Elixir (programming language)

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elixir programming language
Paradigm multi-paradigm: functional, concurrent, distributed, process-oriented
First appeared 2011; 7 years ago (2011)
Stable release
1.6.2 / 29 January 2018; 42 days ago (2018-01-29)[1]
Typing discipline dynamic, strong
Platform Erlang
License Apache License 2.0[2]
Filename extensions .ex, .exs
Website elixir-lang.org
Influenced by
Erlang, Ruby, Clojure

Elixir is a functional, concurrent, general-purpose programming language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine (BEAM). 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.[3]

Elixir is used by companies such as E-MetroTel, Pinterest[4] and Moz.[5] Elixir is also used for web development, by companies such as Bleacher Report, Discord, and Inverse,[6] and for building embedded systems.[7][8] The community organizes yearly events in United States[9][10][11], Europe[12] and Japan[13] as well as minor local events and conferences.[14][15]


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

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

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


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]

  • Phoenix is a web framework built on Elixir
  • Ecto is a database wrapper and language integrated query for Elixir
  • Cowboy is a small, fast and modern HTTP server for Erlang/OTP.
  • Plug is a specification and conveniences for composable modules between web applications
  • Absinthe is a GraphQL implementation for Elixir.


  1. ^ "v1.6.1". Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  2. ^ "elixir/LICENSE at master · elixir-lang/elixir · GitHub". GitHub. 
  3. ^ "Elixir". José Valim. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  4. ^ "Introducing new open-source tools for the Elixir community". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  5. ^ "Unlocking New Features in Moz Pro with a Database-Free Architecture". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  6. ^ "What big projects use Elixir?". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Elixir in production interview: Garth Hitchens". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  8. ^ "Nerves - Craft and deploy bulletproof embedded software in Elixir". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  9. ^ "ElixirConf 2014". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  10. ^ "ElixirConf 2015". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  11. ^ "ElixirConf". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  12. ^ "ElixirConf". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  13. ^ "ElixirConf.jp". Retrieved 2017-07-09. 
  14. ^ "Elixir LDN". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  15. ^ "EMPEX - Empire State Elixir Conference". Retrieved 2016-08-01. 
  16. ^ Elixir - A modern approach to programming for the Erlang VM. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  17. ^ José Valim - ElixirConf EU 2017 Keynote. Retrieved 2017-07-14. 
  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. 

External links[edit]