sbtmkdirs: A shell script to create a Scala SBT project directory structure

sbtmkdirs is a simple command to build a Scala SBT project directory structure.

2020 Update

On August 1, 2020, I updated sbtmkdirs to use Scala 2.13, and generate a Scala 2.13 build.sbt file.

2019 Update

Since GraalVM lets us create native executables that start up immediately, I decided to rewrite sbtmkdirs using Scala. You can find the new project here:

This new command is basically the same as the old command (shown below), with a few new features. Please see the README file on Github for more information.

Also, if you prefer the old command that was written with the Bash shell, read the rest of this article.

The older Bash version of sbtmkdirs

This is a simple shell script to build a Scala SBT project directory structure. Here’s the shell script in its current incarnation:


# Name:    sbtmkdirs
# Version: 1.6
# Purpose: Create an SBT project directory structure with a few simple options.
# Author:  Alvin Alexander,
# License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic
declare -r TRUE=0
declare -r FALSE=1

# takes a string and returns true if it seems to represent "yes"
function isYes() {
  local x=$1
  [ $x = "y" ] && echo $TRUE; return
  [ $x = "Y" ] && echo $TRUE; return
  [ $x = "yes" ] && echo $TRUE; return
echo $FALSE

echo "This script creates an SBT project directory beneath the current directory."

while [ $TRUE ]; do

echo ""
  read -p "Directory/Project Name (MyFirstProject): " directoryName

  read -p "Create .gitignore File? (Y/n): " createGitignore

  read -p "Create File? (Y/n): " createReadme

  echo ""
  echo "-----------------------------------------------"
  echo "Directory/Project Name: $directoryName"
  echo "Create .gitignore File?: $createGitignore"
  echo "Create File?: $createReadme"
  echo "-----------------------------------------------"
  read -p "Create Project? (Y/n): " createProject
  [ "$(isYes $createProject)" = "$TRUE" ] && break


mkdir -p ${directoryName}/src/{main,test}/{java,resources,scala}
mkdir ${directoryName}/lib ${directoryName}/project ${directoryName}/target

# optional
#mkdir -p ${directoryName}/src/main/config
#mkdir -p ${directoryName}/src/{main,test}/{filters,assembly}
#mkdir -p ${directoryName}/src/site

# create an initial build.sbt file
echo "name := \"$directoryName\"

version := \"1.0\"

scalaVersion := \"2.12.8\"

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
    \"org.scalatest\" %% \"scalatest\" % \"3.0.5\" % \"test\"

// see for scalacOptions descriptions
scalacOptions ++= Seq(
    \"-deprecation\",     //emit warning and location for usages of deprecated APIs
    \"-unchecked\",       //enable additional warnings where generated code depends on assumptions
    \"-explaintypes\",    //explain type errors in more detail
    \"-Ywarn-dead-code\", //warn when dead code is identified
    \"-Xfatal-warnings\"  //fail the compilation if there are any warnings

" > ${directoryName}/build.sbt

# create .gitignore, if desired
if [ "$(isYes $createGitignore)" = "$TRUE" ]; then
echo "bin/
.idea" > ${directoryName}/.gitignore

# create, if desired
if [ "$(isYes $createReadme)" = "$TRUE" ]; then
touch ${directoryName}/

echo ""
echo "Project created. See the following URL for build.sbt examples:"
echo ""

Installing and using

I put this code in a file named sbtmkdirs, made it executable, put it in my ~/bin directory, and now use it to create new SBT project directories. As you can see from the source, just run the script and it will prompt you with a few questions.

Here's what a quick example run looks like:

/Users/Al/Projects> sbtmkdirs 
This script creates an SBT project directory beneath the current directory.

Directory/Project Name (MyFirstProject): MyProject
Create .gitignore File? (Y/n): [enter]
Create File? (Y/n): [enter]

Directory/Project Name: MyProject
Create .gitignore File?: y
Create File?: y
Create Project? (Y/n): [enter]

Project created. See the following URL for build.sbt examples:

As you can tell from the script, it creates a directory structure that looks like this:

|--- build.sbt
|--- lib
|--- project
|--- src
│   |--- main
│   │   |--- java
│   │   |--- resources
│   │   +-- scala
│   +-- test
│       |--- java
│       |--- resources
│       +-- scala
+-- target

Get it as a Gist

I put this code on Github. You can find it as a Gist here: