Erlang Syntax Highlighting

I have written a language definition file for GtkSourceView to get a nice syntax highlighting for Erlang with applications that use this component, e.g. Gnome’s standard editor gedit.

The highlighting looks like this:

Screenshot gedit with Erlang sourcecode

Here is how to get this to work:

Install Erlang Language File

  1. Download the file erlang.lang.
  2. Copy the file to /usr/share/gtksourceview-1.0/language-specs/erlang.lang.
  3. Start gedit, open an Erlang file, and choose View > Highlight Mode > Sources > Erlang.

Automatically Recognize *.erl

If you want gedit to automatically recognize that all .erl files should be correctly highlighted, you have to define the mime type (more info is here):

  1. Create directory to override mime types, in the command line type
    mkdirhier ~/.local/share/mime/packages
  2. Download the custom mime file Override.xml into this directory (if the file already exists, you have to copy the relevant lines by hand):
    cd ~/.local/share/mime/packages
  3. Update the mime database by merging the file:
    update-mime-database ~/.local/share/mime
  4. Restart nautilus (or logout & login again):
    killall nautilus

There you go, Erlang code in all its glory. Happy hacking!

6 thoughts on “Erlang Syntax Highlighting”

  1. The highlighting has one known bug: it cannot handle $” or $’ correctly. I don’t know how to fix this problem, can anyone help?

  2. Thanks a lot!

    That’s what I’ve wished for!!!

    Cheers, Mathi

    P.S.: Maybe put it on cean? It took me a while to find it…

  3. There’s a slight bug with the module attribute highlighting; colors were spilling over into the parens and first char of the value field. I was able to fix by replacing the original module atttribs section with this:


    Note the only difference is the sub of a ‘\b’ for the original ‘\B’. I copied this essentially from the function highlighting section.

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