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Programming language: Elixir
License: MIT License
Tags: Deployment    

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This tool is deprecated. Please, use native mix releases (added in elixir 1.9.0) https://hexdocs.pm/mix/Mix.Tasks.Release.html


A minimal tool for releasing (packaging and hot updating) Elixir applications.

Standard Erlang/Elixir release tools generally attempt to generate a self contained package which contains bootup scripts, VM arguments, shell scripts for launching nodes in the system, appup files, etc.

To the contrary, exreleasy tries to untie developer's hands and decouple release activities.

This tool allows to separately:

  • bundle an application and Erlang/Elixir with a single mix command and create wrapper scripts for running mix/iex;
  • generate a draft for an appup file for migrating from any existing release to another one;
  • perfom a hot code reload for a running node.

This is often required nowadays when we have special tools for each task, for example:

  • deliver application code with Ansible, SaltStack or some other orchestration tool;
  • launch nodes with Systemd generating units with an orchestration tool;
  • perform maintenance tasks like running migrations or code reload with an orchestration tool.

Credit for the idea goes to savonarola.


  1. Add exreleasy to your list of dependencies in mix.exs:
  def deps do
    [{:exreleasy, "~> 0.4.0"}]


To bundle Erlang/Elixir inside your project:

mix exreleasy.localize

This will create ./release directory with Erlang/Elixir and wrapper scripts:


To make a release:

mix exreleasy.release v0.0.1

This will create ./release/archive/v0.0.1.tar.gz archive with your project (including ./release directory)

To hot reload your code:

  • Step 1

Generate appup file for all applications of your project.

mix exreleasy.create_appup --old-release ./release/archive/v0.0.1.tar.gz --new-release ./release/archive/v0.0.2.tar.gz --appup ./appup_1_to_2

Alternatively use release/exreleasy.json from old release (fetch it from production maybe)

mix exreleasy.create_appup --old-release /path/to/old/manifest.json --new-release ./release/archive/v0.0.2.tar.gz --appup ./appup_1_to_2
  • Step 2

Edit appup file to include only modules you want to touch Available instructions - http://erlang.org/doc/man/appup.html

vim ./appup_1_to_2
  • Step 3

Apply appup file to release (creates individual appup files in ebin directories)

mix exreleasy.apply_appup --release ./release/archive/v0.0.2.tar.gz --appup ./appup_1_to_2

Alternatively Steps 1-3 can be automated using provided script

./deps/exreleasy/priv/prepare_hot_release prod /path/to/old/release.tar.gz /path/to/new/release.tar.gz
  • Step 4

Deploy new code to server

  • Step 5

Reload code

env MIX_ENV=prod ./release/binstubs/mix exreleasy.hot_reload --node [email protected]_host --cookie your_cookie --new-path path_to_new_code --reload-configs