Experimenting With Elixir in Docker

I am working on my book Elixir Function Guide. Having noticed that there are a lot of mix tasks that I did not know about (and some that my exercism.io students don’t) then I thought that I would add some details at the start of the book.

I started using mix help to list the available functions:

mix                   # Runs the default task (current: "mix run")
mix app.start         # Starts all registered apps
mix app.tree          # Prints the application tree
mix archive           # Lists installed archives
mix archive.build     # Archives this project into a .ez file
mix archive.install   # Installs an archive locally
mix archive.uninstall # Uninstalls archives
mix clean             # Deletes generated application files
mix cmd               # Executes the given command
mix compile           # Compiles source files
mix credo             # Run code analysis (use `--help` for options)
mix credo.gen.check   # Generate a new custom check for Credo
mix credo.gen.config  # Generate a new config for Credo
mix deps              # Lists dependencies and their status
mix deps.clean        # Deletes the given dependencies' files
mix deps.compile      # Compiles dependencies
mix deps.get          # Gets all out of date dependencies
mix deps.tree         # Prints the dependency tree
mix deps.unlock       # Unlocks the given dependencies
mix deps.update       # Updates the given dependencies
mix do                # Executes the tasks separated by comma
mix escript           # Lists installed escripts
mix escript.build     # Builds an escript for the project
mix escript.install   # Installs an escript locally
mix escript.uninstall # Uninstalls escripts
mix format            # Formats the given files/patterns
mix help              # Prints help information for tasks
mix hex               # Prints Hex help information
mix hex.audit         # Shows retired Hex deps for the current project
mix hex.build         # Builds a new package version locally
mix hex.config        # Reads, updates or deletes local Hex config
mix hex.docs          # Fetches or opens documentation of a package
mix hex.info          # Prints Hex information
mix hex.organization  # Manages Hex.pm organizations
mix hex.outdated      # Shows outdated Hex deps for the current project
mix hex.owner         # Manages Hex package ownership
mix hex.publish       # Publishes a new package version
mix hex.repo          # Manages Hex repositories
mix hex.retire        # Retires a package version
mix hex.search        # Searches for package names
mix hex.user          # Manages your Hex user account
mix loadconfig        # Loads and persists the given configuration
mix local             # Lists local tasks
mix local.hex         # Installs Hex locally
mix local.phx         # Updates the Phoenix project generator locally
mix local.public_keys # Manages public keys
mix local.rebar       # Installs Rebar locally
mix new               # Creates a new Elixir project
mix phx.new           # Creates a new Phoenix v1.4.0 application
mix phx.new.ecto      # Creates a new Ecto project within an umbrella project
mix phx.new.web       # Creates a new Phoenix web project within an umbrella project
mix profile.cprof     # Profiles the given file or expression with cprof
mix profile.eprof     # Profiles the given file or expression with eprof
mix profile.fprof     # Profiles the given file or expression with fprof
mix release           # Assembles a self-contained release
mix release.init      # Generates sample files for releases
mix run               # Starts and runs the current application
mix test              # Runs a project's tests
mix xref              # Prints cross reference information
iex -S mix            # Starts IEx and runs the default task

It was only then that I realised that I have a number of mix extensions installed.

I need to start with what comes out of the box.
At this point I have three choices:

  • Uninstall the extensions (these are usefull .)
  • Manually edit out the extensions (error prone)
  • Use docker

The docker option is appealing as it will allow me to test using different versions of Elixir.

Here is the simple option that allows the use of docker:

docker run -it elixir:1.10 /bin/bash

This downloads the image and runs up the container. Note that this starts with bash, rather than the default iex.

From this mix help gives the more useful list:

mix                   # Runs the default task (current: "mix run")
mix app.start         # Starts all registered apps
mix app.tree          # Prints the application tree
mix archive           # Lists installed archives
mix archive.build     # Archives this project into a .ez file
mix archive.install   # Installs an archive locally
mix archive.uninstall # Uninstalls archives
mix clean             # Deletes generated application files
mix cmd               # Executes the given command
mix compile           # Compiles source files
mix deps              # Lists dependencies and their status
mix deps.clean        # Deletes the given dependencies' files
mix deps.compile      # Compiles dependencies
mix deps.get          # Gets all out of date dependencies
mix deps.tree         # Prints the dependency tree
mix deps.unlock       # Unlocks the given dependencies
mix deps.update       # Updates the given dependencies
mix do                # Executes the tasks separated by comma
mix escript           # Lists installed escripts
mix escript.build     # Builds an escript for the project
mix escript.install   # Installs an escript locally
mix escript.uninstall # Uninstalls escripts
mix format            # Formats the given files/patterns
mix help              # Prints help information for tasks
mix loadconfig        # Loads and persists the given configuration
mix local             # Lists local tasks
mix local.hex         # Installs Hex locally
mix local.public_keys # Manages public keys
mix local.rebar       # Installs Rebar locally
mix new               # Creates a new Elixir project
mix profile.cprof     # Profiles the given file or expression with cprof
mix profile.eprof     # Profiles the given file or expression with eprof
mix profile.fprof     # Profiles the given file or expression with fprof
mix release           # Assembles a self-contained release
mix release.init      # Generates sample files for releases
mix run               # Starts and runs the current application
mix test              # Runs a project's tests
mix xref              # Prints cross reference information
iex -S mix            # Starts IEx and runs the default task

One thought on “Experimenting With Elixir in Docker

  1. I have been making a list of resources for the trainees in my team for them to read up on Elixir. Your article is really detailed and well written. Thank you for sharing this, keep sharing such resources.

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