Kotlin with dagger-android basic setup

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Since dagger-android is fairly new, every article on the Internet shows the “old” way of incorporating Dagger 2 into your Kotlin app, which involves writing some amounts of boilerplate code (well, so does any app using dagger, but at least with the addition of dagger-android you can try to cut it down a bit).

While for seasoned veterans it may be simple, I thought that, especially for less experienced developers, a fully working example could be useful. This is an example of the most basic setup using dagger-android in Kotlin.

Update (2018-02-24): When this guide was first written it was using 2.11-rc2 version of dagger. Dagger extensions for Android have evolved since and now it’s even easier to set things up. Below you can find the updated guide using version 2.12.


First of all you neet to enable kapt – Kotling Annotation Processing. Add these lines to your build.gradle file:

apply plugin: 'kotlin-kapt'

You’ll also need to set up “vanilla” Dagger 2 by adding these dependencies:

provided "com.google.dagger:dagger:$daggerVersion"
annotationProcessor "com.google.dagger:dagger-compiler:$daggerVersion"
kapt "com.google.dagger:dagger-compiler:$daggerVersion"

If you want to use Android dagger extensions (which I assume you do, since you’re reading this post) you’ll also need the following:

implementation "com.google.dagger:dagger-android:$daggerVersion"
implementation "com.google.dagger:dagger-android-support:$daggerVersion"
annotationProcessor "com.google.dagger:dagger-android-processor:$daggerVersion"
kapt "com.google.dagger:dagger-android-processor:$daggerVersion"

One very important note to take here is that you’ll need both the normal Dagger (the first listing) as well as the extensions (second listing).

Also, if you don’t plan to use Java at all in your Dagger graph you can exclude the annotationProcessor lines but I thought I’d show them here just for completness’ sake.

Apart from the dependencies there are a couple more steps you have to take. First of all, your application needs to implement HasActivityInjector interface, which consists of adding a simple method and a field which then gets injected. The easiest step to do is to simply extend the DaggerApplication class, which also implements interfaces for injecting to other components such as Fragments or Services (you can see the source for more).

class App : DaggerApplication() {

    override fun applicationInjector(): AndroidInjector<out DaggerApplication> {
        return DaggerAppComponent.builder().create(this)


Graph creation stays the same as in vanilla dagger, except for a couple things – you have to add a module (or modules) providing Activities to which you are going to inject dependencies as well as the helper AndroidSupportInjectionModule to the main app component. Your component will also need to extend AndroidInjector and include the respective Component.Builder.

@Component(modules = arrayOf(
interface AppComponent : AndroidInjector<App> {

    abstract class Builder : AndroidInjector.Builder<App>()


A quick way of adding an activity module is to use the @ContributesAndroidInjector annotation. Please note that the scope annotations are optional.

abstract class ActivitiesModule {
    abstract fun provideMainActivityInjector(): MainActivity

One last step – when injecting dependencies to your Activity it has to extend DaggerActivity class, which then takes care of injecting dependencies at the right time as well as managing their lifecycle.

class MainActivity : DaggerActivity() { /* definitions */ }

Alright, that’s it! I hope it helps at least some of you save a bit of time!

You can try it for yourself and see the full example, which is available on my GitHub.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Daniel Passos for putting the effort to update the example repository code to the latest version of dagger. If you would still like to see the previous version, it’s available under this branch.

Once you get the grip it’s still useful to refer to the official Dagger 2 documentation, as dagger-android has some more tricks up its sleeve!