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

Ladislav Lenart lenartlad@REDACTED
Thu Aug 7 11:11:58 CEST 2014


On 7.8.2014 01:59, ok@REDACTED wrote:
> Let me make an obvious point:
>     the Erlang VM is *NOT* better than operating systems
>     like Linux.

Fair enough (bad e-mail subject on my part).

> The Erlang VM is better at managing hundreds of thousands
> of lightweight processes.

Exactly. And I wanted to know the 'whys' of this. I guess the lightweight nature
of Erlang processes is the main cause of this.

> Linux (and Solaris and HP-UX and ...) are constrained by
> having to present a C/POSIX ABI.  And C is an amazingly
> low-level language (operational definition: you cannot
> shift the stack because you have no way of telling what
> is in it).
> The two systems are simply solving different problems
> under different constraints.
> There's no reason why Linux (or Solaris or HP-UX or ...)
> could not offer an additional interface, call it an Elinuxir
> interface, that was basically Erlang-like and support that
> about as well as the Erlang VM does.
> Come to think of it, Linux and Solaris *do* offer an
> Elinuxir interface: it's called running the Erlang VM.
> So the question is ill-posed.  What exactly is it that
> both Linux and the Erlang VM do and the Erlang VM is better
> at?

Both Linux and Erlang manage processes and Erlang is (much?) better at it.
Again, I just wanted to know why...


Ladislav Lenart

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