider migrating them to Giter8 with this simple process.


Providing a high productivity work environment

Lightbend Activator is a single download to get you started building Reactive applications. To get started, you’ll need a JDK, your favorite editor or IDE, and Activator. Activator includes the sbt build tool, a quick-start GUI, and a catalog of template applications.

Jump start development with tutorials and code samples in Activator

Activator’s quick-start UI walks you through Lightbend Reactive Platform tutorials and is a hub for developers wanting to build Reactive applications. Activator updates in real-time with new content from Lightbend and select third parties. Through tutorials and sample code, it helps you learn more about and adopt the range of offerings, both commercial and open source, found in the Lightbend ecosystem.

Common development patterns are presented through reusable templates that are linked to in-context tutorials explaining step-by-step exactly how things work. For tutorial purposes, the Activator UI has a simple editor and the ability to compile, test, and run template applications. As you move into real-world applications, Activator can export to leading IDEs where you might continue working.

Activator’s template catalog grows and evolves dynamically. New templates are published regularly on the Lightbend website.

Activator is powered by the sbt build engine

sbt is an interactive build tool with customizable build tasks and an "execute-task-on-file-change" feature, allowing you to focus on writing your code. Lightbend Activator includes sbt’s default command line mode, then adds a quick-start UI (the activator ui command) and a template catalog (accessible in the UI or via the activator new command). Type activator shell to access sbt’s traditional command line prompt, or you can run Activator with a specific task name (for example, activator compile) just as you would with plain sbt.

Use sbt (via Activator) to compile Java and Scala code, run tests, package JARs and Docker images, and even execute code directly in the Scala interpreter. Builds are written in a Scala-based syntax, with a mix of declarative and imperative features. sbt is inherently parallel, and automatically executes your build tasks across multiple cores. sbt also manages dependencies found in existing Maven or Ivy package repositories.


To get started with Activator & sbt, we recommend checking out the following resources:



Lightbend Activator gets you started with Play and the Lightbend Reactive Platform. It is a hub for developers that want to build Reactive applications, providing both a command line and a GUI for creating new applications. Getting started is a snap. Just refer to the instructions on the Get Started page.

Get Started With Activator


sbt is the engine powering Lightbend Activator. If you have Activator, you already have sbt - but you can download plain sbt (with no UI or template catalog) from A common approach to command line development would be to type activator ~test or sbt ~test in your project directory, then start coding! Test failures will show up in sbt's console automatically as your code is saved.

Get Started with sbt

Videos & Webinars

Deep Dive into the Lightbend Reactive Platform - Activator and Play

In this deep dive presentation, we'll walk through the rich developer content in Lightbend Activator, and learn how to get started building reactive apps with Play.

Watch Now

Introducing sbt

In this video, Kip Sigman walks you through an introduction to sbt. How to install sbt, create a basic project, use common commands and run common tasks, add a managed library dependency, install an sbt plugin, and a few other tricks.

Watch Now

Introducing sbt 0.13.2

sbt is a build tool that provides developers with a high productivity work environment. In this videocast, Josh Suereth talks about sbt 0.13.2, walks us through how to construct an existing in project in Activator and discusses new features.

Watch Now

Play and Scala meetup: sbt in Action

This talk provides a walk through of sbt for newcomers and dives into the core concepts.

Watch Now

Here are some additional ideas on how to get started:

Visit the Lightbend Resource Center
Read the full documentation (sbt)
Visit the community website (sbt)
Follow sbt on Twitter (sbt)
Participate on Stack Overflow (sbt)
Join the Mailing List (sbt)
or discussion forum (sbt)
Contribute to sbt on GitHub | Contribute to Activator on GitHub
Browse Activator Templates