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BEAM (Erlang virtual machine)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BEAM is the virtual machine at the core of the Erlang Open Telecom Platform (OTP).[1] BEAM is part of the Erlang Run-Time System (ERTS), which compiles Erlang source code into bytecode, which is then executed on the BEAM.[2][3] BEAM bytecode files have the .beam file extension.[4]

Originally BEAM was short for Bogdan's Erlang Abstract Machine, named after Bogumil "Bogdan" Hausman, who wrote the original version, but the name may also be referred to as Björn's Erlang Abstract Machine, after Björn Gustavsson, who wrote and maintains the current version.[1][5][6] Both developers worked on the system while at Ericsson.[7][8]

The predecessor of the BEAM was JAM (Joe's Abstract Machine), which was the first virtual machine for the Erlang language and was written by Joe Armstrong.

BEAM Languages[edit]

Although BEAM was created for Erlang, several other languages have been either created for it or ported to run on it. The most popular of these is Elixir, which had more responses than Erlang itself in the 2023 Stackoverflow survey.[9] Other notable examples include:

  • Clojerl,[10] a port of Clojure to BEAM
  • Cuneiform,[11] a language for large-scale scientific data analysis
  • Gleam,[12] a statically typed functional language for BEAM
  • LFE,[13] Lisp Flavored Erlang, a lisp frontend for the Erlang compiler
  • Luerl,[14] Lua on the BEAM, designed and implemented by one of the creators of Erlang

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Erlang Runtime System". happi.github.io. Retrieved 2018-05-05.
  2. ^ Martin., Logan (2011). Erlang and OTP in action. Merritt, Eric., Carlsson, Richard. Stamford, CT: Manning Pub. ISBN 9781933988788. OCLC 747046900.
  3. ^ "Most Popular Programming Languages of 2018 - Elite Infoworld Blog". 2018-03-30. Archived from the original on 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  4. ^ Zachary., Kessin (2012). Building web applications with Erlang. Beijing: O'Reilly. ISBN 9781449309961. OCLC 802882644.
  5. ^ "erlang/otp". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  6. ^ "Confirmed Errata | O'Reilly Media". Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  7. ^ Kerjouan, Mathieu (2017-07-17). "Serialization series — Do you speak Erlang ETF or BERT? (part 1)". Medium. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  8. ^ "Erlang BEAM Instruction Set". www.cs-lab.org. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  9. ^ "Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  10. ^ Facorro, Juan. "Clojerl". GitHub. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  11. ^ "Cuneiform". Cuneiform. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  12. ^ "Gleam". Gleam. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  13. ^ "LFE". GitHub. Retrieved 2024-01-09.
  14. ^ "luerl". GitHub. Retrieved 2024-01-09.

External links[edit]