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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1" ?>
<!DOCTYPE chapter SYSTEM "chapter.dtd">
<title>Implementation and Ports of Erlang</title>
<prepared>Matthias Lang</prepared>
<marker id="implementations"/>
<title>What Production-quality implementations of Erlang are there?</title>
<item><p> <url href=""> Open Source
Erlang </url>
is the most popular implementation.
It is built from the same source tree as the commercial
version of Erlang. You can use Open Source Erlang to build
commercial products without having to pay royalties or licence
fees to Ericsson.
<marker id="commercial-erlang"/>
<item><p> <url href="">
Ericsson's Commercial Erlang</url>. This is essentially
the same as Open Source Erlang. The main differences are:
<item><p>Commercial Erlang comes with a support agreement
<item><p>The OTP team go to greater lengths
to test the commercial release, so you
get a more stable product. Similarly, they
make the transition between versions smoother.
<item><p>The commercial version includes some
encryption-related code which cannot be
provided in the open source release for legal reasons.
<item><p>The commercial release does <em>not
</em> contain applications which are
considered experimental or unstable.
<section><title>What Experimental and Research Implementations are there?</title>
High Performance Erlang</url> (HiPE).
HiPE is an in-progress project to create a faster Erlang
by compiling to native code. Since R8A, the HiPE compiler
is tightly integrated with the normal BEAM system; if
you have downloaded open source erlang, then you also have
HiPE. A <url href="">presentation at the EUC 2001</url> described how to use it.</p></item>
<url href="">
Erlang to Scheme Compiler</url> (ETOS).
ETOS is another research project to compile Erlang
programs to native code by first translating the
program into scheme. They have some impressive benchmarks.
ETOS is no longer under active development.</p></item>
Geoff's Erlang (GERL) supported a subset of the Erlang
language. GERL compiled to native code via C. GERL has
fallen into disuse.</p></item>
Safe Erlang</url>,
which is a prototype made by extending an older version
of Ericsson's implementation, is intended for
applications where Erlang nodes must cooperate with
other Erlang nodes which are not trusted. Safe Erlang
is no longer under active development.</p></item>
<marker id="version-table"/>
<title> Which version of Erlang am I running?</title>
The easiest way to tell is to look at the banner Erlang prints
at startup, e.g.
Erlang/OTP 17 [RELEASE CANDIDATE 1] [erts-6.0] [source] [64-bit] [smp:2:2] [async-threads:10] [hipe] [kernel-poll:false]
From Erlang code, in recent releases,
call <c>erlang:system_info(otp_release)</c>
to find out which release you are running.
<section><title> What operating systems does Erlang run on?</title>
Erlang runs on most unix and unix-like systems and on the
currently popular flavours of windows. Ericsson
have compiled it for
<item><p> Solaris (including 64 bit)</p></item>
<item><p> BSD</p></item>
<item><p> Linux</p></item>
<item><p> OSX</p></item>
<item><p> TRU64</p></item>
<item><p> Windows NT/2000/2003/XP/Vista</p></item>
<item><p> VxWorks</p></item>
There are reports on the mailing list of other people
compiling it successfully IRIX, along with reports of
Erlang running on less usual systems such as iPhones, Xboxes
Tilera 64-core CPUs and many embedded systems.
<section><title> What implementations of the Erlang Virtual Machine are there?</title>
Almost everyone uses "the new BEAM", where BEAM stands
for Bogdan/Bj&ouml;rn's Erlang Abstract Machine. This is
the virtual machine supported in the commercial release.
The other virtual machines are of mostly historical interest:
This was the original Erlang virtual machine,
inspired by the (Prolog) WAM. JAM stands for
"Joe's Abstract Machine".</p>
<title>old BEAM</title><p>
This was an attempt to compile Erlang
to C, and then compile the C to native code. It was
abandoned after benchmarking showed that the resulting
code was only faster than VM-based Erlang for small programs.
<section><title>Is there an unofficial port for...?</title>
<em>MacOS X</em>: Releases since R9B compile on
MacOS X.
<em>QNX</em>: Vlad Dumitrescu has looked
at porting to QNX. If you're interested, ask on the
erlang mailing list.</p><p>
<em>VxWorks</em>: VxWorks support is
included in the standard distribution. </p><p>
<marker id="cygwin-cross"/>
<title>Can Erlang be compiled under Microsoft Windows?</title>
There is a README.win32 file at the top of the source code
distribution which explains how to do this.
<section><title>Can Erlang be cross compiled?</title>
Yes. From release R13B04 (released February 2010) onwards, the standard
Erlang/OTP distribution includes support and documentation for cross
compiling. This is described in the file at the
top of the Erlang source, available from the
<url href="">downloads page</url>.
<section><title>Is Erlang small enough for embedded systems?</title>
Many people run Erlang on many different types of embedded systems
such as mobile telephones, telecommunication switching equipment and
in-car electronics.
Rule of thumb: if the embedded system can run an
operating system like linux, then it is possible
to get current implementations of Erlang running on it
with a moderate amount of effort.
Getting Erlang to run on, say, an 8 bit CPU with 32kByte of
RAM is not feasible.
People successfully run the Ericsson implementation of
Erlang on systems with as little as 16MByte of RAM. It
is reasonably straightforward to fit Erlang itself into
2MByte of persistant storage (e.g. a flash disk).
A 2MByte stripped Erlang system can include the
beam emulator and almost all of the stdlib, sasl,
kernel, inets and runtime_tools libraries, provided
the libraries are compiled without debugging information
and are compressed.
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