Elixir (programming language)

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elixir programming language
Paradigmmulti-paradigm: functional, concurrent, distributed, process-oriented
First appeared2011; 8 years ago (2011)
Stable release
1.8.1 / 30 January 2019; 53 days ago (2019-01-30)[1]
Typing disciplinedynamic, strong, duck
LicenseApache License 2.0[2]
Filename extensions.ex, .exs
Influenced by
Clojure, Erlang, Ruby

Elixir is a functional, concurrent, general-purpose programming language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine (BEAM).[3] Elixir builds on top of Erlang and shares the same abstractions for building distributed, fault-tolerant applications. Elixir also provides a productive tooling and an extensible design. The latter is supported by compile-time metaprogramming with macros and polymorphism via protocols.[4]

Elixir is used by companies such as E-MetroTel, Pinterest[5] and Moz.[6] Elixir is also used for web development, by companies such as Bleacher Report, Discord, and Inverse,[7] and for building embedded systems.[8][9] The community organizes yearly events in United States,[10] Europe[11] and Japan[12] as well as minor local events and conferences.[13][14]


José Valim is the creator of the Elixir programming language, a research and development project of Plataformatec. His goals were to enable higher extensibility and productivity in the Erlang VM while keeping compatibility with Erlang's ecosystem.[15][16]

On July 12, 2018, Honeypot released a mini-documentary on Elixir.[17]



The following examples can be run in an iex shell or saved in a file and run from the command line by typing elixir <filename>.

Classic Hello world example:

iex> IO.puts("Hello World!")
Hello World!


iex> for n <- [1,2,3,4,5], rem(n, 2) == 1, do: n*n
[1, 9, 25]

Pattern Matching (destructuring)

iex> [1, a] = [1, 2]
iex> a

iex> {:ok, [hello: a]} = {:ok, [hello: "world"]}
iex> a

Pattern Matching (multiple clauses)

iex> case File.read("path/to/file") do
iex>   {:ok, contents} -> IO.puts("found file: #{contents}")
iex>   {:error, reason} -> IO.puts("missing file: #{reason}")
iex> end

Pipe Operator

iex> "1" |> String.to_integer() |> Kernel.*(2)


defmodule Fun do
  def fib(0), do: 0
  def fib(1), do: 1
  def fib(n), do: fib(n-2) + fib(n-1)  

Sequentially spawning a thousand processes

for num <- 1..1000, do: spawn fn -> IO.puts("#{num * 2}") end

Asynchronously performing a task

task = Task.async fn -> perform_complex_action() end
Task.await task

Noteworthy Elixir projects[edit]

  • Mix is a build automation tool for Elixir projects.
  • Phoenix is a web framework built on Elixir.
  • Nerves[9] is a project for building embedded systems.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Releases - elixir-lang/elixir". Retrieved 30 January 2019 – via GitHub.
  2. ^ "elixir/LICENSE at master · elixir-lang/elixir · GitHub". GitHub.
  3. ^ "Most Popular Programming Languages of 2018 - Elite Infoworld Blog". 2018-03-30. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  4. ^ "Elixir". José Valim. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  5. ^ "Introducing new open-source tools for the Elixir community". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  6. ^ "Unlocking New Features in Moz Pro with a Database-Free Architecture". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  7. ^ "What big projects use Elixir?". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  8. ^ "Elixir in production interview: Garth Hitchens". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  9. ^ a b "Nerves - Craft and deploy bulletproof embedded software in Elixir". Retrieved 2016-08-01.
  10. ^ "ElixirConf". Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  11. ^ "ElixirConf". Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  12. ^ "Erlang & Elixir Fest". Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  13. ^ "Elixir LDN". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  14. ^ "EMPEX - Empire State Elixir Conference". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  15. ^ Elixir - A modern approach to programming for the Erlang VM. Retrieved 2013-02-17.
  16. ^ José Valim - ElixirConf EU 2017 Keynote. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  17. ^ "Elixir: A Mini-Documentary". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Elixir". Retrieved 2014-09-07.
  19. ^ Loder, Wolfgang (12 May 2015). Erlang and Elixir for Imperative Programmers. "Chapter 16: Code Structuring Concepts", section title "Actor Model": Leanpub. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  20. ^ "Writing assertive code with Elixir". Retrieved 2018-07-05.

External links[edit]