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asdf-erlang

Erlang plugin for asdf version manager that relies on kerl for builds.

This plugin aims to combine the best of both worlds by using kerl.

kerl's compatibility and build scripts, together with asdf's easy version switching and support for the .tool-versions file. You do not need to have kerl already installed to use this. The plugin will install it's own version of kerl automatically.

Install

asdf plugin add erlang https://github.com/asdf-vm/asdf-erlang.git

Important: Make sure to read the "Before asdf install" section below to install dependencies!

Use

Check asdf readme for instructions on how to install & manage versions of Erlang. To specify custom options you can set environment variables just as you would when using kerl. For example, to skip the java dependency during installation use:

export KERL_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--disable-debug --without-javac"
asdf install erlang <version>

You can also install Erlang from git, or provide the url to a fork and build from git.

asdf install erlang ref:master

export OTP_GITHUB_URL="https://github.com/basho/otp"
asdf install erlang ref:basho

See kerl for the complete list of customization options. Note that the KERL_BASE_DIR and KERL_CONFIG environment variables are set by the plugin when it runs kerl so it will not be possible to customize them.

Before asdf install

Ubuntu and Debian

Note that if you are using a previous version of Linux, you may need a different version of one of the below libraries.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus"

Install the build tools (dpkg-dev g++ gcc libc6-dev make debianutils m4 perl) apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf

Needed for HiPE (native code) support, but already installed by autoconf apt-get -y install m4

Needed for terminal handling (libc-dev libncurses5 libtinfo-dev libtinfo5 ncurses-bin) apt-get -y install libncurses5-dev

For building with wxWidgets (start observer or debugger!). Note that you may need to select the right wx-config before installing Erlang. apt-get -y install libwxgtk3.0-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libpng-dev

For building ssl (libssh-4 libssl-dev zlib1g-dev) apt-get -y install libssh-dev

ODBC support (libltdl3-dev odbcinst1debian2 unixodbc) apt-get -y install unixodbc-dev

For building documentation: apt-get install xsltproc fop

If you want to install all the above: apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf m4 libncurses5-dev libwxgtk3.0-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libpng-dev libssh-dev unixodbc-dev xsltproc fop

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

If you need to use wxWebView in Erlang you'll want to a library for it: apt-get -y install libwxgtk-webview3.0-gtk3-dev

If you want to install all the above: apt-get -y install build-essential autoconf m4 libncurses5-dev libwxgtk3.0-gtk3-dev libwxgtk-webview3.0-gtk3-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libpng-dev libssh-dev unixodbc-dev xsltproc fop libxml2-utils libncurses-dev openjdk-11-jdk

Arch Linux

Provides most of the needed build tools. pacman -S --needed base-devel

Needed for terminal handling pacman -S ncurses

For building with wxWidgets (start observer or debugger!). Note that you may need to select the right wx-config before installing Erlang. pacman -S glu mesa wxgtk2 libpng

For building ssl pacman -S libssh

ODBC support sudo pacman -S unixodbc

For building documentation and elixir reference builds: sudo pacman -S libxslt fop

OSX

Note, for MacOS 10.15.4 and newer, 22.3.1 is the earliest version that can be installed through kerl (and, therefore, asdf). Earlier versions will fail to compile. See this issue for details.

Install the build tools brew install autoconf

Install OpenSSL brew install openssl@1.1. Erlang doesn't support openssl 3 yet, read more here.

For building with wxWidgets (start observer or debugger!). Note that you may need to select the right wx-config before installing Erlang. brew install wxwidgets

For building documentation and elixir reference builds: brew install libxslt fop

Dealing with OpenSSL issues on macOS

You may encounter an SSL error with an output along these lines:

crypto : No usable OpenSSL found
ssh : No usable OpenSSL found
ssl : No usable OpenSSL found

This issue has been documented on kerl. If you see this error, you can use the --with-ssl flag with a path before installing Erlang. Here is an example that skips the java dependency and also sets a specific (and existing) path for OpenSSL installed via brew on macOS.

export KERL_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--without-javac --with-ssl=$(brew --prefix openssl@1.1)"
asdf install erlang <version>

CentOS & Fedora

These steps assume a most recent build of CentOS (currently tested on CentOS 7.5 x64 & Fedora 28 x64)

Install the build tools sudo yum groupinstall -y 'Development Tools' 'C Development Tools and Libraries'

Automatic configure script builder sudo yum install -y autoconf

Needed for terminal handling sudo yum install -y ncurses-devel

For building with wxWidgets (start observer or debugger!). Note that you may need to select the right wx-config before installing Erlang. sudo yum install -y wxGTK3-devel wxBase3

For building ssl sudo yum install -y openssl-devel

for jinterface sudo yum install -y java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel

ODBC support sudo yum install -y libiodbc unixODBC-devel.x86_64 erlang-odbc.x86_64

for the documentation to be built sudo yum install -y libxslt fop

Solus

Install the build tools

sudo eopkg it -c system.devel

For building with wxWidgets (start observer or debugger!). Note that you may need to select the right wx-config before installing Erlang.

sudo eopkg install wxwidgets-devel libx11-devel mesalib-devel libglu-devel fop

For ODBC support

sudo eopkg install unixodbc-devel

For jinterface

sudo eopkg install openjdk-8 openjdk-8-devel

If you want to install all of the above

# Install build tools
sudo eopkg it -c system.devel

sudo eopkg install wxwidgets-devel libx11-devel mesalib-devel libglu-devel fop unixodbc-devel openjdk-8 openjdk-8-devel

OpenJDK issues on Solus

I ran into an issue where javac wasn't a recognized command in the terminal despite having installed openjdk-8 and openjdk-8-devel. Turns out it wasn't added to PATH by default. So simply add it to PATH like so:

# In ~/.bashrc add these to add Java to PATH
JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib64/openjdk-8
PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin

# In terminal
source ~/.bashrc

Getting Erlang documentation

Erlang may come with documentation included (as man pages, pdfs and html files, or even embedded documentation (via c:h function)).

For man pages this allows typing erl -man ets to get info on ets module.

For embedded documentation (on OTP 23+):

asdf-erlang uses kerl for builds, and kerl is capable of building the docs for specified version of Erlang in required formats.

For kerl to be able to build Erlang documentation two requirements have to be met:

  1. KERL_BUILD_DOCS environment variable has to be set to value yes
  2. Additional dependencies have to be installed. For detailed list of dependencies for your OS please refer to the specific section above

Additionally, HTML and Man formats can be ignored entirely:

  • KERL_INSTALL_HTMLDOCS set to no to not install HTML docs
  • KERL_INSTALL_MANPAGES set to no to skip Man pages.

By default, docs in both of these formats are installed if KERL_BUILD_DOCS is set.

It may be a good idea to disable those formats to save space, since docs can easily take around 200MB in addition to 100MB of base installation, yet to still have docs inside shell.

Note: Environment variable has to be set before asdf install erlang <version> is executed, to take effect.

Setting the environment variable in bash

Type: export KERL_BUILD_DOCS=yes to create KERL_BUILD_DOCS environment variable and set it to true. Repeat the same for KERL_INSTALL_HTMLDOCS KERL_INSTALL_MANPAGES if required (see above).

This line could be added to your .bashrc in case you want KERL_BUILD_DOCS to be set for future (future installations of Erlang).

To remove environment variable: unset KERL_BUILD_DOCS.

Setting the environment variable in fish shell

Type: set -xg KERL_BUILD_DOCS yes to set environment variable. Repeat the same for KERL_INSTALL_HTMLDOCS KERL_INSTALL_MANPAGES if required (see above).

In case you want it to be persisted between sessions (machine reboots - for example for future installations) type set -xU KERL_BUILD_DOCS yes.

To remove environment variable type: set -e KERL_BUILD_DOCS.

Use a specific version of kerl

Overriding the default kerl version shouldn't ever be necessary, but if you want to you a specific version of kerl you can set:

export ASDF_KERL_VERSION="2.1.1"

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Erlang plugin for asdf version manager

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