Setting up a Travis CI build job for a Play project isn’t quite as straightforward as I had hoped. There are some guides floating around the web telling you to download the binary distribution and execute that.

I, however, found that it is easier, quicker and cleaner to use the sbt command that comes preinstalled with the Travis VMs if you set the language to scala. (The play command is just a thin wrapper around sbt anyway.)

What it boils down to is this .travis.yml:

language: scala
   - 2.10.0
script: sbt test

You will also need to make sure that you have specified at least version 0.12.3 of sbt in your


I found that with earlier sbt versions I would get a weird error whereby a slf4j-api dependency couldn’t be resolved.

Using the play command

Today I also got a second variation working by downloading the Play zip distribution and running that.

language: scala
  - PLAY_VERSION=2.1.1
  - wget${PLAY_VERSION}/play-${PLAY_VERSION}.zip
  - unzip -q play-${PLAY_VERSION}.zip
script: play-${PLAY_VERSION}/play test

This takes a little longer but runs the tests in the way a developer is advised by the Play documentation to do it. I think either way is fine.

You must make absolutely sure that you are using the same Play version in your travis.yml and the play-sbt-plugin in your build.sbt.

Example project

commercetools/sphere-snowflake is an example Github repository of a Play project being tested on Travis.