Recently, I found myself wondering about setting up Elixir on a Raspberry Pi. I did some searching, and came up with a couple of different articles. However, both of them required compiling during part of the process. If you’ve never used one of these devices, it might surprise you to learn that compiling can be slow. Like, 40 minutes slow.

I learned that you can use a mini version of Erlang that doesn’t include the GUI tools, and that Elixir now comes pre-compiled. Putting those two items together doesn’t take much effort. Here’s what I ended up doing.

Note: This guide is tailored to the Rasbian (wheezy) release on all Raspberry Pi models

Install Erlang Mini (for small devices)

To install items from the repository we’re adding, you’ll first need to add the proper public key from Erlang Solutions.

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys D208507CA14F4FCA

Then, you can open up the sources file.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

And add the following line:

deb wheezy contrib

Save and close the file by pressing Ctrl+x and then y.

Now, it’s time to update the known packages available.

sudo apt-get update

Finally, we can install Erlang Mini.

sudo apt-get install erlang-mini

Say yes by pressing y.

Install Elixir (pre-compiled)

Elixir releases can be viewed on Github - we’re going to install the 1.0.5 version. You can check for the most current version here

First, make sure you are in the home directory:

cd ~

Now we’ll download the file:


Then we extract it to the /opt/elixir directory:

sudo unzip ~/ -d /opt/elixir

Once complete, we need to add the /opt/elixir/bin directory to the system path, making it available system-wide.

Open up the ~/.profile file.

nano ~/.profile

Add the following line to the bottom of the file to have the system check in the new directory.


Save and close the file by pressing Ctrl+x and then y.

Reload the file.

source ~/.profile

Now run the elixir -v command and you should see the following:

Elixir 1.0.5

You can now remove the ~/ file and ~/elixir directory:

rm ~/

rm -rf ~/elixir

Happy Hacking!