Elli on Elixir

In addition to the answers above, I would like to write up a complete guide on getting knutin/elli to work with Elixir. The above answers are correct, but I needed some more information to get up and running in my new elixir project.

  1. Implement a handler that has @behaviour :elli_handler

    This is your router/controller. A bare minimum example version of this looks like this:

    # lib/elli_handler.ex
    defmodule ElliHandler do
      @behaviour :elli_handler
      alias :elli_request, as: Request
      def handle(req, args) do
        handle(Request.method(req), Request.path(req), req, args)
      def handle(:GET, _, req, args) do
        # do something with the request.
        # e.g. you can use Request.get_arg/2 to fetch a query param
        say = Request.get_arg("say", req)
        # Return a tuple with 3 elements
        # status code, list of header tuples, response body
        {200, [], "echo, #{say}"}
      # Here you can react to all kinds of events of the full connection/request/response cycle
      # You must implement this, otherwise elli wont function properly, as it evaluates
      # the return value of handle_event/3.
      def handle_event(event, args, config) do
        # Here would be a good point to handle logging.
        # IO.inspect([event, args, config])
  2. Lets use an app that starts an elli supervisor

    # lib/elli_supervisor.ex
    defmodule ElliSupervisor do
      use Supervisor
      def start_link(ref, options) do
        Supervisor.start_link(__MODULE__, options, name: ref)
      def init(options) do
        children = [
          worker(:elli, [options], id: :elli_http_server)
        supervise(children, strategy: :one_for_one)
      def shutdown(ref) do
        case Supervisor.terminate_child(ref, :elli_http_server) do
          :ok -> Supervisor.delete_child(ref, :elli_http_server)
          err -> err
    # lib/app.ex
    defmodule App do
      use Application
      def start(_type, _args) do
        import Supervisor.Spec, warn: false
        # lets start our elli supervisor, setting its options
        # callback should be set to the elli handler that implements the elli_handler behaviour
        # port will be the port elli is listening on, defaults to 8080
        ElliSupervisor.start_link(__MODULE__, callback: ElliHandler, port: 3000)
    # in mix.exs
    def application do
        mod: {App, []}
  3. Add elli as a dependency to your mix.exs

    Run mix get.deps to install your dependencies. Start your server with mix run --no-halt or in a console using iex -S mix.

    # in mix.exs
    defp deps do
        # elli is our web server layer
        {:elli, github: "knutin/elli"}