You need to have the following software running for working on the exercises for Programming Distributed Systems:

  • Git [version management]
  • Erlang [programming language]
  • Rebar3 [build tool for Erlang]

We further recommend to install Visual Studio Code and the extensions „erlang“ and „Erlang/OTP"

Installing Git and Erlang

Most linux or unix-like distributions can get Git and Erlang from package managers. For OSX we recommend using Homebrew.

You can also use kerl if the required Erlang version is not available in your package manager or if you want to install multiple versions in parallel.

Installing Rebar

Download the binary from here and copy to a directory in your $PATH. Ensure it is executable (chmod +x).

Hint: It is common to create a directory ~/bin/ to place commands like rebar3 and add it to your path with export PATH=~/bin/:$PATH in your ~/.bashrc, ~/.zshrc or equivalent.

Alternatively, you can install Rebar from source:

Open a command line. Create a directory for downloading and building rebar3. Go to the directory and run the following commands:

$ git clone
$ cd rebar3
$ ./bootstrap

Installing Git on Windows:

  • Download the binary installer from here

Installing Erlang on Windows:

  • Download the binary version of Erlang 21.3 from here: [most probably you want the OTP 21.3 Windows 64-bit Binary File ]
  • Double-click to start the installer
  • Go to directory C:\Program Files\erl9.3\bin
  • To check that the installation worked, run werl.exe [It should open an Erlang shell]
  • Add C:\Program Files\erl9.3\bin to your Path On Windows 10, it works like that:
    • Open “Settings”
    • Search for “View advanced system settings”
    • Button “Environment Variables”
    • Choose “Path” from “User variables for….” and click on button “Edit…”
    • Add C:\Program Files\erl9.3\bin to the list
  • Now, open a command prompt and enter erl
  • Done! [hit Ctrl-C to exit the erlang shell]

Installing Rebar3 on Windows

  • Create a directory for downloading and building rebar3
  • Clone the rebar3 repository into this directory
  • Go to this directory and run „“
  • Add this directory to your path