The Elixir experience on Windows is deteriorating

Even as a very raw beginner, I never had problems with PHP, Python, Java or Flash on Windows. Ruby was a problem and enough of a headache that I didn’t really come back to programming until 2 years later and much longer than that for Ruby itself.

That’s why I was pretty dismayed at the Windows experience with Elixir (the ecosystem, not the language itself) back in 2016 and trying to document and draw attention to all the hurdles.

Obviously people building open source can use any OS they want. I was just dismayed at the likely effects on adoption of Elixir.

I tried installing Elixir on Windows this past week and got frustrated installing all the tooling needed for a phoenix app (node especially). I came across this thread and Scott Hanselman’s post on WSL and tried to document my steps. Its so much nicer than setting things up in Windows. Hope it helps someone!

Also let me know if I forgot any steps!


I too, like @awestbro, have set up Elixir on Windows using WSL. Here my writeup on how to insall Elixir after installing WSL:

There are a lot of tutorials that inform how to install WSL, so I only documented my steps after WSL is installed. As @awestbro mentioned, the setup is miuch more pleasant than actually running Elixir under Windows, even though this does work. The installation of Erlang and Elixir on Windows is simple using chocolatey. I only started seeing problems when it came to compiling additional Elixir dependencies under Windows like comeonin.


As someone who’s been here for a month(give or take) and is using Windows: I haven’t had any of those problems. Granted, I used pbkdf2(and didn’t do anything particularly difficult) so that probably helped, but otherwise, Elixir has been a pretty nice experience for me.
Only issue(overall) for me is lack of proper JetBrains IDE support, but that on the other hand finally forced me to learn most vscode keybinds so there’s that. I’d love to switch to unix based system, but I’m too comfortable with my touchpad gestures, fingerprint scanner and some other features. I could probably get that stuff working on linux but I don’t really want to bother, since I already have all that working out of the box.

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Just as a followup, releases work like a charm on Windows. As an added bonus I was able to build the binaries under my local machine (Windows 10) and install and run it on a Windows Server box (with a very different OS version).