clisp - ANSI Common Lisp compiler, interpreter and debugger.
clisp [[-h] | [--help]] [--version] [--license] [-help-image]
[-B lisp-lib-dir] [-b] [-K linking-set] [-M mem-file]
[-m memory-size] [-L language] [-N locale-dir]
[-Edomain encoding] [[-q] | [--quiet] | [--silent] | [-v] |
[--verbose]] [-on-error action] [-repl] [-w] [-I] [[-ansi] |
[-traditional]] [-modern] [-p package] [-C] [-norc]
[-lp directory...] [-i init-file...]
[-c [-l] lisp-file [-o output-file]...] [-x expressions...]
Invokes the Common Lisp interpreter and compiler. When called
without arguments, executes the read-eval-print loop, in which
expressions are in turn READ from the standard input, EVALuated
by the lisp interpreter, and their results are PRINTed to the
standard output. Invoked with -c, compiles the specified lisp files to
a platform-independent bytecode which can be executed more efficiently.
Displays a help message on how to invoke CLISP.
Displays the CLISP version number, as given by the function
LISP-IMPLEMENTATION-VERSION, the value of the variable
*FEATURES*, as well some other information.
Displays a summary of the licensing information, the GNU GPL.
Displays information about the memory image being invoked: whether
is it suitable for scripting as well as the :DOCUMENTATION supplied
Specifies the installation directory. This is the directory
containing the linking sets and other data files. This option is
normally not necessary, because the installation directory is
already built-in into the clisp executable. Directory lisp-lib-dir
can be changed dynamically using the SYMBOL-MACRO
Print the installation directory and exit immediately. The
namestring of CUSTOM:*LIB-DIRECTORY* is printed without any quotes.
This is mostly useful in module Makefiles, see, e.g.,
modules/syscalls/Makefile.in (file in the CLISP sources).
Specifies the linking set to be run. This is a directory (relative
to the lisp-lib-dir) containing at least a main executable
(runtime) and an initial memory image. Possible values are
the core CLISP
core plus all the modules with which this installation was
built, see Section 32.2, “External Modules”.
The default is base.
Specifies the initial memory image. This must be a memory dump
produced by the EXT:SAVEINITMEM function by this clisp runtime. It
may have been compressed using GNU gzip.
Sets the amount of memory CLISP tries to grab on startup. The
amount may be given as
measured in bytes
measured in machine words (4×n on 32-bit platforms, 8×n on
measured in kilobytes
measured in kilowords
measured in megabytes
measured in megawords
The default is 3 megabytes. The argument is constrained above 100
This version of CLISP is not likely to actually use the entire
memory-size since garbage-collection will periodically reduce the
amount of used memory. It is therefore common to specify 10 MB even
if only 2 MB are going to be used.
Specifies the language CLISP uses to communicate with the user.
This may be one of english, german, french, spanish, dutch,
russian, danish. Other languages may be specified through the
environment variable LANG, provided the corresponding message
catalog is installed. The language may be changed dynamically
using the SYMBOL-MACRO CUSTOM:*CURRENT-LANGUAGE*.
Specifies the base directory of locale files. CLISP will search
its message catalogs in locale-dir/language/LC_MESSAGES/clisp.mo.
This directory may be changed dynamically using the
Specifies the encoding used for the given domain, overriding the
default which depends on the environment variables LC_ALL,
LC_CTYPE, LANG. domain can be
affecting all of the above.
Note that the values of these SYMBOL-MACROs that have been
saved in a memory image are ignored: these SYMBOL-MACROs
are reset based on the OS environment after the memory image is
loaded. You have to use the RC file, CUSTOM:*INIT-HOOKS* or
init function to set them on startup, but it is best to set the
aforementioned environment variables appropriately for
consistency with other programs. See Section 31.1, “Customizing
CLISP Process Initialization and Termination”.
Change verbosity level: by default, CLISP displays a banner at
startup and a good-bye message when quitting, and initializes
*LOAD-VERBOSE* and *COMPILE-VERBOSE* to T, and
*LOAD-PRINT* and *COMPILE-PRINT* to NIL, as per [ANSI
CL standard]. The first -q removes the banner and the good-bye
message, the second sets variables *LOAD-VERBOSE*,
*COMPILE-VERBOSE* and CUSTOM:*SAVEINITMEM-VERBOSE* to NIL.
The first -v sets variables CUSTOM:*REPORT-ERROR-PRINT-BACKTRACE*,
*LOAD-PRINT* and *COMPILE-PRINT* to T, the second sets
CUSTOM:*LOAD-ECHO* to T. These settings affect the output
produced by -i and -c options. Note that these settings persist
into the read-eval-print loop. Repeated -q and -v cancel each
other, e.g., -q -q -v -v -v is equivalent to -v.
Override (or force) the batch mode imposed by -c, -x, and
lisp-file, depending on action:.PP appease
continuable ERRORs are turned into WARNINGs (with
EXT:APPEASE-CERRORS) other ERRORs are handled in the
ERRORs INVOKE-DEBUGGER (the normal read-eval-print
continuable ERRORs are appeased, other ERRORs are
ABORTed with EXT:ABORT-ON-ERROR
continuable ERRORs are appeased, other ERRORs
terminate CLISP with EXT:EXIT-ON-ERROR
See also EXT:SET-GLOBAL-HANDLER.
Start an interactive read-eval-print loop after processing the
-c, -x, and lisp-file options and on any ERROR SIGNALed
during that processing.
Wait for a keypress after program termination.
Interact better with Emacs (useful when running CLISP under
Emacs using SLIME, ILISP et al). With this option,
CLISP interacts in a way that Emacs can deal with:
· unnecessary prompts are not suppressed.
· The GNU readline library treats TAB (see TAB key) as a
normal self-inserting character (see Q: A.4.6).
Comply with the [ANSI CL standard] specification even where
CLISP has been traditionally different by setting the
SYMBOL-MACRO CUSTOM:*ANSI* to T.
Traditional: reverses the residual effects of -ansi in the saved
Provides a modern view of symbols: at startup the *PACKAGE*
variable will be set to the “CS-COMMON-LISP-USER” package, and the
*PRINT-CASE* will be set to :DOWNCASE. This has the effect that
symbol lookup is case-sensitive (except for keywords and old-style
packages) and that keywords and uninterned symbols are printed with
lower-case preferrence. See Section 11.5, “Package Case-
At startup the value of the variable *PACKAGE* will be set to
the package named package. The default is the value of
*PACKAGE* when the image was saved, normally
Compile when loading: at startup the value of the variable
CUSTOM:*LOAD-COMPILING* will be set to T. Code being LOADed
will then be COMPILEd on the fly. This results in slower
loading, but faster execution.
Normally CLISP loads the user “run control” (RC) file on
startup (this happens after the -C option is processed). The file
loaded is .clisprc.lisp or .clisprc.fas in the home directory
USER-HOMEDIR-PATHNAME, whichever is newer. This option, -norc,
prevents loading of the RC file.
Specifies directories to be added to CUSTOM:*LOAD-PATHS* at
startup. This is done after loading the RC file (so that it does
not override the command-line option) but before loading the
init-files specified by the -i options (so that the init-files will
be searched for in the specified directories). Several -lp options
can be given; all the specified directories will be added.
Specifies initialization files to be LOADed at startup. These
should be lisp files (source or compiled). Several -i options can
be given; all the specified files will be loaded in order.
Compiles the specified lisp-files to bytecode (*.fas). The compiled
files can then be LOADed instead of the sources to gain
Specifies the output file or directory for the compilation of the
last specified lisp-file.
Produce a bytecode DISASSEMBLE listing (*.lis) of the files
being compiled. Useful only for debugging. See Section 24.1,
“Function COMPILE-FILE” for details.
Executes a series of arbitrary expressions instead of a
read-eval-print loop. The values of the expressions will be
output to *STANDARD-OUTPUT*. Due to the argument processing
done by the shell, the expressions must be enclosed in double
quotes, and double quotes and backslashes must be escaped with
lisp-file [ argument ... ]
Loads and executes a lisp-file, as described in Script execution.
There will be no read-eval-print loop. Before lisp-file is
loaded, the variable EXT:*ARGS* will be bound to a list of strings,
representing the arguments. The first line of lisp-file may start
with #!, thus permitting CLISP to be used as a script
interpreter. If lisp-file is -, the *STANDARD-INPUT* is used
instead of a file.
This option is disabled if the memory image was created by
EXT:SAVEINITMEM with NIL :SCRIPT argument. In that case the
LIST EXT:*ARGS* starts with lisp-file.
This option must be the last one.
No RC file will be executed.
As usual, -- stops option processing and places all remaining command
line arguments into EXT:*ARGS*.
The language implemented is ANSI Common Lisp. The
implementation mostly conforms to the ANSI Common Lisp standard, see
Section 31.10, “Maximum ANSI CL compliance”. [ANSI CL] ANSI CL
standard1994. ANSI INCITS 226-1994 (R1999)
Information Technology - Programming Language - Common Lisp
[formerly ANSI X3.226-1994 (R1999)].
COMMAND LINE USER ENVIRONMENT
get context-sensitive on-line help, see Chapter 25, Environment.
list the SYMBOLs matching name.
describe the symbol.
EOF (Control+D on UNIX)
leave the current level of the read-eval-print loop (see also
Section 1.1, “Special Symbols ”).
for editing and viewing the input history, using the GNU
· If you are in the “function position” (in the first symbol
after an opening paren or in the first symbol after a #´),
the completion is limited to the symbols that name functions.
· If you are in the "filename position" (inside a string after
#P), the completion is done across file names, GNU
· If you have not typed anything yet, you will get a help
message, as if by the help command.
· If you have not started typing the next symbol (i.e., you are
at a whitespace), the current function or macro is DESCRIBEd.
· Otherwise, the symbol you are currently typing is completed.
USING AND EXTENDING CLISP
Common Lisp is a programmable programming language. —John
Foderaro.PP When CLISP is invoked, the runtime loads the
initial memory image and outputs the prompt; at which one can start
typing DEFVARs, DEFUNs and DEFMACROs.
To avoid having to re-enter the same definitions by hand in every
session, one can create a lisp file with all the variables, functions,
macros, etc.; (optionally) compile it with COMPILE-FILE; and
LOAD it either by hand or from the RC file; or save a memory image
to avoid the LOAD overhead.
However, sometimes one needs to use some functionality implemented in
another language, e.g., call a C library function. For that one
uses the Foreign Function Interface and/or the External Modules
facility. Finally, the truly adventurous ones might delve into
Extending the Core.
startup driver (an executable or, rarely, a shell script) which
remembers the location of the runtime and starts it with the
main executable (runtime) - the part of CLISP implemented in
initial memory image (the part of CLISP implemented in lisp)
site-dependent configuration (should have been customized before
CLISP was built); see Section 31.12, “Customizing CLISP
lisp code, compiled by CLISP
lisp source library information, generated by COMPILE-FILE, see
Section 24.3, “Function REQUIRE”.
C code, compiled from lisp source by CLISP (see Section 32.3,
“The Foreign Function Call Facility”)
For the CLISP source files, see Chapter 34, The source files of
All environment variables that CLISP uses are read at most once.
specifies the language CLISP uses to communicate with the user.
The legal values are identical to those of the -L option which can
be used to override this environment variable.
specifies the locale which determines the character set in use. The
value can be of the form language or language_country or
language_country.charset, where language is a two-letter ISO 639
language code (lower case), country is a two-letter ISO 3166
country code (upper case). charset is an optional character set
specification, and needs normally not be given because the
character set can be inferred from the language and country. This
environment variable can be overridden with the -Edomain
specifies the language CLISP uses to communicate with the user,
unless it is already specified through the environment variable
CLISP_LANGUAGE or the -L option. It also specifies the locale
determining the character set in use, unless already specified
through the environment variable LC_CTYPE. The value may begin
with a two-letter ISO 639 language code, for example en, de, fr.
used for determining the value of the function
is used to find the interactive command interpreter called by
determines the screen size recognized by the pretty printer.
for SHORT-SITE-NAME and LONG-SITE-NAME in config.lisp.
for CUSTOM:CLHS-ROOT in config.lisp.
for CUSTOM:IMPNOTES-ROOT in config.lisp.
for editor-name in config.lisp.
CMU CL - cmucl(1)
Emacs - emacs(1)
XEmacs - xemacs(1)
When you encounter a bug in CLISP or in its documentation (this
manual page or CLISP impnotes), please report it to the CLISP
SourceForge bug tracker.
Before submitting a bug report, please take the following basic steps
to make the report more useful:
1. Please do a clean build (remove your build directory and build
CLISP with ./configure --cbc build or at least do a make
distclean before make).
2. If you are reporting a “hard crash” (segmentation fault, bus error,
core dump etc), please do ./configure --with-debug --cbc build-g ;
cd build-g; gdb lisp.run, then load the appropriate linking set by
either base or full gdb command, and report the backtrace (see
also Q: A.1.1.10).
3. If you are using pre-built binaries and experience a hard crash,
the problem is likely to be in the incompatibilities between the
platform on which the binary was built and yours; please try
compiling the sources and report the problem if it persists.
When submitting a bug report, please specify the following information:
1. What is your platform (uname -a on a UNIX system)? Compiler
version? GNU libc version (on GNU/Linux)?
2. Where did you get the sources or binaries? When? (Absolute dates,
e.g., “2006-01-17”, are preferred over the relative ones, e.g., “2
3. How did you build CLISP? (What command, options &c.)
4. What is the output of clisp --version?
5. Please supply the full output (copy and paste) of all the error
messages, as well as detailed instructions on how to reproduce
· Enhance the compiler so that it can inline local functions.
· Embed CLISP in VIM.
Bruno Haible <http://www.haible.de/bruno/>
The original author and long-time maintainer.
Michael Stoll <http://www.faculty.iu-bremen.de/mstoll/>
The original author.
Sam Steingold <http://sds.podval.org/>
Co-maintainer since 1998.
See COPYRIGHT (file in the CLISP sources) for the list of other
contributors and the license.
CopyrightCopyright © 1992-2009 Bruno Haible
Copyright © 1998-2009 Sam Steingold
1. Common Lisp
2. read-eval-print loop
12. environment variable
38. The American National Standards Institute
39. Information Technology - Programming Language - Common Lisp
46. John Foderaro
53. CMU CL
55. SourceForge bug tracker