Embeddable Common Lisp that compiles for iPhone.
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ECL-iphone is a version of Embedable Common Lisp that compiles for the ARM architecture and iPhone OS. Currently, this library successfully compiles and runs on the iPhone, allowing you to run Common Lisp programs on iPhone OS. This works for phones that are NOT jailbroken (and presumably those that are).

See the origin blog post announcing ECL for iphone here.


cd ecl sh make-iphone

The library files should be installed in install_iPhoneOS/lib/. If they are not, then something probably went wrong during the installation process. The build script is pretty dumb, so it will keep going even if individual steps encounter errors. So if you get problems look for the error highest up in the output.


AS A RESULT of much agony in the archaic land of C portage, we have come out not just with ECL but with a version of the Boehm Garbage Collector that works for the iPhone--with multithreading support, no less! It is your job to extract the code (it should not be hard--it's just the gc directory).

Missing Features

THIS VERSION OF ECL does not have any extra bells and whistles. It is built without threads, bignum support, and ASDF. If you add any of these features, let me or the ECL list know so we can all share the wealth.


Actually, I believe threading does work. It has been a while, but I certainly remember geting the GC to work with multithreading support.


ASDF is essential for modern lisp programming, but it is currently missing. The reason is that ECL's method of compiling (running gcc) is unavailable from iPhone itself. As a result, the functions COMPILE and COMPILE-FILE do not currently work. ASDF requires these operations, and so ASDF does not work.

Some notes on the ASDF issue from the ecl mailing list:

Red Daly:

However, I still don?t have all the bells and whisltes working correctly. My current problem is getting ASDF to properly compile into ECL. I cannot get ECL to build, even for the i386 Darwin non-cross-compiled version of ECL, when I have ASDF enabled and the ?disable-shared flag set in the configuration script. [...] Any idea what?s going on here? The error message doesn?t really tell me much about what?s going wrong. I am even more confused about why the ?disable-shared flag makes any difference.

Juan Jose Garcia-Ripoll (the main ECL man): ?disable-shared means you cannot compile code and load it. That is why ASDF is not building. My question now is, does you iPhone have a C compiler? If not then you will have to install a fake version of COMPILE-FILE and COMPILE and try to teach ASDF to use it. It might be a nice addition to ECL for environments without a C compiler but, as I said, it is fake: there will be no compilation going on.