Install

The quickest way to install Elixir is through a distribution or using one of the available installers. If such an option is not available, then we recommend using the precompiled packages or compiling the language yourself. All of these options are detailed next.

Note that Elixir v1.16 requires Erlang 24.0 or later. Many of the instructions below will automatically install Erlang for you. If they do not, the “Installing Erlang” section has you covered.

If you are not sure if you have Elixir installed or not, you can run elixir --version in your terminal.

By Operating System

Install Elixir according to your operating system and tool of choice.

macOS

  • Using Homebrew:
    • Run: brew install elixir
  • Using Macports:
    • Run: sudo port install elixir

Note version managers (described below), are also available for macOS.

GNU/Linux

On Unix systems, there are two options to install Elixir. You can use the Erlang/Elixir packages that are part of your distribution, although those may lag behind in version numbers (especially for LTS releases). In such cases, you can also opt to use a version manager.

Version managers

There are many tools that allow developers to install and manage multiple Erlang and Elixir versions. They are useful if you have multiple projects running on different Elixir or Erlang versions, can’t install Erlang or Elixir as mentioned above or if the version provided by your package manager is outdated. Here are some of those tools:

  • asdf - install and manage different Elixir and Erlang versions
  • kiex - install and manage different Elixir versions
  • kerl - install and manage different Erlang versions

Keep in mind that each Elixir version supports specific Erlang/OTP versions. See the supported versions alongside our docs.

Distributions

  • Alpine Linux (Community repository)
    • Run: apk add elixir
  • Arch Linux (Community repository)
    • Run: pacman -S elixir
  • Debian
    • Run: sudo apt install elixir
  • Debian (and Ubuntu) alternative
    • Use the RabbitMQ Packages (might not be up-to-date however likely newer than the distribution)

      $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rabbitmq/rabbitmq-erlang
      $ sudo apt update
      $ sudo apt install elixir erlang-dev erlang-xmerl
      
  • Fedora 21 (and older)
    • Run: yum install elixir
  • Fedora 22 (and newer)
    • Run dnf install elixir erlang
  • Gentoo
    • Run: emerge --ask dev-lang/elixir
  • GNU Guix
    • Run: guix package -i elixir
  • openSUSE (and SLES)
    • Add Elixir/Erlang repository: zypper ar -f obs://devel:languages:erlang/ Elixir-Factory
    • Run: zypper in elixir
    • Optional: if you want to use the latest Erlang, you can use this repository: zypper ar -f obs://devel:languages:erlang:Factory Erlang-Factory
  • Slackware
    • Using Sbopkg:
      • Run: sbopkg -ki "erlang-otp elixir"
    • Manually:
  • Solus
    • Run: eopkg install elixir
  • Ubuntu
    • Run: sudo apt install elixir
  • Void Linux
    • Run: xbps-install -S elixir

BSD

  • FreeBSD
    • The latest Elixir release is named lang/elixir-devel. The default Elixir, lang/elixir, may lag slightly as dependent ports are often not able to be updated to the newest Elixir release immediately.
    • Using ports:
      • Run: cd /usr/ports/lang/elixir && make install clean
    • Using pkg:
      • Run: pkg install elixir or pkg install elixir-devel
  • OpenBSD
    • Run: pkg_add elixir

Windows

Elixir versions before v1.15 can also be installed using the deprecated Online Elixir Installer.

Raspberry Pi and embedded devices

To build and package an Elixir application, with the whole operating system, and burn that into a disk or deploy it overwhere, check out the Nerves project.

If you want to install Elixir as part of an existing Operating System, please follow the relevant steps above for your Operating System or install from precompiled/source.

Docker

If you are familiar with Docker you can use the official Docker image to get started quickly with Elixir.

  • Enter interactive mode
    • Run: docker run -it --rm elixir
  • Enter bash within container with installed elixir
    • Run: docker run -it --rm elixir bash

The above will automatically point to the latest Erlang and Elixir available. For production usage, we recommend using Hex.pm Docker images, which are immutable and point to a specific Erlang and Elixir version.

Precompiled package

Elixir provides a precompiled package for every release. First install Erlang and then download the appropriate precompiled Elixir below. You can consult your Erlang/OTP version by running erl -s halt:

Once you download the release, unpack it, and you are ready to run the elixir and iex commands from the bin directory. However, we recommend you to add Elixir’s bin path to your PATH environment variable to ease development.

Mirrors and nightly builds

The links above point directly to the GitHub release. We also host and mirror precompiled packages and nightly builds globally via repo.hex.pm using the following URL scheme:

https://builds.hex.pm/builds/elixir/${ELIXIR_VERSION}-otp-${OTP_VERSION}.zip

For example, to use Elixir v1.13.3 with Erlang/OTP 24.x, use:

https://builds.hex.pm/builds/elixir/v1.13.3-otp-24.zip

To use nightly for a given Erlang/OTP version (such as 25), use:

https://builds.hex.pm/builds/elixir/main-otp-25.zip

Compiling from source

You can download and compile Elixir in few steps. The first one is to install Erlang. You will also need make available.

Next you should download source code (.zip, .tar.gz) of the latest release, unpack it and then run make inside the unpacked directory (note: if you are running on Windows, read this page on setting up your environment for compiling Elixir).

After compiling, you are ready to run the elixir and iex commands from the bin directory. It is recommended that you add Elixir’s bin path to your PATH environment variable to ease development.

In case you are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can also compile from main:

$ git clone https://github.com/elixir-lang/elixir.git
$ cd elixir
$ make clean compile

Installing Erlang

The only prerequisite for Elixir is Erlang, version 24.0 or later. When installing Elixir, Erlang is generally installed automatically for you. However, if you want to install Erlang manually, you might check:

After Erlang is installed, you should be able to open up the command line (or command prompt) and check the Erlang version by typing erl -s erlang halt. You will see some information similar to:

Erlang/OTP 24.0 [64-bit] [smp:2:2] [...]

Notice that depending on how you installed Erlang, Erlang binaries might not be available in your PATH. Be sure to have Erlang binaries in your PATH, otherwise Elixir won’t work!

Setting PATH environment variable

It is highly recommended to add Elixir’s bin path to your PATH environment variable to ease development.

On Windows, there are instructions for different versions explaining the process.

On Unix systems, you need to find your shell profile file, and then add to the end of this file the following line reflecting the path to your Elixir installation:

export PATH="$PATH:/path/to/elixir/bin"

Asking questions

After Elixir is up and running, it is common to have questions as you learn and use the language. There are many places where you can ask questions, here are some of them:

When asking questions, remember these two tips:

  • Instead of asking “how to do X in Elixir”, ask “how to solve Y in Elixir”. In other words, don’t ask how to implement a particular solution, instead describe the problem at hand. Stating the problem gives more context and less bias for a correct answer.

  • In case things are not working as expected, please include as much information as you can in your report, for example: your Elixir version, the code snippet and the error message alongside the error stacktrace.

Enjoy!

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