cmucl is a free, high-performance implementation of the Common Lisp programming language which runs on most major Unix platforms. It mainly conforms to the ANSI Common Lisp standard. Here is a summary of its main features:
This user’s manual contains only implementation-specific information about cmucl. Users will also need a separate manual describing the Common Lisp standard, for example, the Hyperspec.
In addition to the language itself, this document describes a number of useful library modules that run in cmucl. Hemlock, an Emacs-like text editor, is included as an integral part of the cmucl environment. Two documents describe Hemlock: the Hemlock User’s Manual, and the Hemlock Command Implementor’s Manual.
cmucl is developed and maintained by a group of volunteers who collaborate over the internet. Sources and binary releases for the various supported platforms can be obtained from www.cons.org/cmucl. These pages describe how to download by FTP or CVS.
A number of mailing lists are available for users and developers; please see the web site for more information.
The command line syntax and environment is described in the
lisp(1) man page in the man/man1 directory of the
distribution. See also
cmucl accepts the
Currently, this option is only available for the x86 and sparc platforms.
where machine-name is the internet host name for the machine and socket is the decimal number of the socket to connect to.machine-name:socket
For more details on the use of the -edit and -slave switches, see the Hemlock User’s Manual.
Arguments to the above switches can be specified in one of two ways: switch=value or switch<space>value. For example, to start up the saved core file mylisp.core use either of the following two commands:
lisp -core=mylisp.core lisp -core mylisp.core
cmucl was developed at the Computer Science Department of Carnegie Mellon University. The work was a small autonomous part within the Mach microkernel-based operating system project, and started more as a tool development effort than a research project. The project started out as Spice Lisp, which provided a modern Lisp implementation for use in the CMU community. cmucl has been under continual development since the early 1980’s (concurrent with the Common Lisp standardization effort). Most of the CMU Common Lisp implementors went on to work on the Gwydion environment for Dylan. The CMU team was lead by Scott E. Fahlman, the Python compiler was written by Robert MacLachlan.
cmucl’s CLOS implementation is derived from the PCL reference implementation written at Xerox PARC:
Copyright (c) 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 Xerox Corporation.
All rights reserved.
Use and copying of this software and preparation of derivative works based upon this software are permitted. Any distribution of this software or derivative works must comply with all applicable United States export control laws.
This software is made available AS IS, and Xerox Corporation makes no warranty about the software, its performance or its conformity to any specification.
Its implementation of the LOOP macro was derived from code from Symbolics, which was derived from code written at MIT:
Portions of LOOP are Copyright (c) 1986 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
All Rights Reserved.
Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the M.I.T. copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. The names "M.I.T." and "Massachusetts Institute of Technology" may not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission. Notice must be given in supporting documentation that copying distribution is by permission of M.I.T. M.I.T. makes no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.
Portions of LOOP are Copyright (c) 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 by Symbolics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Permission to use, copy, modify and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the Symbolics copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. The name "Symbolics" may not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission. Notice must be given in supporting documentation that copying distribution is by permission of Symbolics. Symbolics makes no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.
Symbolics, CLOE Runtime, and Minima are trademarks, and CLOE, Genera, and Zetalisp are registered trademarks of Symbolics, Inc.
The CLX code is copyrighted by Texas Instruments Incorporated:
Copyright (C) 1987 Texas Instruments Incorporated.
Permission is granted to any individual or institution to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software, provided that this complete copyright and permission notice is maintained, intact, in all copies and supporting documentation.
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides this software "as is" without express or implied warranty.
cmucl was funded by DARPA under CMU’s "Research on Parallel Computing" contract. Rather than doing pure research on programming languages and environments, the emphasis was on developing practical programming tools. Sometimes this required new technology, but much of the work was in creating a Common Lisp environment that incorporates state-of-the-art features from existing systems (both Lisp and non-Lisp). Archives of the project are available online.
The project funding stopped in 1994, so support at Carnegie Mellon University has been discontinued. All code and documentation developed at CMU was released into the public domain. The project continues as a group of users and developers collaborating over the Internet. The current and previous maintainers include:
In particular, Paul Werkowski and Douglas Crosher completed the port for the x86 architecture for FreeBSD. Peter VanEnyde took the FreeBSD port and created a Linux version. Other people who have contributed to the development of cmucl since 1981 are
Countless others have contributed to the project by sending in bug reports, bug fixes, and new features.
This manual is based on CMU Technical Report CMU-CS-92-161, edited by Robert A. MacLachlan, dated July 1992. Other contributors include Raymond Toy, Paul Werkowski and Eric Marsden. The Hierarchical Packages chapter is based on documentation written by Franz. Inc, and is used with permission. The remainder of the document is in the public domain.