Building Erlang: Prerequisites (Ubuntu)

30 Jan 2019 17:02 direnv erlang

If you want to use kerl to build your Erlang installation, you’re going to need some packages installed first.

For Ubuntu, the list (taken from here) is as follows:

This list is correct for Erlang/OTP-24.1 and Ubuntu 20.04 (including on WSL).


sudo apt-get -y install build-essential     # assumed

# These will result in the build failing if they're not present.
sudo apt-get -y install autoconf m4         # ./otp_build: autoconf: not found
sudo apt-get -y install libssl-dev          # No usable OpenSSL found
sudo apt-get -y install libncurses5-dev     # configure: error: No curses library functions found

I’d consider this one “essential”, because you need it to make observer work.

sudo apt-get -y install libwxgtk3.0-gtk3-dev     # wxWidgets not found, wx will NOT be usable

Note: If you’ve got a new enough version of WSL 2, you can install the above, and (e.g.) observer:start() will display in a native window.


The following may not be correct, because I never bother installing them.

# If you want wxWebView:
#   wxWidgets was not compiled with --enable-webview or wxWebView developer package is not installed,
#   wxWebView will NOT be available
sudo apt-get -y install libwxgtk-webview3.0-gtk3-dev

# I consider these "optional", because I've never noticed them missing.
sudo apt-get -y install default-jdk         # jinterface     : No Java compiler found
sudo apt-get -y install unixodbc-dev        # odbc           : ODBC library - link check failed

# These are for the documentation.
sudo apt-get -y install xsltproc fop libxml2-utils

Edited 2021-12-10: Update to OTP-24.x, Ubuntu 20.04 (and WSL).