Installation of Java-based development tools was often a pain in the neck for me and something ridiculously poor, compared to brilliant installation of Ubuntu packages. Luckily now we got Java, Tomcat, Maven at least packaged properly - kudos to package maintainers! I hate this whole "unpack tarball, set XXX_HOME, then update PATH" theme with passion. I want to code instead of fighting environment!
In the Scala land, those things are yet to be improved. You got cross-platform installer for Scala, but the excellent SBT still requires you to follow some manual steps.
Because I don't see much activity in this area, I've decided to stop complaining and instead to do something about it. At least one small step, to begin with.
Today I've packed the SBT installer into a valid sbt-0.7.7.deb package (hosted at my Dropbox account). This was my first Debian package, so I made it very minimal - just to have it installable and uninstallable (at least on Ubuntu, because Debian may require copyrights, policies - I don't really know).
EDIT: Now, SBT 0.10.0 as a Ubuntu package (also from my Dropbox) is available too.
Creating the package as a one-off task would not be very compelling for a person like me, because I'd hate repeating manual work. Therefore I've created a script, that first lookups the latest jar at the Google Code page, then downloads the jar and then packs it into a deb archive. I've written it so it can adapt to minor version changes, but of course I doubt it'll be that future-proof. Regardless, the foundation is now laid, and some minor tweaks will hopefully suffice when new versions of SBT are released.
I've pushed the script and helper files to the Github, so feel free to fork and to improve!