12.8 Monitors

An alternative to links are monitors. A process Pid1 can create a monitor for Pid2 by calling the BIF erlang:monitor(process, Pid2). The function returns a reference Ref.

If Pid2 terminates with exit reason Reason, a 'DOWN' message is sent to Pid1:

  1. {'DOWN', Ref, process, Pid2, Reason}

If Pid2 does not exist, the 'DOWN' message is sent immediately with Reason set to noproc.

Monitors are unidirectional. Repeated calls to erlang:monitor(process, Pid) creates several independent monitors, and each one sends a 'DOWN' message when Pid terminates.

A monitor can be removed by calling erlang:demonitor(Ref).

Monitors can be created for processes with registered names, also at other nodes.