Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


       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...]
             [lisp-file [argument...]]


       Invokes the Common Lisp[1] interpreter and compiler. When called
       without arguments, executes the read-eval-print loop[2], in which
       expressions are in turn READ[3] from the standard input, EVAL[4]uated
       by the lisp interpreter, and their results are PRINT[5]ed 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[6].

           Displays the CLISP[6] version number, as given by the function
           LISP-IMPLEMENTATION-VERSION[7], the value of the variable
           *FEATURES*, as well some other information.

           Displays a summary of the licensing information, the GNU[8] GPL[9].

           Displays information about the memory image being invoked: whether
           is it suitable for scripting as well as the :DOCUMENTATION supplied
           to EXT:SAVEINITMEM.

       -B lisp-lib-dir
           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[10]

           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/ (file in the CLISP sources).

       -K linking-set
           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[6]

               core plus all the modules with which this installation was
               built, see Section 32.2, “External Modules”.

           The default is base.

       -M mem-file
           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[8] gzip[11].

       -m memory-size
           Sets the amount of memory CLISP[6] 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
               64-bit platforms)

               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[6] 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.

       -L language
           Specifies the language CLISP[6] 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[12] LANG, provided the corresponding message
           catalog is installed.  The language may be changed dynamically
           using the SYMBOL-MACRO[10] CUSTOM:*CURRENT-LANGUAGE*.

       -N locale-dir
           Specifies the base directory of locale files.  CLISP[6] will search
           its message catalogs in locale-dir/language/LC_MESSAGES/
           This directory may be changed dynamically using the

       -Edomain encoding
           Specifies the encoding used for the given domain, overriding the
           default which depends on the environment variable[12]s LC_ALL,
           LC_CTYPE, LANG.  domain can be

               affecting CUSTOM:*DEFAULT-FILE-ENCODING*

               affecting CUSTOM:*PATHNAME-ENCODING*

               affecting CUSTOM:*TERMINAL-ENCODING*

               affecting CUSTOM:*FOREIGN-ENCODING*

               affecting CUSTOM:*MISC-ENCODING*

               affecting all of the above.

               Note that the values of these SYMBOL-MACRO[10]s that have been
               saved in a memory image are ignored: these SYMBOL-MACRO[10]s
               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 variable[12]s appropriately for
               consistency with other programs. See Section 31.1, “Customizing
               CLISP Process Initialization and Termination”.

           Change verbosity level: by default, CLISP[6] displays a banner at
           startup and a good-bye message when quitting, and initializes
           *LOAD-VERBOSE*[13] and *COMPILE-VERBOSE*[14] to T[15], and
           *LOAD-PRINT*[13] and *COMPILE-PRINT*[14] to NIL[16], as per [ANSI
           CL standard]. The first -q removes the banner and the good-bye
           message, the second sets variables *LOAD-VERBOSE*[13],
           The first -v sets variables CUSTOM:*REPORT-ERROR-PRINT-BACKTRACE*,
           *LOAD-PRINT*[13] and *COMPILE-PRINT*[14] to T[15], the second sets
           CUSTOM:*LOAD-ECHO* to T[15]. These settings affect the output
           produced by -i and -c options. Note that these settings persist
           into the read-eval-print loop[2]. Repeated -q and -v cancel each
           other, e.g., -q -q -v -v -v is equivalent to -v.

       -on-error action
           Override (or force) the batch mode imposed by -c, -x, and
           lisp-file, depending on action:.PP appease
               continuable[17] ERROR[18]s are turned into WARNING[19]s (with
               EXT:APPEASE-CERRORS) other ERROR[18]s are handled in the
               default way

               ERROR[18]s INVOKE-DEBUGGER[20] (the normal read-eval-print
               loop[2] behavior)

               continuable[17] ERROR[18]s are appeased, other ERROR[18]s are
               ABORT[21]ed with EXT:ABORT-ON-ERROR

               continuable[17] ERROR[18]s are appeased, other ERROR[18]s
               terminate CLISP[6] with EXT:EXIT-ON-ERROR

           See also EXT:SET-GLOBAL-HANDLER.

           Start an interactive read-eval-print loop[2] after processing the
           -c, -x, and lisp-file options and on any ERROR[18] SIGNAL[22]ed
           during that processing.

           Wait for a keypress after program termination.

           Interact better with Emacs[23] (useful when running CLISP[6] under
           Emacs[23] using SLIME[24], ILISP[25] et al). With this option,
           CLISP[6] interacts in a way that Emacs[23] can deal with:

           ·   unnecessary prompts are not suppressed.

           ·   The GNU[8] readline[26] 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[6] has been traditionally different by setting the
           SYMBOL-MACRO[10] CUSTOM:*ANSI* to T[15].

           Traditional: reverses the residual effects of -ansi in the saved
           memory image.

           Provides a modern view of symbols: at startup the *PACKAGE*[27]
           variable will be set to the “CS-COMMON-LISP-USER” package, and the
           *PRINT-CASE*[28] 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-

       -p package
           At startup the value of the variable *PACKAGE*[27] will be set to
           the package named package. The default is the value of
           *PACKAGE*[27] when the image was saved, normally

           Compile when loading: at startup the value of the variable
           CUSTOM:*LOAD-COMPILING* will be set to T[15]. Code being LOAD[30]ed
           will then be COMPILE[31]d on the fly. This results in slower
           loading, but faster execution.

           Normally CLISP[6] loads the user “run control(RC)[32] 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[33], whichever is newer. This option, -norc,
           prevents loading of the RC file.

       -lp directory
           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.

       -i init-file
           Specifies initialization files to be LOAD[30]ed 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.

       -c lisp-file
           Compiles the specified lisp-files to bytecode (*.fas). The compiled
           files can then be LOAD[30]ed instead of the sources to gain

       -o outputfile
           Specifies the output file or directory for the compilation of the
           last specified lisp-file.

           Produce a bytecode DISASSEMBLE[34] listing (*.lis) of the files
           being compiled. Useful only for debugging. See Section 24.1,
           “Function COMPILE-FILE” for details.

       -x expressions
           Executes a series of arbitrary expressions instead of a
           read-eval-print loop[2]. The values of the expressions will be
           output to *STANDARD-OUTPUT*[35]. 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[2]. 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[6] to be used as a script
           interpreter.  If lisp-file is -, the *STANDARD-INPUT*[35] is used
           instead of a file.

           This option is disabled if the memory image was created by
           EXT:SAVEINITMEM with NIL[16] :SCRIPT argument. In that case the
           LIST[36] 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[38][37] Common Lisp[1]. 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[39]
           [formerly ANSI X3.226-1994 (R1999)].


           get context-sensitive on-line help, see Chapter 25, Environment.

       (APROPOS name)
           list the SYMBOL[40]s matching name.

       (DESCRIBE symbol)
           describe the symbol.

           quit CLISP[6].

       EOF (Control+D on UNIX[41])
           leave the current level of the read-eval-print loop[2] (see also
           Section 1.1, “Special Symbols ”).

       arrow keys
           for editing and viewing the input history, using the GNU[8]
           readline[26] library.

       TAB key
           Context sensitive:

           ·   If you are in the “function position” (in the first symbol
               after an opening paren or in the first symbol after a [43]),
               the completion is limited to the symbols that name functions.

           ·   If you are in the "filename position" (inside a string after
               #P[44]), the completion is done across file names, GNU[8]

           ·   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.


       Common Lisp[1] is a programmable programming language.  —John
         Foderaro[46].PP When CLISP[6] is invoked, the runtime loads the
       initial memory image and outputs the prompt; at which one can start
       typing DEFVAR[47]s, DEFUN[48]s and DEFMACRO[49]s.

       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[50]; and
       LOAD[30] it either by hand or from the RC file; or save a memory image
       to avoid the LOAD[30] overhead.

       However, sometimes one needs to use some functionality implemented in
       another language, e.g., call a C[51] 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
           appropriate arguments
           main executable (runtime) - the part of CLISP[6] implemented in

           initial memory image (the part of CLISP[6] implemented in lisp)

           site-dependent configuration (should have been customized before
           CLISP[6] was built); see Section 31.12, “Customizing CLISP

           lisp source

           lisp code, compiled by CLISP[6]

           lisp source library information, generated by COMPILE-FILE, see
           Section 24.3, “Function REQUIRE”.

           C code, compiled from lisp source by CLISP[6] (see Section 32.3,
           “The Foreign Function Call Facility”)

       For the CLISP[6] source files, see Chapter 34, The source files of


       All environment variable[12]s that CLISP[6] uses are read at most once.

           specifies the language CLISP[6] 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[12].

           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[12] can be overridden with the -Edomain
           encoding option.

           specifies the language CLISP[6] uses to communicate with the user,
           unless it is already specified through the environment variable[12]
           CLISP_LANGUAGE or the -L option.  It also specifies the locale
           determining the character set in use, unless already specified
           through the environment variable[12] 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[52] and LONG-SITE-NAME[52] in config.lisp.

           for CUSTOM:CLHS-ROOT in config.lisp.

           for CUSTOM:IMPNOTES-ROOT in config.lisp.

           for editor-name in config.lisp.



           CLISP impnotes
           CMU CL[53] - cmucl(1)
           Emacs[23] - emacs(1)
           XEmacs[54] - xemacs(1)


       When you encounter a bug in CLISP[6] or in its documentation (this
       manual page or CLISP impnotes), please report it to the CLISP[6]
       SourceForge bug tracker[55].

       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[6] 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, then load the appropriate linking set by
           either base or full gdb[56] 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[41] system)? Compiler
           version?  GNU[8] libc[57] version (on GNU[8]/Linux[58])?

        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
           days ago”).

        3. How did you build CLISP[6]? (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[6] in VIM[59].


       Bruno Haible <>
           The original author and long-time maintainer.

       Michael Stoll <>
           The original author.

       Sam Steingold <>
           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
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/sec_25-1-1

        3. READ

        4. EVAL

        5. PRINT

        6. CLISP


        8. GNU

        9. GPL

       10. SYMBOL-MACRO
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/mac_define-symbol-macro

       11. gzip

       12. environment variable
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/basedefs/xbd_chap.html

       13. *LOAD-VERBOSE*

       14. *COMPILE-VERBOSE*

       15. T

       16. NIL

       17. continuable
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/clhs/glo

       18. ERROR

       19. WARNING


       21. ABORT

       22. SIGNAL

       23. Emacs

       24. SLIME

       25. ILISP

       26. readline

       27. *PACKAGE*

       28. *PRINT-CASE*

       29. “COMMON-LISP-USER”
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/sec_11-1-2-2

       30. LOAD

       31. COMPILE

       32. “run
                control” (RC)


       34. DISASSEMBLE

       35. *STANDARD-OUTPUT*

       36. LIST

       37. ANSI

       38. The American National Standards Institute

       39. Information Technology - Programming Language - Common Lisp

       40. SYMBOL

       41. UNIX

       42. Win32

       43. #’
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/sec_2-4-8-2

       44. #P
           [set $man.base.url.for.relative.links]/sec_2-4-8-14

       45. bash

       46. John Foderaro

       47. DEFVAR

       48. DEFUN

       49. DEFMACRO

       50. COMPILE-FILE

       51. C

       52. SHORT-SITE-NAME

       53. CMU CL

       54. XEmacs

       55. SourceForge bug tracker

       56. gdb

       57. libc

       58. Linux

       59. VIM