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A sophisticated build-tool for Erlang projects that follows OTP principles.
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rebar is an Erlang build tool that makes it easy to compile and
test Erlang applications, port drivers and releases.

Build Status

rebar is a self-contained Erlang script, so it's easy to distribute or even
embed directly in a project. Where possible, rebar uses standard Erlang/OTP
conventions for project structures, thus minimizing the amount of build
configuration work. rebar also provides dependency management, enabling
application writers to easily re-use common libraries from a variety of
locations (git, hg, etc).


Information on building and installing Erlang/OTP can be found here (more info).


To build rebar you will need a working installation of Erlang R13B03 (or later).

Should you want to clone the rebar repository, you will also require git.


You can download a pre-built binary version of rebar from:

Building rebar

$ git clone git://
$ cd rebar
$ ./bootstrap
Recompile: src/getopt
Recompile: src/rebar_utils
==> rebar (compile)
Congratulations! You now have a self-contained script called "rebar" in
your current working directory. Place this script anywhere in your path
and you can use rebar to build OTP-compliant apps.

Contributing to rebar

Pull requests and branching

Use one topic branch per pull request.

Do not commit to master in your fork.

Provide a clean branch without any merge commits from upstream.

Usually you should squash any intermediate commits into the original single commit.

Code style

Do not introduce trailing whitespace.

Do not mix spaces and tabs.

Do not introduce lines longer than 80 characters.

erlang-mode (emacs) indentation is preferred. vi-only users are encouraged to
give Vim emulation (more info) a try.

Writing Commit Messages

Structure your commit message like this:

One line summary (less than 50 characters)

Longer description (wrap at 72 characters)


  • Less than 50 characters
  • What was changed
  • Imperative present tense (fix, add, change)
    • Fix bug 123
    • Add 'foobar' command
    • Change default timeout to 123
  • No period


  • Wrap at 72 characters
  • Why, explain intention and implementation approach
  • Present tense


  • Break up logical changes
  • Make whitespace changes separately

Run checks

Before you submit a patch, run make check to execute the test suite and check for
xref and Dialyzer warnings. You may have to run make clean first.

Dialyzer warnings are compared against a set of safe-to-ignore warnings found in
dialyzer_reference. xref is run with custom queries to suppress safe-to-ignore warnings.

It is strongly recommended to check the code with Tidier. Select all transformation
options and enable automatic transformation. If Tidier suggests a transformation,
apply the changes manually to the source code. Do not use the code from the
tarball (out.tgz) as it will have white-space changes applied by Erlang's pretty-printer.

Community and Resources

In case of problems that cannot be solved through documentation or examples, you may
want to try to contact members of the community for help. The community is also where
you want to go for questions about how to extend rebar, fill in bug reports, and so on.

The main place to go for questions is the rebar mailing list. If you need quick feedback,
you can try the #rebar channel on Be sure to check the wiki first,
just to be sure you're not asking about things with well known answers.

For bug reports, roadmaps, and issues, visit the github issues page.

General rebar community resources and links:

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