A SBT wrapper around Twitter's bower

sbt-bower: SBT Bower Plugin

Simple Build Tool plugin for using bower to manage frontend dependencies.


This library is no longer maintained, since the Webjars bower project provides a far superior method of using bower dependencies for Scala projects. Would highly recommend checking it out/converting.


First make sure you have bower installed, do this by using node.js npm. The artifacts are hosted on Sonatype, so you shouldn't need to add any repositories

Then simply place this in your project/build.sbt file

addSbtPlugin("org.mdedetrich" %% "sbt-bower" % "0.2.1")

In your build.sbt file, put

seq(bowerSettings : _*)

Now we need to simply setup our dependencies in build.sbt which follow a similar format to then bower.json format. Here is an example of such a configuration

BowerKeys.frontendDependencies ++= Seq(
  "angular" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-scenario" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-route" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-mocks" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-animate" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-cookies" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-resource" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-sanitize" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "angular-touch" %%% "=1.2.0-rc.2",
  "requirejs" %%% "=2.1.8",
  "requirejs-text" %%% "2.0.10"

Note that since we use the official bower binary, the versioning will follow the exact same semantics documented on the bower page.

The last thing we need to do is to setup the bower source directories and installation directory. By default the source directory is sourceDirectory (_ / "main" / "webapp" ) which implies you have a project which uses the xbst-web-plugin. The installation directory defaults to (sourceDirectory in Bower) (_ / "js" / "lib"). These directories can be changed in build.sbt by doing the following

BowerKeys.sourceDirectory <<= sourceDirectory (_ / "main" / "assets" )
BowerKeys.installDirectory <<=  (sourceDirectory in Bower) (_ / "js" / "myStuffGoesHere")

That's it, we now have now setup the plugin!

Automatically check dependencies

We can set up SBT to automatically check our frontend dependencies when SBT starts in the exact same way it checks for our scala/java dependencies. To do this, we just modify the update task. Place the following in your build.sbt

update <<= update dependsOn (installTask dependsOn(pruneTask))

This will run the bower:prune and bower:install tasks when SBT starts which checks if you currently have your frontend dependencies installed and update them should they have changed. It will also cleanup any removed dependencies

Note that the source directory is just the directory where this plugin will execute bower, it just needs to exist and its often just the generic "assets" folder for your web application (which if you are using xbst-web-plugin happens to be sourceDirectory (_ / "main" / "webapp" ))


sbt-bower uses the PATH environment variable to locate the bower binary. If you run SBT from a shell/command prompt it should work fine (assuming [node]/npm and bower are properly set up), however if you happen to be using the IntelliJ SBT Plugin, due to this bug then you need to resort to using a proper terminal