Resources for Learning LFE

Learning LFE must be taken in two tracks: learning the syntax particular to a Lisp on the Erlang VM, with all its support for pattern matching, Erlang-style arities, etc., and then learning the ins-and-outs of BEAM languages and OTP. This two-pronged approach is the path to success.


Quick Start Guides

Quick Start with rebar3 - This will get you up and running with LFE, requiring only that you have a modern Erlang installed (version 19+) and rebar3.


The LFE Tutorial - The Erlang "Getting Started" translated into LFE!

Casting SPELs in LFE - The famous "Casting SPELs in Lisp" translated into LFE, but taking things further than the original with state management via defrecord, creating a custom game server, and then dipping the toes into OTP with a conversion of the custom game server to a gen_server.

LFE Examples - For those that learn by watching and playing, the ./examples directory in the LFE repo may be quite useful.

LFE on Rosetta Code - If those examples aren't enough for you, there are 99 others to choose from on Rosetta Code!

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs - The LFE edition of SICP is still a work in progress, but two chapters have been completed and offer an excellent introduction to core concepts in computer programming, or a refresher for those wishing to get back in the game. This text in its original form was used as the basis for the computer science introductory courses taught at MIT for over a decade (from the early 1980s into the 90s). SICP is widely regarded as one of the most important texts for programming, clearly explaining core principals of the art and science, and helping to shape the minds of the first few generations of early Internet innovators. The LFE Edition converts the Lips-1 of the original (Scheme) into the Lisp-2+ variant of LFE.

More LFE

Once you've learned the syntax and the underlying principles of the Erlang VM, you're going to want to actually use this beautiful Lisp! Be sure to check out our reference materials, how-tows, etc..

The community will be an invaluable resource in your journey of learning, to be sure to stop in whatever medium makes you happy, say "hi" and ask us lots of questions!


There are some phenomenal materials available for a self-paced Erlang/OTP education. Some of the classics are given below. For those with bigger budgets, remember that formal training is also an option! (In fact, there are not only classes offered for Erlang, but also LFE ...)

The Language

Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good! - Probably one of the best (and definitely the most fun) books available for learning Erlang. (Also available in print.)


Designing for Scalability with Erlang/OTP - The thinking person's OTP book: where to go when you really want to understand OTP.

Erlang and OTP in Action - This book is another fantastic resource, building up an OTP application piece at a time as you move through the chapters.

In Production

Once you've learned how to write Erlang/LFE/OTP applications, is time to get them into production, and you'll find the following invaluable references for that:

Lisp Arcana

In the event that you want to dive deeper into the world of Lisp itself, there are several excellent texts to explore.

Lisp Internals

Lisp Reference