[erlang-questions] Understanding BEAM bytecode [Code section]

Björn Gustavsson <>
Fri Sep 15 10:46:06 CEST 2017

On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 11:16 PM, Gabriel Rivas
<> wrote:

> But I still don't see how the subtraction happens. Can anybody shed some
> light
> on the internals of calling a BIF in the erlang module?

Not sure that you are aware of it, but there is a disassembler that is
used like this:


It creates a file named ex3.dis. In it, you can see that the loaded
code looks this:

00007F9C8F953AD0: i_func_info_IaaI 0 ex3 sub 2
00007F9C8F953AF8: i_minus_jIxxd j(0000000000000000) 2 x(0) x(1) x(0)
00007F9C8F953B28: return

In this particular case, you can see that the BIF call has been
translated to a special instruction.

The translations that the loader makes can be found in


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