[erlang-questions] [Q] Why is Erlang VM better than traditional OS like Linux?

Peer Stritzinger <>
Wed Aug 6 17:08:51 CEST 2014


Also recommend reading:

http://jlouisramblings.blogspot.de/2013/01/how-erlang-does-scheduling.html

-- Peer

On 2014-08-06 14:33:57 +0000, Guilherme Andrade said:

> If you'd like more detail, I propose you read upon the low-level bells 
> and whistles the process scheduler consists of, and it should become 
> more intuitive by then. No need to look at source-code; a quick web 
> search returns some straightforward stuff[1][2] that seems to be what 
> you're looking for.
> 
> Cheers,
> 
> 
> 
> [1]: http://www.erlang.org/euc/08/euc_smp.pdf
> [2]: http://erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/2001-April/003132.html
> 
> 
> On 06/08/14 15:30, Guilherme Andrade wrote:
> Hello Ladislav,
> 
> On 06/08/14 15:15, Ladislav Lenart wrote:
> Is it because Erlang process occupies an order of magnitude less space than an
> OS process?
> Is it because a userspace scheduler such as Erlang VM is faster at process
> switching? If so, why is that?
> Is it somehow related to Erlang's share nothing philosophy? If so, how exactly?
> Something else?
> Partially, yes. Some reasons I can think of:
> 
>     - Much smaller process footprint; Erlang processes aren't visible to
> the OS, their footprint is much lighter (the context they need to keep
> track of, etc.) OS processes are traditionally heavy, even more-so than
> OS threads, which are pretty big themselves.
> 
>     - By not being visible to the OS, context & execution switching
> between different processes by the scheduler doesn't have to deal with
> userland/kernelspace shenanigans (for the most part, anyway.)
> 
>     - By being shared-nothing, traditional concurrency control
> mechanisms (which have considerable overhead -- specially on SMP
> machines) are not needed;
> 
>     - Shooting in the dark here, but the per-process GC might also help
> on this -- concerning stability and expectable availability variations,
> anyway.
> 
> 
> With some oversimplifications, of course; but this is the general idea.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> 
> -- 
> Guilherme
> 
> https://www.gandrade.net/
> PGP: 0x35CB8191 / 1968 5252 3901 B40F ED8A  D67A 9330 79B1 35CB 8191
> <image>
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