Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP
A Unix shell embedded in scheme
branch: master

This branch is 93 commits behind scheme:master

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.
constance @ c90c323
rx @ e24c05c


Scsh is a unix shell embedded in Scheme. What does that mean? Well, unix shells are powerful tools. They allow a user to concisely specify her commands and the communications between them (piping, redirecting, &c.). When she needs to do something more complex than running a set of commands with known inputs, however, things become complicated. General programming with sh can be unpleasant and error prone, to say the least.

Scheme is a simple, expressive general programming language. A user with some taste may want to use it to wield her computing machine. For simple commands, however, it is not the most concise. At the scale of the command line, even the overhead of parentheses matters. It would be nice to use each of these languages where their strengths lie.

Scsh is the solution. It allows the user to write commands in a language within Scheme that follows the unix way, but also allows her to specify more complex commands with the elegance of Scheme.

Getting Started


In order to run scsh, you'll need to be running on a POSIX complient operating system, the gnu build system, and (until its next release) the latest development revision of scheme48 at


Within a fresh checkout of scsh, run the following commands

$ git submodule update --init
$ autoreconf
$ ./configure
$ make

That'll pull all the scheme dependencies and build scsh. To try scsh before installing, run ./go from that same directory. That'll open up a repl with standard r5rs scheme in the environment, scsh's command language, and a large posix library (docs to come). To run scsh's test suite, run make test.


Run make install to install scsh on your system. Standard gnu build system rules apply. So, for instance, if you'd like to install to a location other than the default (usually /usr/local/), rerun ./configure the appropriate flags.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.