Armed Bear Common Lisp is a conforming implementation of ANSI X3J13 Common Lisp that runs in a Java virtual machine. It compiles Lisp code directly to Java byte code for execution.
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 (GPLv2) is included in this distribution, in file:COPYING.
We have modified our GPLv2 license section 13 to read:
13. Linking this library statically or dynamically with other modules is making a combined work based on this library. Thus, the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License cover the whole combination. The following paragraph details the "classpath exception" which ABCL allows as an exception to the statement about linking libraries. 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 build -t YOURID/abcl . docker run -it YOURID/abcl
to get something like
illin:~/work/abcl$ docker run -it YOURID/abcl Armed Bear Common Lisp 1.8.0 Java 11.0.8 AdoptOpenJDK 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): (lisp-implementation-version) "1.8.0" "OpenJDK_64-Bit_Server_VM-AdoptOpenJDK-11.0.8+10" "x86_64-Mac_OS_X-10.15.7"
To install Quicklisp for ABCL in the Docker container run:
docker run -t YOURID/abcl abcl \ --batch --load /home/abcl/work/abcl/ci/install-quicklisp.lisp
See file:Dockerfile for the build instructions.
After you have downloaded a binary release from either the
distributed Maven POM graph or from
abcl.org archive unpack it into its own
directory. To run ABCL directly from this directory, make sure the
Java executable (
java) (Java 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, and 15 are
supported by ABCL 1.7.0) is in your shell's path.
To start ABCL, simply issue the following command:
cmd$ java -jar abcl.jar
which should result in output like the following
Armed Bear Common Lisp 1.8.0 Java 11.0.8 AdoptOpenJDK OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM Low-level initialization completed in 0.222 seconds. Startup completed in 1.09 seconds. Type ":help" for a list of available commands. CL-USER(1):
Yer now at the interactive ABCL "Read Eval Print Loop" (REPL): hacks 'n glory await.
For usage of ABCL with the Superior Lisp Interaction Mode for Emacs, one may easily start a Swank listener via:
(require :asdf) (require :abcl-contrib) (asdf:load-system :quicklisp-abcl) (ql:quickload :swank) (swank:create-server :dont-close t)
ABCL may be built from its source code by executing the build instructions file:build.xml expressed by the venerable Apache Ant tool.
To build, one must have a Java 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17 Java Development Kit (openjdk) installed locally. Just the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) isn't enough, as you need the Java compiler ('javac') to compile the Java source of the ABCL implementation.
Download a binary distribution Ant version 1.7.1 or greater. Unpack the files somewhere convenient, ensuring that the 'ant' (or 'ant.bat' under Windows) executable is in your path and executable.
Then simply executing
from the directory containing the file:build.xml instructions will create an executable wrapper ('abcl' under UNIX, 'abcl.bat' under Windows). Use this wrapper to start ABCL.
The build may be customized by copying file:abcl.properties.in to file:abcl.properties, which will cause Ant to attempt to build incrementally as well as optimizing the runtime for a contemporary 64bit desktop/server machine running Java 8 or 11. The file contains incomplete documentation on how it may be edited for subsequent customization. As an alternative to copying the prototype, if one has a version of bash locally, one may issue via Ant
or from the shell as
bash ci/create-abcl-properties.bash openjdk11
Currently supported platforms are 'openjdk6', 'openjdk7', 'openjdk8', 'openjdk11', 'openjdk13', 'openjdk14', 'openjdk15', 'openjd16', and 'openjdk17'.
Alternatively, one may install the Netbeans visual integrated development environment, which contains both the Java Development Kit as well as the Ant build tool. The source distribution contains Netbeans-specific project artifacts under file:nbproject for loading ABCL as a Netbeans project.
With Netbeans, one should be able to open the ABCL directory as a
project whereupon the usual build, run, and debug targets as invoked
in the GUI are available. Use the 'slime' config with a suitably
swank.asd ASDF configuration
file:~/.config/common-lisp/source-registry.conf.d/ to connect a REPL
to the NetBeans debug process.
Armed Bear Common Lisp strives to be a conforming ANSI X3J13 Common Lisp implementation. Any other behavior should be reported as a bug.
ABCL has a User Manual stating its conformance to the ANSI standard, providing a compliant and practical Common Lisp implementation.
ABCL 1.8.0 currently fails ~49 out of 21848 total tests, whereas ABCL 1.5.0 failed 48 out of 21708 total tests in the revised and expanded ANSI CL test suite (derived from the tests originally written for GCL).
Maxima's test suite runs without failures.
ABCL comes with a test suite. Consult the output of
for more information.
ABCL has many deficiencies, both known and unknown. Descriptions, tests, and even patches to address them will be gladly accepted.
On behalf of all ABCL development team and contributors,
Mark Evenson Erik Hülsmann Rudolf Schlatte Alessio Stalla Ville Voutilainen alan dmiles Dmitry Nadezhin olof ferada pipping slyrus vibhu András Simon Peter Graves