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  • an IDE for Common Lisp
  • slimv (Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Vim) and tmux (terminal multiplexer) in a Docker container
  • with sbcl and abcl
    • you choose one at container run time with an environment variable (see below)
  • also including:
    • quicklisp
    • a copy of the common lisp hyperspec (for offline use)
      • which opens with w3m.vim (a vim plugin for w3m)
    • support for CEPL on a system without hardware acceleration
    • fzf (fuzzy finder)
      • to find files in your current host directory press :FZF
      • to find files in quicklisp packages press :FZF ~
      • then press ctrl-x to bring that selected file into a horizontal split
    • vim-sexp
      • if you want to disable structural editing you can edit .vimrc, comment out Plugin 'guns/vim-sexp', and rebuild the image



  • setting up slimv the first time took me a few hours and that could be an impediment to someone attempting to use slimv so i wanted to remove the impediment for first time slimv users


  • you need to have docker installed

    • install_docker

    • you'll probably want to follow the instructions referenced by "Continue to Linux postinstall to allow non-privileged users to run Docker commands and for other optional configuration steps."

  • then you have to build this image yourself

    • clone this repo and cd into it
  docker build --build-arg=uid=`id -u` --build-arg=gid=`id -g` -t justin2004/slimv_box .
  • then i would create an alias in your .bashrc like this
    • for sbcl
   alias  vv='docker run --user=`id -u`:`id -u` -e CL_IMPLEMENTATION=sbcl --net=host --rm -it -v `pwd`:/mnt justin2004/slimv_box'
  • then another
    • for abcl
   alias vva='docker run --user=`id -u`:`id -u` -e CL_IMPLEMENTATION=abcl --net=host --rm -it -v `pwd`:/mnt justin2004/slimv_box'
  • then perhaps another
    • if you want to output to X11 (for CEPL)
   alias vvc='docker run -e DISPLAY=$DISPLAY -v ~/.Xauthority:/home/containeruser/.Xauthority -v /tmp/.X11-unix:/tmp/.X11-unix --user=`id -u`:`id -u` --rm -it --e CL_IMPLEMENTATION=sbcl --net=host -v `pwd`:/mnt justin2004/slimv_box'
  • assuming you've built the image already

  • cd to the directory where you have some common lisp source files you want to edit

  • run "vv"

  • now you should be in the container and vim should be running inside tmux

  • either create a new file ":e newfile.lisp" or open an existing one ":e oldfile.lisp"

  • press ,c to start swank

  • you can now follow the tutorial:

  • when you are done editing your .lisp files be sure to :w them, press ,Q to quit the sbcl REPL, then :q


  • if you don't want to wait for the quicklisp downloads each time you start slimv_box then use a docker volume
    • e.g.
   alias vv='docker run --user=`id -u`:`id -u` --rm -it --net=host -v slimv_box_userhome:/home/containeruser -v `pwd`:/mnt justin2004/slimv_box'
  • only files in the /mnt directory (in the container) are saved when you leave vim!

  • don't run vv from within an existing tmux session or else you'll end up with an embedded tmux session

  • you'll need to know how to use:

    • vim
    • tmux
    • common lisp
    • docker (well you just need docker ce installed and your user account needs to be in the docker group)
  • TODO maybe i should add gvim and/or xterm support so that the slimv menu is visible and clickable because i bet some users would prefer the GUI-ish approach to slimv