Version: 0.90

Using Scalismo in an IDE

The Environment

Our environment should run on the most common platforms (Linux, Windows and OSX). The minimal need is a 64-bit JDK.

Additionally we need the build tool sbt and a git client. This would be enough, but for convenience we propose to install and the Intellij IDEA.


Please install the following tools:

ToolDownload LinkTest command
JDK 64-bitall OSjava -version
gitall OSgit --version
sbtall OSsbt sbt-version
Intellij IDEAall OS(first start later in this tutorial)

To test your java installation you can use the following command:

java -version

The output should look similar to the one below, with the version number changing according to the version you downloaded:

java version "1.8.0_131"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_131-b11)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.131-b11, mixed mode)

Note: Any Java version >= 1.8 should work. Only 64 bit architecture are supported!


To check your installation of git enter the following on a command line

git --version

Note: On windows you should have a program called Git Bash after the installation of git.

While the exact version does not matter, the output of the above command should be something as simple as:

git version 2.7.4

To check whether sbt is installed correctly execute:

sbt sbtVersion

Looking at the output you should see at the end of the output a line similar to:

[info] 1.3.0

Getting and building the seed project

In this step we provide you with a small "Hello World" example project. First, we download the project, then we run it from the command line and set up the IDE for the later usage.

To get the project, use the follow command

sbt new unibas-gravis/scalismo-seed.g8

On the following prompt, enter a name for your project. The seed project will now be available in the subdirectory the your chosen name. Change to this directory. We will now run the project. This will trigger the project to be built by sbt. Note that the initial build will download some dependencies specific to the project. This may take a while. The command to run the project is:

sbt run

A successful run should display a Scalismo UI with a pink mean face.

From now on we will mainly be working from an IDE. As Sbt is integrated in the IDE, we will not explain more about its usage. If you want more information go to the official documentation.

IntelliJ Idea

Now it is time to start the IDE. As we will be working with Scala, we will enable the scala plugin before importing the project. When you start the IDE for the first time you can configure which parts are enabled and or downloaded. We recommend to go with the default settings as long as you have enough disk space. Go through the dialog step by step until you encounter the point Featured Plugins. Then select to install the Scala Plugin.

If you have already used the IDE but have not yet installed the Scala plugin, you can enable it through the menu File->Settings->Plugins

After the Scala plugin has been installed and you see the welcome screen, choose File->New->Project From Existing Sources. Then navigate to the folder containing the seed project directory.

In the next dialog select the option: Import project from external model and select sbt as a model.

In the next dialog check that the Project SDK points to the location where you installed the Java SDK. If the checkbox auto import is shown, activate it. Then continue by clicking onto the Finish button.

Now the IDE should change and display the project. When you start the IDE for the first time, there is a lot of processing that is done in the background. In the bottom right you can spot an indication for the ongoing work. Due to the workload it may take a while until the IDE reacts responsive.

To see what is already present in the project hit [Alt+1] which should display the project structure tab to the left. If you do not see the project structure, then have a look at the top of the newly opened view. There should be a drop down list where you can select Project. You should then be able to navigate through the project folder to src/main/scala/com/example/ and double-click ExampleApp. This will open the code of the application we have already executed before from the console using sbt.

To execute the file from within the IDE right-click the source file and select Run 'ExampleApp'.

Other Ressources

  • You can find a more detailed overview on how to work with the Scala plugin on the Jetbrains website.
  • How to work with Scalismo using IntelliJ is described in this blog post by Behzad Vafaeian.