Support for JDK9's Multi Release JAR Files (JEP 238)


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Provides support for JEP 238: Multi-Release JAR Files. Note that this plugin is not building the jar itself, but just making sure to compile using the right JDK version files which live under src/[test|main]/[java|scala]-jdk9. The packaging into a JAR you can still us eyour favourite plugin of choice, such as sbt-assembly or others.


addSbtPlugin("com.lightbend.sbt" % "sbt-multi-release-jar" % "0.1.2")

This plugin allows you to keep "Java 9 only" sources in:

  • src/main/scala-jdk9
  • src/main/java-jdk9
  • src/test/scala-jdk9
  • src/test/java-jdk9

which will only be compiled (and tests would only run) if running on JDK9.

The purpose of this plugin though is not only that, it is to be able to package such classes into the special "multi-release jar format" defined by JEP-238 (see link above).

For example this allows you to implement a specific class once using pre-JDK9 features, and also separately using the JDK9+ features (like varhandles or other library additions). Assuming the such implemented class is for example, you'd implement it in src/main/scala/akka/stream/impl/MagicEngine.scala and src/main/scala-jdk9/akka/stream/impl/MagicEngine.scala, and the resulting JAR will end up containing:


In runtime, when Java 9 is used, the META-INF/versions/9/... class is automatically loaded instead of the "normal class". This is a feature of the Java 9 Runtime and is transparent to the application itself. Java runtimes prior to version 9 do not know about the special meaning of these directories, and thus will simply load the "normal class" from the root of the JAR.

This summarises the main use-case of Multi-Release JARs, however feel free to read more in the JEP 238: Multi-Release JAR Files.


This project is maintained by Konrad @ktoso Malawski (Akka team, Lightbend)


Yes, pull requests and opening issues is very welcome!

Please test your changes using sbt scripted.


This plugin is released under the Apache 2.0 License