MacPorts erlang “Bus error” due to Mac OS X 10.5.3 Update

with 11 comments

The past few weeks, I’ve used my train ride home to dig deeper and deeper into erlang. Then after an OS X update released on May 28, 2008 my macports erlang installation stopped working! Running erl caused a “bus error” to occur.  Trying to recompile erlang caused the same bus error to occur.  Directions below work whether you have an existing erlang installation or you’re trying to compile erlang without prior installation.

Here’s how I was able to get it working again:

Open the erlang portfile with your favorite text editor, I prefer vi.

cd /opt/local/var/macports/sources/
sudo vi Portfile

Delete this line from configure.args attribute:

--enable-hipe \

The MacPorts configuration doesn’t depend on the enabling of HiPE and erlang will work fine without it. By default HiPE (Hi-Performance Erlang) isn’t enabled or supported on Mac OS X so I’m not sure why the Portfile enables it. HiPE is a project aimed at creating a faster Erlang by compiling to native code. You can find out more about HiPE here.

Reinstall erlang:

sudo port uninstall erlang
sudo port install erlang

You should see a message that says: Portfile changed since last build; discarding previous state.

Use erlang again!

If you want to know when the MacPorts issue is solved you can follow the Trac ticket here.

Written by syntatic

June 12, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Posted in erlang, programming

Tagged with , ,

11 Responses

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  1. This was helpful — thank you!


    June 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm

  2. you are my hero! i owe you a beer. and not just a cheap beer, but a really high-class beer, like rolling rock! :-) – scott


    July 2, 2008 at 5:54 pm

  3. Thanks a million, I was just trying to install erlang so I could run through a getting started tutorial. Your tweak allowed me to do this :)


    July 6, 2008 at 2:49 pm

  4. Thank you so much!!


    July 17, 2008 at 10:29 pm

  5. Brilliant! Thanks, you’ve saved my hair!!


    July 26, 2008 at 3:55 am

  6. Thanks a lot.


    August 3, 2008 at 3:08 am

  7. Muchos gracias! I wanted to try this out so bad. Now I can! :)


    August 5, 2008 at 11:45 pm

  8. Thanks! Just getting back to erlang after some time away and encountered this error.


    September 25, 2008 at 10:01 am

  9. I also had this problem after upgrading to Leopard. The solution worked. Thanks!


    September 30, 2008 at 7:26 pm

  10. Your expensive beer is in the mail.



    November 11, 2008 at 10:35 am

  11. nice, thx.

    Jeremy Wei

    December 20, 2011 at 2:10 am

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