Armed Bear Common Lisp
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Armed Bear Common Lisp README


Armed Bear Common Lisp is a conforming implementation of ANSI Common
Lisp that runs in a Java virtual machine.  It compiles Lisp code
directly to Java byte code.


Armed Bear Common Lisp is distributed under the GNU General Public
License with a classpath exception (see "Classpath Exception" below).

A copy of GNU General Public License (GPL) is included in this
distribution, in the file COPYING.

Linking this software statically or dynamically with other modules is
making a combined work based on this software. Thus, the terms and
conditions of the GNU General Public License cover the whole

Classpath Exception

As a special exception, the copyright holders of this software give
you permission to link this software with independent modules to
produce an executable, regardless of the license terms of these
independent modules, and to copy and distribute the resulting
executable under terms of your choice, provided that you also meet,
for each linked independent module, the terms and conditions of the
license of that module. An independent module is a module which is not
derived from or based on this software. If you modify this software,
you may extend this exception to your version of the software, but you
are not obligated to do so. If you do not wish to do so, delete this
exception statement from your version.


With [Docker Engine][] installed one may execute:

    docker run -it easye/abcl

to get

    illin:~/work/abcl$ docker run -it easye/abcl
    Armed Bear Common Lisp 1.5.0-dev
    Java 1.8.0_111 Oracle Corporation
    OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM
    Low-level initialization completed in 0.295 seconds.
    Startup completed in 1.425 seconds.
    Type ":help" for a list of available commands.
    CL-USER(1): 23
    CL-USER(2): (require :abcl-contrib)
    (require :abcl-contrib)
    Using probed value of abcl-contrib:
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/quicklisp/ to ASDF.
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/mvn/ to ASDF.
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/jss/ to ASDF.
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/jfli/ to ASDF.
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/asdf-jar/ to ASDF.
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/abcl-introspect/ to ASDF.
    Added jar:file:/home/abcl/work/abcl/dist/abcl-contrib.jar!/abcl-asdf/ to ASDF.
    ("uiop" "UIOP" "asdf" "ASDF" "ABCL-CONTRIB")

[Docker Engine]:

Building a Docker Image With Modifications

Get the source (see below); make yer mods; use the Dockerfile to build.

        docker build -t YOURID/abcl .
        docker run -it YOURID/abcl 

See <file:Dockerfile> for the build instructions.


After you have downloaded a binary release from either
[Maven][maven-abcl] or from [][] archive
unpack it into its own directory. To run ABCL directly from this
directory, make sure Java (version 1.5 or up) is in your shell's

[maven-abcl]:         <>
[maven-abcl-contrib]: <>
[    <>

Then issue the following command:

    cmd$ java -jar abcl.jar

which should result in output like the following

    Armed Bear Common Lisp 1.4.0
    Java 1.8.0_102 Oracle Corporation
    Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM
    Low-level initialization completed in 0.324 seconds.
    Startup completed in 1.892 seconds.
    Type ":help" for a list of available commands.

Yer now at the interactive ABCL "Read Eval Print Loop" (REPL):  hacks 'n glory await.


There are three ways to build ABCL from the source release with the
preferred (and most tested way) is to being to use the Ant build tool:

* Use the Ant build tool for Java environments.

* Use the NetBeans [678].x IDE to open ABCL as a project.

* Bootstrap ABCL using a Common Lisp implementation. Supported
  implementations for this process: SBCL, CMUCL, OpenMCL, Allegro
  CL, LispWorks or CLISP.

In all cases you need a Java 5 or later JDK (JDK 1.[5678] have been
tested).  Just the JRE isn't enough, as you need the Java compiler
('javac') to compile the Java source of the ABCL implementation.

Note that when deploying ABCL having JDK isn't a requirement for the
installation site, just the equivalent JRE, as ABCL compiles directly
to byte code, avoiding the need for the 'javac' compiler in deployment

Using Ant

Download a binary distribution [Ant version 1.7.1 or greater][1].
Unpack the files somewhere convenient, ensuring that the 'ant' (or
'ant.bat' under Windows) executable is in your path and executable.


Then simply executing

    unix$ ant


    dos> ant.bat

from the directory containing this README file will create an
executable wrapper ('abcl' under UNIX, 'abcl.bat' under Windows).  Use
this wrapper to start ABCL.

Using NetBeans

Obtain and install the [NetBeans IDE][2]. One should be able to open
the ABCL directory as a project in the Netbeans application, whereupon
the usual build, run, and debug targets as invoked in the GUI are
available.  Use the 'slime' config with a suitably linked 'swank.asd'
in '~/.asdf-install-dir/systems/' to connect a REPL to the NetBeans
debug process.


Building from Lisp

Building from another Common Lisp implementation is the most venerable
and least tested way of building ABCL.  It produces a "non-standard"
version of the distribution that doesn't share build instructions with
the previous two methods, but it still may be of interest to those who
absolutely don't want to know anything about Java.  The other Common
Lisp implementation does not actually perform any compliation, but is
merely used to orchestrate the invocation of tools in the JDK.

First, copy the file '' to 'customization.lisp',
in the directory containing this README file, editing to suit your
situation, paying attention to the comments in the file.  The critical
step is to have Lisp special variable '*JDK*' point to the root of the
Java Development Kit.  Underneath the directory referenced by the
value of '*JDK*' there should be an executable Java compiler in
'bin/javac' ('bin/javac.exe' under Windows).

Then, one may either use the 'build-from-lisp.bash' shell script or load
the necessary files into your Lisp image by hand.

### Using the 'build-from-lisp.bash' script

Under UNIX-like systems, one may simply invoke the
'build-from-lisp.bash' script.  As noted above, one must first copy the
'' file to 'customizations.lisp', then edit it
to reflect the local configuration most importantly the path to the
Java Development Kit.

After configuring 'customizations.lisp', the following would use SBCL
as the compilation driver to build ABCL:

    unix$ ./build-from-lisp.bash sbcl

After a successful build, you may use 'abcl' ('abcl.bat' on Windows)
to start ABCL.  Note that this wrappers contain absolute paths, so
you'll need to edit them if you move things around after the build.

If you're developing on ABCL, you may want to use

    unix$ ./build-from-lisp.bash <implementation> --clean=nil

to not do a full rebuild.

In case of failure in the javac stage, you might try this:

    unix$ ./build-from-lisp.bash <implementation> --full=t --clean=t --batch=nil

This invokes javac separately for each .java file, which avoids running
into limitations on command line length (but is a lot slower).

### Building from another Lisp manually

There is also an ASDF definition in 'abcl.asd' for the BUILD-ABCL
which can be used to load the necessary Lisp definitions, after which

    CL-USER> (build-abcl:build-abcl :clean t :full t)

will build ABCL.  If ASDF isn't present, simply LOAD the
'customizations.lisp' and 'build-abcl.lisp' files to achieve the same
effect as loading the ASDF definition.


ABCL is a conforming ANSI Common Lisp implementation.  Any other
behavior should be reported as a bug.

ABCL now has a manual stating its conformance to the ANSI standard,
providing a compliant and practical Common Lisp implementation.


ABCL 1.4.0 now fails 47 out of 21708 total tests in the [revised and
expanded ANSI CL test suite][ansi-test] (derived from the tests
originally written for GCL).

[ansi-test]: git+

Maxima's test suite runs without failures.

ABCL comes with a test suite, see the output of `ant help.test` for
more information.

### Deficiencies

Many.  But Patches to address issues mentioned above will be gladly


Please report problems to the development mailing list:


Have fun!


On behalf of all ABCL development team and contributors,

    Mark Evenson
    Erik Huelsmann
    Rudolf Schlatte
    Alessio Stalla
    Ville Voutilainen

    olof ferada

October 2016