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All of the public Erlang/OTP source releases (since R6B-0 in 1999) in convenient git form
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                          OpenSource Erlang/OTP 

Please read the whole file before attempting to build and install Erlang.
You can find more information about OpenSource Erlang at


There is currently no source build for Windows but you can download
the binary release from

Our aim is to make the system as portable as possible and with as
little special requirements as possible. Erlang/OTP was built and
tested in our "Daily Build and Test" process on:
    Operating system      Version
    Solaris/Sparc         2.5.1
    Solaris/x86           2.5.1    (not tested for a few weeks)
    Linux/RedHat x86      5.2
    Linux/RedHat x86      6.2
    Linux/Debian x86      2.2
    Linux/Debian PowerPC  2.2      (Apple iMac)
    FreeBSD x86           4.1.1
    Darwin/OS X PowerPC   10.0.3   (New port, see notes below)

Required utilities

These are the known tools you will need in order to unpack and build


  GNU unzip, or a modern uncompress.

  A TAR program that understand the GNU TAR format for long
  filenames (such as e.g. GNU TAR).


  GNU make

  GNU C compiler

  Perl 5

  nawk                  Optional but needed to convert V2 SNMP MIBS to
                        V1 MIBS. "gawk" will do but you have to create
                        a link from "/usr/local/bin/nawk" to the "gawk"

  openSSL/ssleay        Optional but needed for building the Erlang/OTP
                        applications 'ssl' and 'crypto'. You need the
                        "development package" of SSL, i.e. including
                        the header files.

  Sun Java jdk-1.2.2    Optional but needed for building the Erlang/OTP
                        application 'jinterface' and parts of 'ic'
                        and 'orber'.

  X Windows             Optional but development headers and libraries
                        are needed to build Erlang/OTP applications 
                        'gs' and 'etk' on Unix/Linux.


  An install program that can take multiple file names

How to build and install Erlang/OTP

Start by unpacking the Erlang/OTP distribution file with your
GNU compatible TAR

  1)    gunzip -c otp_src_R7B-3.tar.gz | tar xf -
  1)    zcat otp_src_R7B-3.tar.gz | tar xf -

Now cd into base directory

  2)    cd otp_src_R7B-3

Run the following commands

  3)    ./configure  [ options ]
  4)    make
  5)    make install

Let's go through them in some detail:

    Step 3 runs a configuration script created by the GNU autoconf
utility, which checks for system specific features and the creates a
number of makefiles. The configure script allows you to customize a
number of parameters, type "./configure --help" for details. One of
the things you can specify is where Erlang/OTP should be installed, by
default Erlang/OTP will install in /usr/local/{bin,lib/erlang,man/man1},
to keep the same structure but install in a different place, let's
call it <Dir>, than /usr/local use the --prefix argument. Like so:
"./configure --prefix=<Dir>". This step will also configure any
additional libraries unpacked in step 3 (if you didn't add any of the
extra libraries configure will issue a warning saying that there is no
configuration information in lib, this warning can safely be ignored).

You can also specify where the openSSL/ssleay include and library
files are located or disable the use of SSL.

Dlmalloc is an alternative malloc() implementation that has been
included in the emulator. It was introduced in order to improve memory
management on Solaris. Dlmalloc has only been thoroughly tested on
Solaris 2.5.1 and Solaris 7, but it will probably work fine on other
Unix flavors as well. Dlmalloc is not enabled by default. In order to
enable it, give the configure script the argument "--enable-dlmalloc".
The malloc() implementation used in late versions of the Gnu C library
is based on dlmalloc. You are therefore not expected to get any
improvements by enabling dlmalloc on operating systems that use the
Gnu C library.

    Step 4 first builds the Erlang emulator, this will take
approximately five minutes on a reasonably fast machine. It then
proceeds to build the Erlang/OTP libraries in the "lib" subdirectory
using the built emulator and the bootstrap libraries provided in the
"bootstrap" subdirectory.  Compiling everything can take quite a long
time, expect half an hour up to a couple of hours. After step 4 is
completed you should have a working Erlang/OTP system which you can
try by typing "bin/erl". This should start up Erlang/OTP and give you
a prompt.

    Step 5 is optional. It installs Erlang/OTP (if you change your
mind about where you wish to install you can rerun step 3, without
having to do step 4 again).

If you or your system has special requirements please read the
Makefile for additional configuration information.

How to install the Erlang/OTP documentation

For some graphical tools to find the on-line help you have to install
the HTML documentation on top of the installed OTP applications, i.e.

        cd <PrefixDir>/lib/erlang
        gunzip -c otp_doc_html_R7B.tar.gz | tar xf -

For "erl -man <page>" to work the Unix manual pages have to be
installed in the same way, i.e.

        cd <PrefixDir>/lib/erlang
        gunzip -c otp_doc_man_R7B.tar.gz | tar xf -

Darwin/OS X

This is a new port that isn't complete. The main test suites are
successful but there are more work to be done.

Use the "gnutar" command to unpack the sources.

The 'mnesia_session' application currenctly does not build on Darwin.
After "configure" but before "make" do

        touch lib/mnesia_session/SKIP

The 'orber' Erlang/OTP application will not be build because of a bug
in the configure script.

Erlang/OTP will read the network configuration files in "/etc" at
startup.  In Darwin these are normally not used by the operating
system. The easiest way to solve this is to make Erlang/OTP avoid this
is to put the line (including the ending '.')


into the file "$HOME/.inetrc".

Make sure that the command "hostname" return a valid fully qualified
host name (this is configured in "/etc/hostconfig").


There are currently incorrect dependencies in the Makefiles, which
means that if you modify any source code the system might not build
properly. Also "make clean" does not clean out everything that should
be cleaned.

Make and the variable "ERL_TOP"

All the makefiles in the entire directory tree use the environment
variable ERL_TOP to find the absolute path of the installation. The
configure script will figure this out and set it in the top level
Makefile (which, when building, it will pass on). However when
developing it is sometimes convenient to be able to run make in a
subdirectory. In order to do this you need to set the ERL_TOP variable
before you run make.

For example, assume your GNU make program is called "make" and you
wish to rebuild the Erlang/OTP part of stdlib, then you could do:

  cd lib/stdlib/src ; env ERL_TOP=<Dir> make

Where <Dir> would be what you find ERL_TOP is set to in the top level

More Information

More information can be found on

For commercial inquires (printed documentation, support et.c.) please
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