Frequently Asked Questions 

Project Information 

What does the name “sbt” stand for and shouldn’t it be written “SBT”? 

TL;DR the name sbt doesn’t stand for anything, it’s just “sbt”, and it should be written that way.

When Mark Harrah (@harrah) first created the project he called it “Simple Build Tool”, but in his first public announcement of it he already referred to it as just “sbt”. Over time some have re-defined sbt to stand for “Scala Build Tool”, but we believe that isn’t accurate either given it can be used to build Java-only projects.

Nowadays we just call sbt “sbt”, and to reinforce that the name is no longer an initialism we always write it in all lowercase letters.

However, we are cool with 酢豚 (subuta) as a nickname.

How do I get help? 

How do I report a bug? 

How can I help? 


My last command didn’t work but I can’t see an explanation. Why? 

sbt 1.0.2 by default suppresses most stack traces and debugging information. It has the nice side effect of giving you less noise on screen, but as a newcomer it can leave you lost for explanation. To see the previous output of a command at a higher verbosity, type last <task> where <task> is the task that failed or that you want to view detailed output for. For example, if you find that your update fails to load all the dependencies as you expect you can enter:

> last update

and it will display the full output from the last run of the update command.

How do I disable ansi codes in the output? 

Sometimes sbt doesn’t detect that ansi codes aren’t supported and you get output that looks like:

[0m[ [0minfo [0m]  [0mSet current project to root

or ansi codes are supported but you want to disable colored output. To completely disable ansi codes, pass -no-colors option:



sbt Reference Manual
  1. Frequently Asked Questions