Docker image for cross-building Elixir/Phoenix apps to CentOS/RHEL

Docker image with Erlang, Elixir, and NodeJS on CentOS for cross-building Elixir/Phoenix apps as OTP releases.

Uses CentOS official base image and official binary
builds of Erlang, Elixir, and NodeJS.


  • CentOS: 7.6 (x86-64) - same as RHEL 7.6
  • Erlang: 22.0.4
  • Elixir: 1.9.0
  • NodeJS: 10.16.0

Warning: Do not use this image to deploy the app as the size is quite large at ~598MB

Github | Docker Hub

For an example build file that cross-builds a Phoenix app, refer to phoenix/ file.

This file should be placed at the root of the Elixir/Phoenix project and:

# Run the build script inside a container running this image
# Note: On Windows replace $(pwd) with the actual path

docker run -v $(pwd):/home --rm -it akalan/elixir-centos /home/

# Run the generated release inside the same container

docker run -v $(pwd):/home --rm -it akalan/elixir-centos /home/_build/prod/rel/appname/bin/appname

The release is tarred and zipped to releases/appname-version-utc_time_stamp.tar.gz

1 Like

Quick feedback

General Docker

  • Check the checksum of any downloaded files
  • Clean up cache - e.g. yum update will create caches, so remove all caches in the same RUN - probably it explains the size of the image
  • Leverage layers to maximize caching
    • e.g. changing Elixir version should not invalid layers for erlang


  • Seems like there is no official repo; then you can just easily build it with src from
  • Precompiled elixir from github release is compiled for the oldest supported OTP, which means you may not leverage the new OTP features :slight_smile:
    • compile Elixir with the latest OTP, or
    • download precompiled elixir from${ELIXIR_VERSION}.zip (it’s from )
  • erlang 20.0.4 had a bad bug (ERL-986) - so use the latest version (at least 22.0.5) :slight_smile:

At work, we use Red Hat Universal Base Image - so I created dockerfile for Erlang and Elixir from ubi7 (Red Hat Universal Base Image 7) - check out