How to install erlang R16B03 and 17.1 with observer in OSX


This is a receipt for building Erlang/OTP R16B03 and 17.1 versions (note that since version 17 the release name pattern changes) with Observer, a really nifty graphical tool to monitor and debug Erlang/OTP applications and processes.


As Dave Cottlehuber just posted in the comments, there is another way to install both R16B03 and 17.1 erlang versions for a 64 bit arch with a working observer with homebrew, where do you just need to:

So if you want to run version 17.1 after installing R16B03-1 you just do:


This receipt uses homebrew, the package manager for OSX, and kerl, an Erlang/OTP builder and installer.

In order to activate the release you should add to your shell's configuration (~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc) one of these two following lines, depending of which erlang version you want to run:

Here you are a sample screenshot of Observer in action:

Screenshot 2014-09-05 19.07.46 Have fun with Erlang!

2 thoughts on “How to install erlang R16B03 and 17.1 with observer in OSX

  1. For most people it is sufficient to do:

    brew install wxmac && brew install --with-dirty-schedulers erlang

    It may well work just fine without the --with-dirty-schedulers flags, but then you get pre-built binaries, whereas with the additional flag it will be built from source each time.

    • gonzalo

      You are absolutely right. Even more, as you see in the article, erlang is compiled for a 32 architecture. I did this because observer does not work in the kerl "normal" version which is the 64 bit one. But with brew version, which is 64 bits, works even with observer, which is great. Moreover, if you install the erlang-r16 package you get the R16B03-1 version which is the one i need to run my project without errors. So thanks for your tip!

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