GraalVM Native Image Plugin

GraalVM’s native-image compiles Java programs AOT (ahead-of-time) into native binaries. documents the AOT compilation of GraalVM.

The plugin supports both using a local installation of the GraalVM native-image utility, or building inside a Docker container. If you intend to run the native image on Linux, then building inside a Docker container is recommended since GraalVM native images can only be built for the platform they are built on. By building in a Docker container, you can build Linux native images not just on Linux but also on Windows and macOS.


To build using a local installation of GraalVM, you must have the native-image utility of GraalVM in your PATH.

native-image quick installation

To get started quickly, eg make native-image available in your PATH, you may reuse the script that is used for sbt-native-packager’s continuous integration. To do so, run the following. It will install GraalVM 1.0.0-rc8.

source <(curl -o -


sbt 'show graalvm-native-image:packageBin'

Required Settings



native-image Executable Command (Pay attention if you are using Windows OS)

Putting native-image in PATH does not work for Windows. native-image is a batch file in Windows that calls another executable to compile the Java classes to a standalone executable. Therefore, the full path to the batch file e.g. C:\Program Files\Java\graalvm\bin\native-image.cmd must be provided. It is important to include .cmd.


Set this parameter to point to native-image or native-image.cmd. For Linux, set this parameter if it is inconvenient to make native-image available in your PATH.

For example:

graalVMNativeImageCommand := "C:/Program Files/Java/graalvm/bin/native-image.cmd"

Docker Image Build Settings

By default, a local build will be done, expecting the native-image command to be on your PATH. This can be customized using the following settings.


Setting this enables generating a Docker container to build the native image, and then building it in that container. It must correspond to a valid version of the Oracle GraalVM Community Edition Docker image. This setting has no effect if containerBuildImage is explicitly set.

For example:

graalVMNativeImageGraalVersion := Some("19.1.1")


Explicitly set a build image to use. The image must execute the Graal native-image command as its entry point. It can be configured like so:

containerBuildImage := Some("my-docker-username/graalvm-ce-native-image:19.1.1")

A helper is provided to automatically generate a container build image from a base image that contains a Graal installation. For example, if you have a GraalVM enterprise edition docker image, you can turn it into a native image builder like so:

containerBuildImage := GraalVMNativeImagePlugin.generateContainerBuildImage("")

The plugin will not build the native image container builder if it finds it in the local Docker registry already. The native image builders tag name can be seen in the logs if you wish to delete it to force a rebuild, in the above case, the name will be

Publishing Settings

Extra options that will be passed to the native-image command. By default, this includes the name of the main class.

GraalVM Resources

If you are building the image in a docker container, and you have any resources that need to be available to the native-image command, such as files passed to -H:ResourceConfigurationFiles or -H:ReflectionConfigurationFiles, you can place these in your projects src/graal directory. Any files in there will be made available to the native-image docker container under the path /opt/graalvm/stage/resources.


The GraalVM Native Image plugin provides the following commands:

Generates a native image using GraalVM.