How to create a Scala 3 (Dotty) project with SBT

I can never remember how to create a Scala 3 (Dotty) project with SBT (in early 2019), so:

# create a new Dotty project
sbt new lampepfl/dotty.g8

# create a dotty project that cross compiles with scala 2
sbt new lampepfl/dotty-cross.g8

# start a dotty reply from within your sbt project
$ sbt

> console
scala> _

Here’s what an example interaction looks like — include SBT renaming my directory name to all lowercase, which brings me no joy:

You can run the `javap` command inside the Scala REPL

As shown in the image, I was just reminded that you can run javap inside the Scala REPL. The REPL help command shows some other things you can do:

scala> :help

All commands can be abbreviated, e.g., :he instead of :help.
:edit <id>|<line>        edit history
:help [command]          print this summary or command-specific help
:history [num]           show the history (optional num is commands to show)
:h? <string>             search the history
:imports [name name ...] show import history, identifying sources of names
:implicits [-v]          show the implicits in scope
:javap <path|class>      disassemble a file or class name
:line <id>|<line>        place line(s) at the end of history
:load <path>             interpret lines in a file
:paste [-raw] [path]     enter paste mode or paste a file
:power                   enable power user mode
:quit                    exit the interpreter
:replay [options]        reset the repl and replay all previous commands
:require <path>          add a jar to the classpath
:reset [options]         reset the repl to its initial state, forgetting all session entries
:save <path>             save replayable session to a file
:sh <command line>       run a shell command (result is implicitly => List[String])
:settings <options>      update compiler options, if possible; see reset
:silent                  disable/enable automatic printing of results
:type [-v] <expr>        display the type of an expression without evaluating it
:kind [-v] <type>        display the kind of a type. see also :help kind
:warnings                show the suppressed warnings from the most recent line which had any

How to start a Scala REPL session inside SBT (Simple Build Tool)

Scala FAQ: How do I start a Scala REPL session from SBT (i.e., inside the Simple Build Tool)?

Answer: Use the console or consoleQuick commands inside the SBT shell:

  • Type console to start a REPL session from inside SBT. This (a) compiles your Scala project and then (b) starts a REPL session.
  • Type consoleQuick if you don’t want to compile your project before starting a REPL session inside of SBT.

The console command process looks like this:

> sbt
[info] Loading project definition from /Users/al/Projects/Cats101/project
[info] Set current project to Cats101 (in build file:/Users/al/Projects/Cats101/)

> console
[info] Starting scala interpreter...
Welcome to Scala 2.12.2 (Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM, Java 1.8.0_131).
Type in expressions for evaluation. Or try :help.

scala> _

If you wanted to see how to start a Scala REPL session from inside SBT, I hope this helps.

How to run shell commands from the Scala REPL

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 14.4, “How to run a shell command from the Scala REPL.”


You want to be able to run a shell command from within the Scala REPL, such as listing the files in the current directory.


Run the command using the :sh REPL command, then print the output. The following example shows how to run the Unix ls -al command from within the REPL, and then show the results of the command:

How to clear/reset a Scala REPL session (without having to kill the session)

A cool feature of the Scala REPL is that you can reset/clear a REPL session. To do so, just issue the :reset command, like this:

scala> :reset
Resetting interpreter state.
Forgetting this session history:

Assuming that you already have at least a little history in your REPL session, the :reset command will show you everything that it dumps, so the full output looks more like this: