OSGi Bundles for Akka

akka osgi

With Issue 28304 the akka team has announced that the OSGi support for Akka shall be moved out of the main project as per Akka 2.6.2.

As of today, Akka 2.6.6 is still released with OSGi Headers in most of it’s bundles, but the goal of removing the OSGi support is still valid.

This project aims to provide jars based on the original jars provided by Akka with proper Manifests so that Akka can be used within OSGi. Our own project heavily relies on Akka, Akka Stream and Akka Http, so that we need those bundles for ourselves.


We will consume the jars for a given Akka version and run them through our build process to provide the OSGi manifest. For each jar we run a quick sanity check to make sure that our bundling process didn’t lose any content of the original jar.

This sanity check will break for jars that have split packages. I.e. the Akka HTTP API.

We start out the process with a limited set of Akka jars required by our own project. Over time we may add more bundles, perhaps with some help from the community.

Later in the process we hope to add more tests to verify that the bundles are working as expected. For now we are using the test we have in our main project to validate that our bundles are working.

General OSGi remarks

From the Akka documentation:
Akka only supports the usage of an ActorSystem strictly confined to a single OSGi bundle, where that bundle contains or imports all of the actor system’s requirements. This means that the approach of offering an ActorSystem as a service to which Actors can be deployed dynamically via other bundles is not recommended — an ActorSystem and its contained actors are not meant to be dynamic in this way. ActorRefs may safely be exposed to other bundles.

We are providing the OSGified jars for our own project and we are using one ActorSystem within the OSGi container. The actor system is registered as a service and other bundles contribute their actors. With that approach one has to treat the actors within a bundle as a self-contained group of actors, because they can come and go when bundles are loaded or removed from the system. If actors from other bundles are required these shall be used via a service rather than a lookup via the ActorSystem (even if the service is implemented with a lookup).

In practice we have found that this approach works very well and Akka works complementary with OSGi.

For example, we have implemented a bundle which offers an Akka HTTP service. Obviously, that bundle consumes the ActorSystem service, but also an optional SSLContext service to decide whether a SSL port shall be opened. The HTTP service does not register any routes by itself, but instead starts listening for HTTPContext services. Each context would encapsulate a plain Akka HTTP route together with a name.

Once such a service appears, the HTTP service picks it up and starts serving the route under it’s name.

This is just one example how the application modules can be kept separate from each other within an OSGi environment.

Revision and Republishing

This project will increase it’s own version with every release. This version will be appended to the version number of the original version of the akka jar. For example, if our version is 1 and the akka version is 2.6.6, then the published version of the OSGi enabled jar will be

Throughout development we will publish the built artifacts into a maven snapshot repo. The Snapshot repos are available at https://u233308-sub2:[email protected]/akka-osgi/. This URL has a sub directory for each SNAPSHOT revision with a generated name. To use use one of the repos, find the name and configure it in your build tool as an additional source repo.

For example, if the repo name is 844b627 and you are using mill as your build tool, you would configure your repositories like in the example below:

/** Configure additional repositories. */
trait CoreCoursierModule extends CoursierModule {
  private def zincWorker: ZincWorkerModule = mill.scalalib.ZincWorkerModule
  override def repositories: Seq[Repository] = {
    zincWorker.repositories ++ Seq(
        Some(Authentication("u233308-sub2", "px8Kumv98zIzSF7k"))
The SNAPSHOT repos are not guaranteed to remain permanently. The snapshots are primarily published so that out own CI chain can access the bundle revisions under development.

We will publish our releases in Maven Central once the bundles have been verified by our integration test suite.

Rewrite published pom files

Within our published pom files we will include all compile dependencies from the original akka jar. If the dependency points to a jar that is also handled by this project, the dependency will be rewritten to point to the OSGi enabled jar with the same revision instead.

This is done to make the OSGi manifest entries visible to the bnd tool, so that proper imports can be generated for any bundles built on top of the OSGi enabled akka jars. Even if Akka still provides OSGi manifest headers themselves, you might want to reference the jar from this project in your build to ensure future compatibility.

Currently supported jars

Supported Akka versions
  • 2.6.6

Supported Akka HTTP versions
  • 10.1.12

Supported Scala versions
  • 2.12.11

  • 2.13.2

OSGi-fied Akka Jars

Original Jar Remarks


Though akka-actor and akka-stream will be resolved individually within an OSGi container, it seems that there is an implicit dependency via reflection between the two jars when the default serializer is used. This Serializer lives in akka.stream, but the classloader of akka-actor must see it to bring up the actor system.

For nowwe have decided to make akka-stream a Fragment of akka-actor. The Fragment must be loaded with in the OSGi container unless another serializer is configuredand visible to the akka-actor bundle. Most likely the bundle containing another serializer implementation must be a fragment to akka.actor as well.

An exception might be the Java Serializer, which is not recommended to be used according to the akka gitter channel.



Just exposing the API


Just exposing the API


Just exposing the API

OSGi-fied Akka HTTP Jars

Original Jar Remarks


It seems that akka-parsing, akka-http-core and akka-http cannot be used without each other. In other words, all three bundles must be loaded into the OSGi container if Akka HTTP is required.

Furthermore, within these bundles we see split packages between akka-parsing and akka-http-core and between akka-http-core and akka-http. These split packages require a special treatment.

Our approach for now is to combine the combined content of the split package in one of the jars. In other words, classes move from one jar to the other. The jar now containing all the classes from the split package will then export that package as part of the API. For these 3 bundles that does not represent a problem because the contant is disjunct.

With this approach we have been able to use Akka HTTP in our own container successfully.



Build from source

We use Mill build tool to build the bundles.

After cloning the repository, simply navigate to the checkout directory and use the bundled mill script ./millw, which is a copy of lefou/millw.

Selected build targets / commands

mill command Description

mill __.publishLocal

Build and publish all publishable artifacts into a local ivy2 repository.

mill __.publishM2Local

Build and publish all publishable artifacts into a local Maven2 repository.

mill -j 0 -k wrapped[2.13.2].__.testCached

Run all unit test in parallel for Scala version 2.13.2 and keep mill going even a test failure occured

IDE support

We use IntelliJ in our project. You can generate IntelliJ IDEA project files with mill with the following commandline:

mill mill.scalalib.GenIdea/idea

Download artifacts from Maven Central

At the moment we not released any bundles. Once we have a stable set of bundles that can be used, they will be available via Maven Central.


The Blended Akka Bundles are published under the Apache License, Version 2.0


All contributions to the project are more than welcome. Please be nice and follow the Scala Code of Conduct.

For any CoC-related questions within this project, please send an eMail to [email protected]

Improve the documentation

If you want to improve the documentation, feel free to create a PR. We are looking for projects using our bundles, links to working OSGi setups etc.

Request more jars to be supported

We are starting with the jars that we require in our project. If you are missing jars you would like to use, please open an issue and consider creating a PR afterwards.

Report an issue with a bundle provided by this project

If you are using one of our bundles and run into an OSGi problem, please open an issue.

Please do not report akka related issues in our project. These should be reported to the akka project.

Projects using akka-osgi

The following projects are using akka-osgi provided bundles:


JetBrains is kindly supporting our project with full developer licenses of their product stack.