The Scala Platform

The Drone CI integration

Our servers provide quick development experience to module maintainers. With a powerful baseline server and dynamic scaling, we ensure concurrent and fast build times.

What does Drone provide you?

Drone is a Continuous Integration platform built on container technology. Every build is executed inside an ephemeral Docker container, giving developers complete control over their build environment with guaranteed isolation.

Drone stands out because it provides:

  • A generic and configurable build for all the projects.

  • Control over the secrets exposed to your project under different situations.

  • Security over the images that can access secrets (tokens, private keys).

  • Command-line interface to quickly manage the CI from your console.

  • A way to run concurrent builds (for non-sequential tasks).

  • Constraints on your build tasks. Start a build task only when:

    • A concrete branch(es) has a new event;
    • A push is performed;
    • A pull request is submitted;
    • A git tag is pushed;
    • A deploy event happens.
  • Notifications when a change of status happens, e.g. send notifications via email/Slack/Gitter when the build succeeds or fails.

  • Control over the platform that executes the build (Linux, Windows).

  • Access to environment variables to programmatically create your sbt tasks.


  1. Join the scalaplatform GitHub organization if you're a module maintainer but not a member.
  2. Go to our Drone setup:
  3. Log in with your GitHub credentials and turn on the CI for your module.
  4. Create a drone.yml file with the build logic. Sign it. Push the changes.
  5. Observe the logs and result of the build in the CI.

Access to CI is restricted to official module maintainers. If you want to have access to the CI, you need to join the scalaplatform GitHub organization.

Installing the Drone CLI

The command-line Drone interface allows you to configure and inspect the state of our Drone servers. However, it also allows you to execute tasks that are inaccessible from the web interface, like signing the build files, executing Drone locally and managing secrets.

If you're an official module maintainer, you will certainly need it.

Learn how to install it in the official docs.

Signing your .drone.yml after changing it

drone sign your-github-id/your-repo

Executing drone locally

drone exec --local --privileged your-github-id/your-repo


See the Secrets section.

Creating the drone.yml file

The drone.yml file is a YAML file that tells Drone how to behave when GitHub executes webhooks.

To get you up and running, use the following skeleton:

  # Fetch folders from distributed cache
    image: plugins/sftp-cache
    restore: true
      - /drone/.ivy2
      - /drone/.coursier-cache
      - /drone/.sbt
      - /drone/.git

  # Build your project, executes tests, releases docs...
    image: scalaplatform/scala:0.5
    pull: true
      - /platform:/keys
      - ${COMMAND #1}
      - ${COMMAND #2}
  # Release stable whenever a tag is pushed to `platform-release`
    image: scalaplatform/scala:0.5
      - sbt releaseStable
      branch: platform-release
      event: tag

  # Save folders in distributed cache
    image: plugins/sftp-cache
    rebuild: true
      - /drone/.ivy2
      - /drone/.coursier-cache
      - /drone/.sbt
      - /drone/.git

Make sure you replace the commands key in the build section with your build steps (e.g. sbt clean test docs/publish).

If you want to learn customize the build, keep on reading.

Every time you modify .drone.yml, you need to sign the configuration file. Signing is necessary for security purposes: it prevents you from malicious users that want to hijack your setup and stole your keys.

The official Scala Platform docker image

Docker enables us to bundle an official Scala Platform image (scalaplatform/scala) with popular Scala tools, predefined configurations and private keys for the release. The benefits of this image are two-fold: it provides a plug-and-play experience while still being lightweight and portable.

If you want to use it locally, run docker pull scalaplatform/scala followed by docker run -i -t scalaplatform/scala bash. For the CI, make sure that the build section of .drone.yml is scalaplatform/scala.

Common configuration settings

Drone configuration files are built around the concept of sections.

All the tasks that you may want to define go under the global pipeline section. In the previous example, four independent tasks were defined: sftp-cache-restore, build, release-stable and sftp-cache-rebuild.

Note that tasks are executed sequentially in the same way they are defined. The names of the subtasks are not important and must not be unique.

Adding a new independent subsection

Add a subsection under pipeline that defines, at least, the image and commands to be executed:

    image: redis
      - redis-server

Drone will pick it up and execute all the sub tasks in the order they are defined.

Need a command in the Docker image?

Read Get latest Docker image if Drone keeps failing to find the binary in the Docker image.

Add your special tokens to the image

Drone secrets allow you to store sensitive information like passwords and tokens. Think of the GitHub, Bintray and Sonatype tokens your sbt infrastructure may need.

Secrets are scoped to a repository, and are only visible if .drone.yml has been signed. They are mapped to environment variables in the Docker images.

To add a secret, use the Drone CLI:

drone secrets add your-user/your-github-repo KEY VALUE

where your-user/your-github-repo is your GitHub handle, KEY is the name of the environment variable, and VALUE is the value associated with it.

If you only want to expose the secrets for a concrete Docker image, use

drone secrets add --image=scalaplatform/scala your-user/your-github-repo KEY VALUE

From then on, the secret KEY will be available as an environment variable. sys.env.get("KEY") will give you VALUE.

Remember that secrets are only exposed for signed images. Only module maintainers can sign the images.

If you're stuck or want to know more about secret management, check the official documentation.

Automatically update the Docker image

By default, the Docker image is not updated because reproducibility of the CI is key, and further updates could break your build. To enable this feature, add the following attribute to the build section:

pull: true

Test different Scala versions

Drone provides a way with matrix builds.

However, this feature doesn't provide you much value if you're using sbt. Prepend + to compile or test and run the task. Sbt will execute the prepended tasks for all the Scala versions defined in the sbt setting crossScalaVersions.

By default, the sbt-platform plugin ensures this value contains the latest two Scala versions.

Get success and failure notifications

Add the following to your .drone.yml file:

  # your tasks
    image: drillster/drone-email
    password: ${MAILGUN_PASSWORD} # requires setup by admin, please contact us on gitter.
      event: push # only run on merge into master
      branch: [master]
      status: [changed, failure]

For more information on notifications and templates, check the official Drone documentation.

Troubleshooting (FAQ)

I got the error dial tcp: missing address.

Your repo is missing the secrets to use sftp-cache plugin. Please contact us on gitter

Want to know more?

This page only explains the common use cases when using Drone. For fancier configuration, we encourage module maintainers to check the official Drone documentation.

Drone 0.5 is still beta, so documentation is not as complete as one would expect. In the following weeks, the documentation of the Drone integration as well as the official Drone docs will improve, as features stabilize and spurious bugs disappear.