Skip to content
Fork of the official Debian package for Erlang
Branch: OTP-22.x/debia…
Clone or download
RabbitMQ CI
Latest commit e354c6d Jan 20, 2020
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Erlang/OTP packages for Debian and Ubuntu

This repository contains release automation files for Debian and Ubuntu packages of Erlang/OTP. It is maintained by the RabbitMQ team.

This work is based on the official Erlang/OTP package for Debian. The RabbitMQ team adapted the upstream package to produce packages for more/different combinations of Erlang/OTP, Debian and Ubuntu releases.

Unlike Team RabbitMQ's zero dependency Erlang/OTP RPM, these packages are not monolithic and use the same dependency tree as the official Debian packages of Erlang.

Supported Erlang/OTP and Debian/Ubuntu Combinations

Packages are published to a Debian repository on Bintray. The following distributions are currently supported:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic)
  • Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial)
  • Debian Buster
  • Debian Stretch

For each distribution, the following release series of Erlang/OTP are packaged:

  • 22.x (the latest patch release)
  • 21.x (ditto)
  • 20.x (ditto)
  • Erlang master

Apt Repository Setup

Enable apt HTTPS Transport

In order for apt to be able to download Erlang packages from Bintray, the apt-transport-https package must be installed:

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https

Signing Key

For apt to be able to verify package signatures and trust them, add the signing key used to sign RabbitMQ releases to apt-key:

wget -O - '' | sudo apt-key add -

Source List File

As with all 3rd party Apt (Debian) repositories, a file describing the repository must be placed under the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bintray.rabbitmq.list is the recommended location.

The file should have a source (repository) definition line that uses the following pattern:

# See below for supported distribution and component values
deb $distribution $component

The next couple of sections discusses what distribution and component values are supported.


In order to set up an apt repository that provides the correct package, a few decisions have to be made. One is determining the distribution name. It comes from the Debian or Ubuntu release used:

  • bionic for Ubuntu 18.04
  • xenial for Ubuntu 16.04
  • buster for Debian Buster
  • stretch for Debian Stretch

Erlang/OTP Version

Another is what Erlang/OTP release version should be provisioned. It is possible to track a specific series (e.g. 20.x) or install the most recent version available. The choice determines what Debian repository component will be configured.

It is possible to pin the package to a specific version. This will be covered below.

Consider the following repository file at /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bintray.rabbitmq.list:

deb bionic erlang

It configures apt to install the most recent Erlang/OTP version available in the repository and use packages for Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic).

For Debian Stretch the file would look like this:

deb stretch erlang

To use the most recent 21.x patch release available, switch the component to erlang-21.x:

deb bionic erlang-21.x

erlang-20.x, erlang-19.x, and erlang-16.x are the components for Erlang 20.x, 19.x and R16B03, respectively.

Installing Packages

After updating the list of apt sources it is necessary to run apt-get update:

sudo apt-get update -y

Then packages can be installed just like with the standard Debian repositories:

# This is recommended. Metapackages such as erlang and erlang-nox must only be used
# with apt version pinning. They do not pin their dependency versions.
sudo apt-get install -y erlang-base \
                        erlang-asn1 erlang-crypto erlang-eldap erlang-ftp erlang-inets \
                        erlang-mnesia erlang-os-mon erlang-parsetools erlang-public-key \
                        erlang-runtime-tools erlang-snmp erlang-ssl \
                        erlang-syntax-tools erlang-tftp erlang-tools erlang-xmerl

Package/Repository Pinning (Apt Preferences)

Since Erlang/OTP packages are available for any Debian and Ubuntu distribution, once this repository is added via a source file there will be two or even more repositories that provide packages under the same name.

To add insult to injury, meta-packages such as erlang-nox do not pin the version of their dependencies. It means that out-of-the-box, if for instance you install erlang-nox 1: on Debian Stretch, it may pull erlang-base 1:19.2.1+dfsg-2+deb9u1 from the official Debian repository.

apt_preferences(5) can be used to instruct apt to prefer packages from this repository.

Place a file with following contents to /etc/apt/preferences.d/erlang:

Package: erlang*
Pin: release o=Bintray
Pin-Priority: 1000

After updating apt preferences it is necessary to run apt-get update:

sudo apt-get update -y

Differences from Other Debian Package Providers

Differences from the Official Debian Packages

Provided Erlang/OTP Versions

The main difference is the provided versions:

  • The official Debian repository provides a single Erlang/OTP minor release for a given Debian distribution and this is frozen when the distribution is released. The package only receives bug fixes.

  • Our repository provides many Erlang/OTP major releases for many distributions, taking the latest minor+patch release. It also provides a preview of the next in-development release branch of Erlang/OTP.

Supported architectures

Another difference is the supported architectures: we only support amd64 whereas Debian and Ubuntu provides packages for many more architectures.

Differences with the Erlang Solutions packages

Provided Erlang/OTP versions

Erlang Solutions provides Debian packages for many Erlang/OTP minor releases. However, patch releases in each series are often delayed or never published. In other words, they follow the Erlang/OTP sources published on This repository strives to make the latest patch releases of Erlang/OTP easy to consume.

Supported Architectures

Erlang Solutions produces 32-bit (i386) packages. This repository only provides 64-bit packages.

Distributions Coverage

One of the primary goals of this package is to make latest Erlang release series available to most popular Debian/Ubuntu distributions.

Erlang Solutions supports more distributions but older ones typically don't have the latest Erlang/OTP releases or entire series.

All-in-one Package

In addition to the fine-grained package set also provided by Debian and Ubuntu, Erlang Solutions publishes a convenient all-in-one package called esl-erlang.

This repository doesn't provide such packages.

How the Packages are Produced

Team RabbitMQ maintains a public Concourse pipeline that automates the build process for all versions of Erlang/OTP and all Debian/Ubuntu distributions.

When a new patch release is tagged in the Erlang/OTP repository, it is automatically picked up by the pipeline. Then the package changelog is updated and a new package is built, tested and published to Bintray.

The package are tested by a different part of the same Concourse pipeline once they are published to Bintray. This makes sure the final repository is indirectly tested.

Copyright and License

(c) 2018-current Pivotal Software, Inc.

Released under the Apache Software License 2.0, same as Erlang/OTP starting with 18.0.

You can’t perform that action at this time.