How To Install Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Install Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04

In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Erlang is a programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements for high availability. The Erlang runtime system has built-in support for concurrency, distribution, and fault tolerance.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Erlang programming language on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Install Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa

Step 1. First, make sure that all your system packages are up-to-date by running the following apt commands in the terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2. Installing Erlang on Ubuntu 20.04.

Now we add the repository to your Ubuntu system by running the following commands:

echo "deb focal contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rabbitmq.list

After that, update your system package list and install Erlang:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install erlang

The installation was completed done, to verify it, we have to use the Shell Erlang, by submitting the command line:$ erl
Erlang/OTP 23 [erts-11.1] [source] [64-bit] [smp:6:6] [ds:4:4:16] [async-threads:2]
Eshell V11.1 (abort with ^G)

Step 3. Test Erlang with Hello World Program.

Now we test by writing a simple Hello World Erlang code:

nano hellotest.erl

Add the following file:

% Test to display Hello World Erlang Code
helloworld() ->
fwrite("Hai Guys.. , Erlang World!\n").

Save and close, after that execute using the following command:$ erl
Erlang/OTP 23 [erts-11.1] [source] [64-bit] [smp:6:6] [ds:4:4:16] [async-threads:2]
Eshell V11.1 (abort with ^G)
1> c(hellotest).
2> hellotest01,helloworld().
** exception error: undefined shell command helloworld/0
3> hellotest01:helloworld().
Hai Guys.. , Erlang World!

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Erlang. Thanks for using this tutorial for installing the Erlang programming language on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa system. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you to check the official Erlang website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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