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Lift Framework

Scala versions: 2.13 2.12

The Lift Web Framework

Build Status

Lift is the most powerful, most secure web framework available today. There are Seven Things that distinguish Lift from other web frameworks.

Lift applications are:

  • Secure -- Lift apps are resistant to common vulnerabilities including many of the OWASP Top 10
  • Developer centric -- Lift apps are fast to build, concise and easy to maintain
  • Scalable -- Lift apps are high performance and scale in the real world to handle insane traffic levels
  • Interactive like a desktop app -- Lift's Comet support is unparalled and Lift's ajax support is super-easy and very secure

Because Lift applications are written in Scala, an elegant JVM language, you can still use your favorite Java libraries and deploy to your favorite Servlet Container and app server. Use the code you've already written and deploy to the container you've already configured!

Getting Started

Compatibility note: As of Lift 3.0, you'll need to be running Java 8 to use Lift. For those using Java 6 or Java 7, you'll need to use Lift 2.6 until you can upgrade your Java installation.

You can create a new Lift project using your favorite build system by adding Lift as a dependency. Below we walk through setting up Lift in sbt and Maven.

With sbt (new project)

If you're using a recent version of sbt (e.g. 0.13.16), you can create a new Lift application using our Giter8. To create a new, basic Lift application that has some example code, simply execute:

sbt new lift/basic-app.g8

Or, if you're more on the advanced side of the room, you can also create a new, entirely blank application:

sbt new lift/blank-app.g8

Follow the prompts to create your Lift application.

Running the Server

In order to run the server, navigate to the application folder and run the sbt command. In the SBT prompt, run:


By default, the server should run on http://localhost:8080.

The above command will do what you probably want; the application will recompile and restart whenever you change HTML, resources or Scala code.

If your efforts are primarily dedicated to the frontend, you may find that it's not efficient to recompile and restart the application every time you change CSS or HTML.

In this case, a good alternative command is


The difference between start and quickstart is that start serves assets from your target directory where the exploded WAR is, and quickstart serves from the src directory where you're editing the files.

Note that there is not a leading tilde ~ on the quickstart command. This is so that compile is not triggered when resources change. Your changed resources will be served directly. Note that in this mode Scala changes must be manually compiled.

With sbt (Existing project)

If you're using Lift in an existing sbt project you'll need to:

  1. Add the xsbt-web-plugin if you don't already have it or some other way to start a servlet app.
  2. Add the lift dependencies.

To add the xsbt-web-plugin download the most recent version of our web-plugin.sbt file to your project/ folder.

Then, enable the plugin for the container you want to use and in your build.sbt file. Below, we activate the JettyPlugin:


More information on using the plugin can be found on the xsbt-web-plugin project.

After you've done this, you'll want to add Lift to your libraryDependencies in addition to Logback if you don't already have another SLF4J logging library in place. For example:

libraryDependencies ++= {
  val liftVersion = "3.3.0"
    "net.liftweb"       %% "lift-webkit" % liftVersion % "compile",
    "ch.qos.logback" % "logback-classic" % "1.2.3"

Running the Server

The same run process as above applies to this project configuration.

With Maven

Add Lift to your pom.xml like so:


Where ${scala.version} is 2.11 or 2.12. Individual patch releases of the Scala compiler (e.g. 2.12.2) are binary compatible with everything in their release series, so you only need the first two version parts.

You can learn more about Maven integration on the wiki.

Learning Lift

There are lots of resources out there for learning Lift. Some of our favorites include:

If you've found one that you particularly enjoy, please open a PR to update this README!

Issues & Pull Requests

Per our contributing guidelines, Issues on the Lift GitHub project are intended to describe actionable, already-discussed items. Committers on the project may open issues for themselves at any time, but non-committers should visit the Lift mailing list and start a discussion for any issue that they wish to open.

We will accept issues and pull requests into the Lift codebase if the pull requests meet the following criteria:

Project Organization

The Lift Framework is divided into several components that are published independently. This organization enables you to use just the elements of Lift necessary for your project and no more.

This Repository

This repository, framework, contains the following components:

  • core: Core elements used by Lift projects. If you wish to reuse some of Lift's helpers and constructs, such as Box, this component may be all you need. However, a web application will most likely require one or more of Lift's other components.
  • web: This component includes all of Lift's core HTTP and web handling. Including lift-webkit in your build process should be sufficient for basic applications and will include lift-core as a transitive dependency.
  • persistence: This component includes Mapper and Record, Lift's two ORMs. While you needn't use either and can use the ORM of your choice, Mapper and Record integrate nicely with Lift's idioms. Mapper is an ORM for relational databases, while Record is a broader ORM with support for both SQL databases and NoSQL datastores.

Other Repostories

There are a variety of other repositories available on the Lift GitHub page. While many are concerned with building Lift or are build program archetypes, there are two you will probably encounter fairly frequently as a Lift user:


The modules organization contains some of the many add-on modules that are part of the Lift project. If you don't find a module you need here, consider looking for it on the Lift modules directory or creating a module and sharing it with the community.


The examples repository contains the source code for several example Lift applications, including demo.liftweb.com.

Building Lift

If you simply want to use Lift in your project, add Lift as a dependency to your build system or download the JAR files directly.

If you wish to build Lift from source, check out this repository and use the included liftsh script to build some or all of the components you want.

git clone https://github.com/lift/framework.git
cd framework
./liftsh +update +publish

There is additional documentation on the wiki.

Additional Resources


The main Lift website is http://www.liftweb.net. The site contains information on the latest Lift releases, a getting started guide, links to several Lift online books, and additional information.

Mailing List

The Lift Google Group is the official place for support and is an active, friendly community to boot! It can be found at http://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/liftweb.


The Lift wiki is hosted on Assembla and can be found at http://www.assembla.com/spaces/liftweb/wiki/. Anyone is welcome to contribute to the wiki; you must create an account and watch the Lift project in order to create or edit wiki pages.


The ScalaDocs for each release of Lift, in additional to the actual JARs, are available on the Liftweb.net site. You can access the source code–based documentation for releases via the site's homepage or by navigating directly to the URL for the specific release. For instance, the Lift 3.2 release can be accessed at http://liftweb.net/api/32/api/.


Lift is open source software released under the Apache 2.0 license.

Continuous Integration

SNAPSHOTs are built by Travis CI