Running Erlang w/o an OS

Samuel Tardieu <>
Thu Feb 3 18:52:30 CET 2000


On  3/02,  wrote:
| 
|  > I'm really interested on using Erlang on our embedded PPC processor. I'll
|  > finish the RTEMS port soon (hopefully within a week, as time permits) and
|  > work on porting the beam VM. If someone is already working on this, I'll
|  > happily join the porting effort.
| 
| I'm not clear about what RTEMS is or what you're planning to do. As
| far as I can tell from www.rtems.com, RTEMS is some sort of real-time
| OS with strong links to ADA and the US DOD.

I'll try to explain. Please let me know if I'm still unclear.

Well, RTEMS is a real-time OS which has been developped with DoD support
(it meant Real-Time Executive for Military System, and now M stands for
Multiprocessor) on which the GNU Ada (GNAT) executive can be run [1]
regardless of the architecture (the interface between RTEMS and the GNAT
runtime is well defined, and worked on by both OAR (RTEMS side) and
ACT (GNAT side)).

| Having said that, I'll to compile Erlang for linux on an embedded PPC
| system (a PPC 860T) just as soon as I get a spare day. The plan is to
| get gcc and PERL running on the board and then natively compile
| Erlang, i.e. configure; make. I don't expect any large problems, but
| then again... I'll announce here when I have something that works, in
| case anyone is interested in binaries.

Your case is simple: you want a native Erlang port. And it exists already,
just take it from the Debian mirrors [2].

What I want to do is cross-compile the beam virtual machine for RTEMS
supported targets, which come in three typical configurations [3]:

  - small disk
  - no disk, but a pseudo-filesystem in flash memory
  - no disk, no pseudo-filesystem in flash memory, but ethernet or PPP
    available

If support for cross-compilation (especially in configure.in) is already
available, then this will be an hour work. However, if only native compilation
is supported, this will be harder. The Linux binary can't of course be run
on my RTEMS system, as it will deal with files, I/Os, syscalls, etc., and
I have no native gcc for this target.

Porting Linux and using it in a diskless configuration could be an option,
but for other reasons, Linux is totally unsuited for the kind of tasks that
our robot is supposed to handle.

  Sam

[1] I speak here with my GNAT-team-member hat on
[2] I speak here with my Erlang-maintainer-for-Debian hat on
[3] I speak here with my researcher hat on




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