[erlang-questions] Light-weight operating systems supporting Erlang in production web servers

Adam Lindberg <>
Tue Sep 19 11:08:28 CEST 2017


Perhaps it's not relevant for you right now, but for an interesting use-case of what is possible: https://www.grisp.org

We're successfully running Erlang bare metal on an ARM Cortex M7 without any kernel (the VM is the kernel!). All our software is open source and available at https://github.com/grisp

Let me know if you have any questions.

Cheers,
Adam

> On 18 Sep 2017, at 06:28, Lloyd R. Prentice <> wrote:
> 
> Hi Richard,
> 
> So, on a server,  it sounds like we're talking about:
> 
> 11 MB for the OS
> 5 MB for stripped down Erlang based on Joe's work,
> plus our application code.
> 
> Thanks to all for these numbers. 
> 
> My question came out of a conversation with a friend re: how far we could push Erlang on a Raspberry Pi or Odroid C2 SBC.
> 
> It's interesting to look at the numbers for TinyCore on ARM:
> 
> http://mirror.epn.edu.ec/tinycorelinux/arm.html
> 
> Compressed, they seem to run in the 25MB range. Raspian zipped is some 4GB. So, on an RP server TinyCore seems to offer much.
> 
> This makes me think that a cluster of $5.00 RP Zeros would be viable and a great platform for exploring and teaching distributed Erlang.
> 
> All the best,
> 
> Lloyd
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPad
> 
> On Sep 17, 2017, at 9:55 PM, Richard A. O'Keefe <> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> On 16/09/17 9:29 PM, Joe Armstrong wrote:
>>> Old timer here :-)
>>> 
>>> Just out of interest how large is Apline? (in MB?)
>> 
>> For what it's worth, TinyCore-8.0.iso is just under 17 MB.
>> Installed in VirtualBox and running, complete with GUI,
>> it's 21.7MB.  That doesn't include development tools.
>> I note that just the
>> "OTP 20.0 HTML Documentation File (33,948,386)"
>> is bigger than this and
>> "OTP 20.0 Windows 32-bit Binary File (96,337,114)"
>> is a lot bigger.
>> 
>> http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/intro.html
>> http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/downloads.html
>> The current Core (TinyCore minus GUI &c) is 11 MB.
>> 
>> Bringing in clang and its dependencies blows the system
>> out from 21.7 to 145.8 MB (+ 124.1 MB).
>> Adding gettext brought it to 148.0 MB (+ 2.2 MB).
>> Adding the manual pages and related tools brought
>> it up to 152.4 MB (+ 4.4 MB).  Add a couple of text
>> editors (NOT including emacs, which I actually like)
>> and it's 161.4 MB (+ 9.0 MB).
>> 
>> So the actual TinyCore distribution is about 1/8th of
>> a fairly minimal development environment.  I used to
>> run a full SunOS 3 environment on a 100 MB disc, and
>> 40 MB of that was left over for my files.  How times change.
>> 
>> I suspect that TinyCore plus enough to *run* Erlang could
>> be quite small by today's standards.  Certainly you could
>> carry around TinyCore Linux + C development environment +
>> full Erlang distribution and run it comfortably from an
>> elderly memory stick.
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