[![Hex version](https://img.shields.io/hexpm/v/bakeware.svg "Hex version")](https://hex.pm/packages/bakeware)
Compile Elixir applications into single, easily distributed executable binaries
![The Bakeware oven](assets/bakeware_logo200.png)
Bakeware extends [Mix
releases](https://hexdocs.pm/mix/1.10.4/Mix.Tasks.Release.html) with the ability
to turn Elixir projects into single binaries that can be copied and directly
run. No need to install Erlang or untar files. The binaries look and feel like
the build-products from other languages.
Here's a quick list of features:
* Simple - add the `bakeware` dependency and the Bakeware assembler to your Mix
* Supports OSX and Linux (We wrote the code with Windows and the BSDs in mind,
so support for those platforms may not be far off)
* [Zstd compression](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zstandard) for small binaries
* Optional support for automatic software updates (work in progress)
* Commandline argument passing conveniences
* Lots of examples
This README contains the basics of making your applications work with `Bakeware`
and reference material for when you need to dig into how it works.
Since everything was written quickly and the integration is fairly
straightforward, we recommend that you take a look at the examples. The examples
are barebones Elixir scripts, OTP applications, Phoenix applications and more
with small changes to their `mix.exs` files and instructions for running that
you can try out for yourself.
### Mix release
Bakeware supports tieing in executable binary assembly into a Mix release
as a step by using the `Bakeware.assemble/1` function.
<!-- ASSEMBLE !-->
This will assemble the necessary components to create a Bakeware executable
that can be distributed across machines to run the script/application without
extra environment setup (such as installing Elixir/Erlang, etc)
To use, add this to your release as a step after assembly:
def release do
steps: [:assemble, &Bakeware.assemble/1]
<!-- ASSEMBLE !-->
### Mix task
Bakeware also supports manually assembling the executable via `mix bakeware.assemble`
<!-- ASSEMBLE_TASK !-->
Generally, it is expected that you integrate assembly as a Mix release
step (see `Bakeware.assemble/1`)
However, this task provides the ability to manually assemble the bakeware executable
binary either for the current project, or for other specified release directories.
* `--name` - Name to use for the binary. Defaults to the app name
* `--path` - path to release directory. Defaults to release directory
of current Mix project
<!-- ASSEMBLE_TASK !-->
<!-- SCRIPT !-->
Bakeware supports an API similar to Escript for implementing a `main` function.
The `main` function will take 2 arguments:
* `arg0` - The absolute path to the executable
* `args` - Analogous to argv in other languages. A list or arguments passed to the
The `main` function must return a superset of functions that :erlang.halt/1 supports:
* integer -> returning an integer will set the exit status. IE success: 0, error: >= 1
* iodata -> An Erlang crash dump is produced with `iodata` as slogan. Then the runtime system exits with status code 1.
The string will be truncated if longer than 200 characters.
* :abort -> The runtime system aborts producing a core dump, if that is enabled in the OS.
defmodule MyApp.Main do
def main(_arg0, _args) do
IO.puts "Hello, World!"
<!-- SCRIPT !-->
### Minimizing executable size
Bakeware binaries appear to have a lower bound of about 12 MB in size. We expect
that they can be made smaller out-of-the-box, but here are a few things you can
1. Make sure `zstd` is installed to enable compression during assembly:
* **MacOS**: `brew install zstd`
* **Ubuntu**: `apt-get install zstd`
2. Build using `MIX_ENV=prod`. The default is `MIX_ENV=dev`, so be sure that the
environment variable is set.
3. Run `rm -fr _build` and then `mix release`. During development cruft builds
up in the release directory. Bakeware can't tell the difference between the
important files and the cruft, so executables will slowly grow in size if you
don't do a clean build.
4. Inspect your `_build/prod/rel/<name>` directory and especially under `lib`
for files or dependencies that you might be including on accident.
5. Make sure that compile-time dependencies are marked as `runtime: false` in
your `mix.exs` so that they're not included
### Creating cross-platform binaries
Bakeware binaries include the Erlang runtime but there are still dependencies on
the host system. These include the C runtime and other libraries referenced by
the Erlang runtime and any NIFs and ports in your application. Luckily, the
binary ABIs of many libraries are very stable, but if distributing to a wide
audience, it's useful to build on a system with older library versions. Python
has a useful pointers in their [packaging
## Reference material
### Commandline arguments
In general, commandline arguments passed to Bakeware applications are passed through to Elixir. A few special commandline arguments can be passed to adjust the launchers behavior. Bakeware stops parsing commandline arguments when it encounters a `--`. Processed commandline arguments are not passed along to Elixir.
The following arguments may be passed:
* `--bw-info` - Print out information about the application
* `--bw-gc` - This cleans up all unused entries in the cache (NOT IMPLEMENTED)
* `--bw-install` - Do not run the application. Stop after installing to the cache directory. (NOT IMPLEMENTED)
* `--bw-system-install` - Install to a system-wide location (NOT IMPLEMENTED)
### Environment variables
The Bakeware launcher sets the following environment variables for use in Elixir:
Variable name | Description
---------------------------------- | --------------------------
`BAKEWARE_EXECUTABLE` | The absolute path to the executable
`BAKEWARE_ARG1` | The first commandline argument
`BAKEWARE_ARGn` | The nth commandline argument
`BAKEWARE_ARGC` | The number of arguments
See the [Scripting](#scripting) secion of this document for a more user friendly API.
### Binary format
Bakeware application binaries look like this:
* Bakeware application launcher
* A CPIO archive of an Erlang/OTP release
The CPIO archive can be compressed. This depends on the contents of the trailer.
Trailer format (multi-byte fields are big endian):
Offset from end | Field | Type | Description
-------------- | --------------- | -------------- | -----------
-4 | Magic | 4 byte string | Set to "BAKE"
-5 | Trailer version | 8-bit integer | Set to 1
-6 | Compression | 8-bit integer | 0 = No compression, 1 = Zstd
-8 | Flags | 16-bit integer | Set to 0 (no flags yet)
-12 | Contents offset | 32-bit integer | Offset of CPIO archive
-16 | Contents length | 32-bit integer | Length of CPIO archive
-48 | SHA256 | 32 bytes | SHA-256 of the CPIO archive
## Cache directory
Bakeware maintains a cache of extracted binaries. This is needed to run the
OTP releases and it enables start-time optimizations.
The cache directory location is system-specific:
* Windows - `"C:/Users/<USER>/AppData/Local/Bakeware/cache"`
* macOS - `"~/Library/Caches/Bakeware"`
* Linux and other Unixes - `"~/.cache/bakeware"`
Here's the layout of each cache entry:
Path | Created by | Description
---------------------------------- | ---------- | --------------------------
`$CACHE_DIR/$SHA256/source_paths` | Launcher | A list of source paths (used for GC)
`$CACHE_DIR/$SHA256/bin` | CPIO | OTP release's `bin` directory
`$CACHE_DIR/$SHA256/erts-x.y.z` | CPIO | OTP release's ERTS
`$CACHE_DIR/$SHA256/lib` | CPIO | OTP release's `lib` directory
`$CACHE_DIR/$SHA256/releases` | CPIO | OTP release's `releases` directory
`$CACHE_DIR/$SHA256/start` | CPIO | Start script. E.g., `bin/my_otp_release start`
TODO: Add lock file to protect an executable being extracted on top of itself.
This might actually work, though...
All code is licensed under Apache-2.0 with the exception of [`zstd`](bakeware/src/zstd)
which is dual licensed BSD/GPL. See it's [LICENSE](bakeware/src/zstd/LICENSE) and
[COPYING](bakeware/src/zstd/COPYING) files for more details.