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Scala CLI accepts Scala scripts as files that end in .sc. Unlike .scala files, in scripts, any kind of statement is accepted at the top-level:

val message = "Hello from Scala script"

A script is run with the Scala CLI command:

Hello from Scala script

Using multiple scripts together

When you pass multiple scripts to Scala CLI at once (or add them with //> using file ..., they are all compiled together and can reference each other. Their names are inferred from the file name e.g. becomes hello and becomes main.


Referencing a script from is not always possible. More in Scala 2 scripts wrapper.

def msg = "from Scala script"
println("Hello " + message.msg)
Hello from Scala script

When a script is in a sub-directory, a package name is also inferred:

def msg = "Hello from Scala scripts"
import constants.message
println("Hello " + message.msg)

Please note: when referring to code from another script, the actual relative path from the project root is used for the package path. In the example above, as is located in the my-app/constants/ directory, to use the msg function you have to call constants.message.msg.

When referencing code from a piped script, just use stdin.

echo '@main def main() = println(stdin.message)' > PrintMessage.scala
echo 'def message: String = "Hello"' | scala-cli PrintMessage.scala

To specify a main class when running a script, use this command:

scala-cli my-app --main-class main_sc
Hello from Scala scripts

When specifying a main class from Scala 2 scripts, you need to use the script file name without the _sc suffix. More in Scala 2 scripts wrapper.

Both of the previous scripts ( and automatically get a main class, so this is required to disambiguate them. If a main class coming from a regular .scala file is present in your app's context, that will be run by default if the --main-class param is not explicitly specified.

When in doubt, you can always list the main classes present in your app by passing --list-main-classes.

echo '@main def main1() = println("main1")' > main1.scala
echo '@main def main2() = println("main2")' > main2.scala
echo 'println("on-disk script")' >
echo 'println("piped script")' | scala-cli --list-main-classes main1.scala main2.scala
stdin_sc script_sc main2 main1

Define source files in using directives

You can also add source files with the using directive //> using file in Scala scripts:

//> using file Utils.scala

object Utils {
val message = "Hello World"

Scala CLI takes into account and compiles Utils.scala.

Hello World

Self executable Scala Script

You can define a file with the “shebang” header to be self-executable. Please remember to use scala-cli shebang command, which makes Scala CLI compatible with Unix shebang interpreter directive. For example, given this script:

#!/usr/bin/env -S scala-cli shebang
println("Hello world")

You can make it executable and run it, just like any other shell script:

chmod +x
Hello world

It is also possible to set Scala CLI command-line options in the shebang line, for example

#!/usr/bin/env -S scala-cli shebang --scala-version 2.13

The command shebang also allows script files to be executed even if they have no file extension, provided they start with the shebang header. Note that those files are always run as scripts even though they may contain e.g. valid .scala program.


You may also pass arguments to your script, and they are referenced with the special args variable:

#!/usr/bin/env -S scala-cli shebang

chmod +x
./ hello world

The name of script

You can access the name of the running script inside the script itself using the special scriptPath variable:

#!/usr/bin/env -S scala-cli shebang

chmod +x

Script wrappers

The compilation and execution of a source file containing top-level definitions is possible due to the script's code being wrapper in an additional construct and given a main method. Scala CLI as of version v1.1.0 uses three kinds of script wrappers depending on the project's configuration. They each differ slightly and have different capabilities and limitations.

Scala 2 scripts wrapper

For scripts compiled with Scala 2.12 and 2.13 there's only a single wrapper available. It uses an object extending the App trait to wrap the user's code.

Thanks to the mechanics of App in Scala 2, this wrapper has no reported limitations when it comes to the code that can be run in it.

Differences in behaviour

  • It is not possible to reference contents of a script from a file called, as the name main clashes with a main method each wrapper contains.
  • The main class name is the name of the script file without the .sc suffix. For example, becomes hello.

Scala 3 scripts wrappers

For Scala 3 there are two wrappers available:

  • Class Wrapper - default wrapper for Scala 3 scripts
  • Object Wrapper - extra wrapper that can be forced with --object-wrapper flag and >// using objectWrapper directive

Class Wrapper

This wrapper is the default for scripts in Scala 3, however, it cannot be used when the script is compiled for the JS platform, Object Wrapper is then used. Due to the usage of export keyword it is not possible to use it in Scala 2.


  • Can't be used with scripts compiled for the JS platform
  • Can't be used in Scala 2
  • When referencing types defined in the script, the type's path can be different from expected and compilation may fail with:
    Error: Unexpected error when compiling project: 'assertion failed: asTerm called on not-a-Term val <none>'

Differences in behaviour
The Class Wrapper's behaviour is the default described throughout the documentation.

Object Wrapper

This wrapper is an alternative to the Class Wrapper and can be forced with --object-wrapper flag and >// using objectWrapper directive. It is used by default for Scala 3 scripts compiled for JS platform. Can suffer from deadlocks then using multithreaded code.


  • When running background threads from the script and using e.g. scala.concurrent.Await on them may result in a deadlock due to unfinished initialization of the wrapper object.

Differences in behaviour
The Object Wrapper's behaviour is the default described throughout the documentation.


The wrapper type used according to the configuration used ((platform + forced type) X Scala version) is summarized in the table below:

Scala 2.12Scala 2.13Scala 3
>// using platform jvmApp WrapperApp WrapperClass Wrapper
>// using platform nativeApp WrapperApp WrapperClass Wrapper
>// using platform jsApp WrapperApp WrapperObject Wrapper
>// using objectWrapperApp WrapperApp WrapperObject Wrapper

Differences with Ammonite scripts

Ammonite is a popular REPL for Scala that can also compile and run .sc files.

Scala CLI and Ammonite are similar, but differ significantly when your code is split in multiple scripts:

  • In Ammonite, a script needs to use import $file directives to use values defined in another script
  • With Scala CLI, all scripts passed can reference each other without such directives

On the other hand:

  • You can pass a single "entry point" script as input to Ammonite, and Ammonite finds the scripts it depends on via the import $file directives
  • Scala CLI requires all scripts to be added with //> using file ... or to be passed beforehand, either one-by-one, or by putting them in a directory, and passing the directory to Scala CLI