Skip to content
A Scheme-flavored Lisp implemented in Go.
Go Scheme NewLisp Other
Branch: master
Clone or download


GoLisp is a simple Lisp language and runtime implemented in Google’s Go programming language. It’s main purpose is integration into a Go application to provide runtime extension and scripting. The core of a basic Lisp is provided, but with limited special forms and primitive functions. More of these will be added as required without having to modify the GoLisp core. Also, a REPL is provided and GoLisp can be used as-is to enter and evaluate code.

It is heavily inspired and influenced by Scheme (MIT/GNU scheme in particular). GoLisp 1.0 is much more in line with Scheme, but it is at it's heart a language for our purposes internally. It's growth and evolution reflect that.

GoLisp evolves along 4 axis:

  • becoming more compatible with MIT/GNU Scheme (GoLisp v1.0 is a huge move forward in this regard)
  • supporting more capabilities of the underlying Go implementation language (e.g. recent work supporting concurrency and channels)
  • our particular needs (e.g. byte array support)
  • useful additions (e.g. frames)

If GoLisp has a form or function that is also in MIT/GNU scheme, we strive to make it work the same way.

As much as possible the internals echo those in MIT/GNU Scheme. For example, the lexical environment structure/handling.

So, while it is intentionally very much like MIT/GNU Scheme, it is not constrained to conform the specification. That said, unless our extensions are used, code will usually be indistinguishable.

A complete language reference and other material is available at

A sample application is also available at

GoLisp has the following dependencies:

go get go get go get

You can’t perform that action at this time.