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Build Status License GitHub tag Quicklisp dist

Warning; WIP

The software is still alpha quality.
The functionalities are incomplete and may cause unkown bugs.


This project aims to provide a beginner-friendly REPL for Common Lisp with rich functionalities, such as IPython for Python.

What this project tries to achieve are listed here.

  • powerful line editting with gnu readline.
  • tab-completion of symbols.
  • simple installation instruction.
  • code editting with text editor.
  • useful debugger & inspector. (incomplete)
  • syntax highlighting of input texts.
  • implementation independence. (only SBCL supported)

Screenshots can be found here.


We recommend to use roswell.
CL-REPL can be installed via roswell as follows.

$ ros install koji-kojiro/cl-repl

Before installation, please ensure that gnu readline is installed.
If you use OSX, you might need to execute following command.

$ brew link --force readline

Also, ensure that your terminal support 256 colors.

Note about installation via Roswell

If you installed roswell with normal configurations, cl-repl will be located in ~/.roswell/bin.   To use cl-repl from the command line, please ensure the PATH variable includes ~/.roswell/bin.


$ cl-repl


$ ros repl

Some useful magic commands are ready to use. To list available commands:

CL-USER> %help


You can customize CL-REPL by editting ~/.replrc. You can change appearance, add your own commands, and do anything you want when startup.
An example can be found here.

Syntax highlighting

Syntax highlighiting of input area is new in v0.5.0. If you want to disable it, put the following in your .replrc.


execute shell

If the line starts with !, excute it as shell command, e.g. !ls -a.

%edit magic

Line editting in repl is sometimes painful. CL-REPL allows yot to edit code with your favorite text editor.

CL-REPL> %edit <filename>

CL-REPL invokes a text editor specified by $EDITOR.
After editting code, save and close it. Then repl will start to evaluate it.
If <filename> is not supplied, a temporary file will be created and deleted after evaluation.

We've be sure the following editors work properly.

  • vi & vim
  • GNU Emacs
  • joe's own editor
  • Lem


Don't hesitate to open issues or to send PRs.
Any suggestions are always welcomed.


TANI Kojiro (


CL-REPL is distributed under GPLv3.


A full-featured repl implementation designed to work with Roswell








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