Using Sonatype 

Deploying to sonatype is easy! Just follow these simple steps:

Sonatype setup 

The reference process for configuring and publishing to Sonatype is described in their OSSRH Guide. In short, you need two publicly available URLs:

The OSSRH Guide walks you through the required process of setting up the account with Sonatype. It’s as simple as creating a Sonatype's JIRA account and then a New Project ticket. When creating the account, try to use the same domain in your email address that the project is hosted on. It makes it easier for Sonatype to validate the relationship with the groupId requested in the ticket, but it is not the only method used to confirm the ownership.

Creation of the New Project ticket is as simple as:

After creating your Sonatype account on JIRA, you can log in to the Nexus Repository Manager using the same credentials, although this is not required in the guide, it can be helpful later to check on published artifacts.

Note: Sonatype advises that responding to a New Project ticket might take up to two business days, but in my case it was a few minutes.

sbt setup 

To address Sonatype’s requirements for publishing to the central repository and to simplify the publishing process, you can use two community plugins. The sbt-pgp plugin can sign the files with GPG/PGP. (Optionally sbt-sonatype can publish to a Sonatype repository nicer.)

step 1: PGP Signatures 

Follow Working with PGP Signatures.

First, you should install GnuGP, and verify the version:

$ gpg --version
gpg (GnuPG/MacGPG2) 2.2.8
libgcrypt 1.8.3
Copyright (C) 2018 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>

Next generate a key:

$ gpg --gen-key

List the keys:

$ gpg --list-keys


pub   rsa4096 2018-08-22 [SC]
uid           [ultimate] your name <[email protected]>
sub   rsa4096 2018-08-22 [E]

Distribute the key:

$ gpg --keyserver hkp:// --send-keys 1234517530FB96F147C6A146A326F592D39AAAAA

step 2: sbt-pgp 

With the PGP key you want to use, you can sign the artifacts you want to publish to the Sonatype repository with the sbt-pgp plugin. Follow the instructions for the plugin and you’ll have PGP signed artifacts in no time.

In short, add the following line to your ~/.sbt/1.0/plugins/gpg.sbt file to enable it globally for SBT projects:

addSbtPlugin("com.jsuereth" % "sbt-pgp" % "1.1.1")

Note: The plugin is a solution to sign artifacts. It works with the GPG command line tool.

step 3: Credentials 

The credentials for your Sonatype OSSRH account need to be stored somewhere safe (e.g. NOT in the repository). Common convention is a ~/.sbt/1.0/sonatype.sbt file, with the following:

credentials += Credentials(Path.userHome / ".sbt" / "sonatype_credential")

Next create a file ~/.sbt/sonatype_credential:

realm=Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager
user=<your username>
password=<your password>

Note: The first two strings must be "Sonatype Nexus Repository Manager" and "" for Ivy to use the credentials.

step 4: Configure build.sbt 

To publish to a maven repository, you’ll need to configure a few settings so that the correct metadata is generated.

Add these settings at the end of build.sbt or a separate publish.sbt:

ThisBuild / organization := "com.example.project2"
ThisBuild / organizationName := "example"
ThisBuild / organizationHomepage := Some(url(""))

ThisBuild / scmInfo := Some(
    "scm:[email protected]:your-account/your-project.git"
ThisBuild / developers := List(
    id    = "Your identifier",
    name  = "Your Name",
    email = "[email protected]",
    url   = url("http://your.url")

ThisBuild / description := "Some descripiton about your project."
ThisBuild / licenses := List("Apache 2" -> new URL(""))
ThisBuild / homepage := Some(url(""))

// Remove all additional repository other than Maven Central from POM
ThisBuild / pomIncludeRepository := { _ => false }
ThisBuild / publishTo := {
  val nexus = ""
  if (isSnapshot.value) Some("snapshots" at nexus + "content/repositories/snapshots")
  else Some("releases" at nexus + "service/local/staging/deploy/maven2")
ThisBuild / publishMavenStyle := true

The full format of a pom.xml (an end product of the project configuration used by Maven) file is outlined here. You can add more data to it with the pomExtra option in build.sbt.

step 5: Publishing 

From sbt shell run:

> publishSigned

Check the published artifacts in the Nexus Repository Manager (same login as Sonatype’s Jira account).

Close the staging repository and promote the release to central, by hitting “Close” button, then “Release” button.

Optional steps 


Note: sbt-sonatype is a third-party plugin meaning it is not covered by Lightbend subscription.

To simplify the usage of the Sonatype’s Nexus, add the following line to project/plugins.sbt to import the sbt-sonatype plugin to your project:

addSbtPlugin("org.xerial.sbt" % "sbt-sonatype" % "2.0")

This plugin will facilitate the publishing process, but in short, these are the main steps for publishing the libraries to the repository:

  1. Create a new staging repository: sonatypeOpen "your groupId" "Some staging name"
  2. Sign and publish the library to the staging repository: publishSigned
  3. You can and should check the published artifacts in the Nexus Repository Manager (same login as Sonatype’s Jira account)
  4. Close the staging repository and promote the release to central: sonatypeRelease

After publishing you have to follow the release workflow of Nexus.

Note: the sbt-sonatype plugin can also be used to publish to other non-sonatype repositories

Publishing tips 

Use staged releases to test across large projects of independent releases before pushing the full project.

Note: An error message of PGPException: checksum mismatch at 0 of 20 indicates that you got the passphrase wrong. We have found at least on OS X that there may be issues with characters outside the 7-bit ASCII range (e.g. Umlauts). If you are absolutely sure that you typed the right phrase and the error doesn’t disappear, try changing the passphrase.

Integrate with the release process 

Note: sbt-release is a third-party plugin meaning it is not covered by Lightbend subscription.

To automate the publishing approach above with the sbt-release plugin, you should simply add the publishing commands as steps in the releaseProcess task:

releaseStepCommand("sonatypeOpen \"your groupId\" \"Some staging name\""),


sbt Reference Manual
    1. Using Sonatype