View Source Intro

Nostrum is a an Elixir library that can be used to interact with Discord.

Nostrum currently supports versions of Elixir at or above v. 1.11.

With a platform like Discord, there are many moving parts and an attempt was made to break these parts into smaller logical pieces.

To see documentation about a specific part of the library, please visit one of the following -

  • API - Methods to interact with the RESTful API (and some other goodies).
  • State - Caches that hold the state of Discord that your bot can see.
  • Events - How you can handle real time events that your bot can see.
  • Custom Consumers - Information on defining custom consumer processes.
  • Voice - Playing audio through Discord voice channels.

Why Elixir?

From the Elixir website -

Elixir is a dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications.

Elixir leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain.

How does Nostrum leverage these benefits?

Fault tolerance - Nostrum attempts, where reasonable, to allow for different parts of the application to fail with minimal harm. Supervisors are used heavily to ensure that anything that breaks will be restarted. Nostrum attempts to avoid most errors, but if they do occur (and they will!) it shouldn't be the end of the world.

Concurrency - Concurrency is considered to be a first class citizen in Elixir. Through the use of SMP and processes, information should travel through the application quickly.

Distributed - Nostrum does not currently supported any sort of Distributed mode out of the box. By default everything is ran on the one node that you launch the application from. I'm open to suggestions as to how Nostrum could leverage being spread across many nodes.


There are two versions of Nostrum, a stable version released on Hex and a dev version on GitHub. The dev version will be more up to date but will likely have more errors.

Add Nostrum as a dependency:


def deps do
  [{:nostrum, "~> 0.6"}]


def deps do
  [{:nostrum, git: ""}]

Edit or create your config file:

The file should be located at /config/config.exs. To run Nostrum you need the following two fields:

config :nostrum,
  token: "666"  # The token of your bot as a string

The following fields are also supported:

  • num_shards - A fixed number of shards to run, or :auto to have Nostrum determine it automatically. Defaults to :auto.
  • ffmpeg - Specifies the path to the ffmpeg executable for playing audio. Defaults to "ffmpeg".
  • youtubedl - Specifies the path to the youtube-dl executable for playing audio with youtube-dl support. Defaults to "youtube-dl".
  • streamlink - Specifies the path to the streamlink executable for playing livestream audio with streamlink support. Defaults to "streamlink".
  • gateway_intents - This field takes a list of atoms representing gateway intents for Nostrum to subscribe to from the Discord API. More information can be found in the gateway intents documentation page.
  • audio_timeout - Milliseconds that input must begin generating audio by upon invoking play. More information about this option can be found in the voice documentation page. Defaults to 20_000 (20s).
  • audio_frames_per_burst - Number of opus frames to send at a time while playing audio. More information about this option can be found in the voice documentation page. Defaults to 10.
  • voice_auto_connect - This will determine if Nostrum automatically connects to voice websockets gateways upon joining voice channels. If set to false but you still wish to connect to the voice gateway, you can do so manually by calling Nostrum.Voice.connect_to_gateway/1 after joining a voice channel. Defaults to true.
  • dev - This is added to enable Nostrum to be run completely stand alone for development purposes. true will cause Nostrum to spawn its own event consumers. If you have the dev flag set to true while running Nostrum alongside your application some of your events will be consumed. Defaults to false.
  • log_full_events - This will log the full payload received over the websocket. This is included primarily for debugging and testing purposes. Defaults to false.
  • log_dispatch_events - This will log dispatch events as they are received from the gateway. This is included primarily for debugging and testing purposes. Defaults to false.
  • custom_consumer - For use when creating custom consumer processes. This disables all caching done internally, in lieu of sending dispatch events to the processes you specify. For more information see creating custom consumers. Defaults to false.
  • request_guild_members - This will perform member chunking to retrieve a complete list of members for all guilds. This will increase start up time and memory usage by quite a bit. Defaults to false.
  • fullsweep_after_default - Sets the fullsweep_after flag for processes that can have irregularly high memory usage due to Discord payloads. This options will dramatically reduce the amount of memory used by some processes at the cost of increased CPU usage. This is useful if you're running your application under a memory constrained environment. This comes at the cost of increased CPU usage. By default, this option will only affect some processes. You can set this flag for all processes using environment variables or by setting the system flag yourself. Defaults to whatever your system recommends, which is probably 65535.

By default, Nostrum logs a lot of data using Logger. If you want to ignore Logger debug data, include the following:

config :logger,
  level: :warn

Nostrum exposes the following metadata fields through logger:

  • shard - Id of the shard on which the event occurred
  • guild - Name of the guild on which the voice connection event occurred
  • channel - Name of the channel on which the voice connection event occurred

To enable this metadata, logger can be configured as such:

config :logger, :console,
  metadata: [:shard, :guild, :channel]

For more information on how this works, please see the Logger documentation Nostrum takes advantage of :debug, :warn, and :info.

Example Bot

A very simple example bot can be found here.

A more complex bot can be found here.

An example bot that plays audio through voice channels can be found here.