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.

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 20.3 from here: [most probably you want the OTP 20.3 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