Environment setup

Scala Native has the following build dependencies:

  • Java 8 or newer

  • sbt 1.5.8 or newer

  • LLVM/Clang 6.0 or newer

And following completely optional runtime library dependencies:

  • Boehm GC 7.6.0 (optional)

  • zlib 1.2.8 or newer (optional)

These are only required if you use the corresponding feature.

Installing sbt

macOS, Linux, and Windows

Please refer to this link for instructions for your operating system.


$ pkg install sbt


$ pkg_add sbt


$ pkg_add scala-sbt

Installing clang and runtime dependencies

Scala Native requires Clang, which is part of the LLVM toolchain. The recommended LLVM version is the most recent available for your system provided that it works with Scala Native. The Scala Native sbt plugin checks to ensure that clang is at least the minimum version shown above.

Scala Native uses the Immix garbage collector by default. You can use the Boehm garbage collector instead. If you chose to use that alternate garbage collector both the native library and header files must be provided at build time.

If you use classes from the java.util.zip for compression zlib needs to be installed.

Note: Some package managers provide the library header files in separate -dev packages.

Here are install instructions for a number of operating systems Scala Native has been used with:


$ brew install llvm
$ brew install bdw-gc # optional

Note 1: Xcode should work as an alternative if preferred: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/xcode/id497799835

Note 2: A version of zlib that is sufficiently recent comes with the installation of macOS.


$ sudo apt install clang libstdc++-12-dev
$ sudo apt install libgc-dev # optional

Arch Linux

$ sudo pacman -S llvm clang
$ sudo pacman -S gc # optional

Note: A version of zlib that is sufficiently recent comes with the installation of Arch Linux.

Fedora 33

$ sudo dnf install llvm clang
$ sudo dnf groupinstall "Development Tools"
$ sudo dnf install gc-devel zlib-devel # both optional

FreeBSD 12.4 and later

Note 1: Only AMD64 and ARM64 architectures are supported.

Note 2: Sufficiently recent versions of llvm and zlib come with the installation of FreeBSD.

$ pkg install boehm-gc # optional

Note 3: Using the boehm GC with multi-threaded binaries doesn’t work out-of-the-box yet.

OpenBSD 7.5 and later

Note 1: OpenBSD support is experimental and limited to only AMD64 architecture.

$ pkg_add boehm-gc # optional

NetBSD 9.3 and later

Note 1: NetBSD support is experimental and limited to only AMD64 architecture.

$ pkg_add clang
$ pkg_add boehm-gc # optional


$ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/scala-native/scala-native/main/scripts/scala-native.nix
$ nix-shell scala-native.nix -A clangEnv


Corporate environments and Windows policies can affect the method used to setup your environment. The following procedure involves downloading installers and running the installers using Powershell (Administrative) to avoid some of these issues. If you have full access to your machine then you can install using your favorite method. Chocolatey or Scoop can be substituted as needed or desired and are also mentioned above in the installing sbt documentation.

  1. Download and install Visual Studio Community 2019


You may install it via the command line if needed.

> .\vs_community__<version>.exe

Select the Workloads tab and then Desktop development with C++ checkbox. The defaults are fine. The C++ Clang tools for Windows does not work so use the next step for details on installing LLVM.

visual studio install

Visual Studio install dialog showing options.

  1. Download and install LLVM


Select LLVM-12.0.1-win64.exe or newer. Digital signatures are provided.

You may also install LLVM via the command line, and if needed, install it into your C:\Users\<login>\AppData\Local directory. The installer will add LLVM and the associated directories and files.

> .\LLVM-12.0.1-win64.exe
  1. Add the binary location to your PATH

Using the install path above, you would add the following:


Continue to sbt.