cl-launch is a unix utility to make your Lisp software easily invokable from the shell command-line.

License: MIT

Source repository: git clone
Or with the proper account, git clone ssh://

View the repository:

Download it:

Install it in Debian:

sudo apt-get install cl-launch

cl-launch will help you invoke your Lisp software from the Unix command-line or as a #! script. We encourage you to install cl-launch 4.1.2 or later and write scripts using #!/usr/bin/cl. A trivial shim written in C is required for it to work on BSD kernels. It is a self-contained shell-script by Fare Rideau that will abstract away the details of the underlying Lisp implementation by generating the proper Lisp and shell code. Extensive automated testing ensures that it works in thousands of valid combined operation modes, Lisp and shell implementations.


#!/usr/bin/cl -sp lisp-stripper -E main
(defun main (argv)
  (if argv
      (map () 'print-loc-count argv)
      (print-loc-count *standard-input*)))

Or to compare evaluation of a form on all supported implementations:

for l in sbcl ccl clisp cmucl ecl abcl scl allegro lispworks gcl xcl ; do
   cl-launch -l $l -i '(format t "'$l': ~S~%" `#5(1 ,@`(2 3)))' \
   2>&1 | grep "^$l:" # LW, GCL are verbose

Here follows the output of /usr/bin/cl --more-help: 4.1.3 "(April 2015)" "Francois-Rene Rideau's" "shell wrapper for Common Lisp"

cl-launch - shell wrapper for Common Lisp

    cl [options] '(lisp (form) to evaluate)'
        evaluate specified form, print the results followed by newline
        as in: cl -l sbcl -sp my-system-and-package '(some form)'

    cl [options] script-file arguments...
        run specified Lisp script, passing arguments, as in a script with
        #!/usr/bin/cl -sp my-system-and-package -E main

    cl [options] [--execute] [options] [-- arguments...]
        run the specified software without generating a script (default)

    cl [options] --output EXECUTABLE [options]
        generate an executable script or binary from the software specification

Special modes
    -h  or  -?  --help           display a short help message
    -H          --more-help      show complete help (you may use a $PAGER)
    -V          --version        display cl-launch version and configuration
    -u FILE     --update FILE    update a cl-launch script to current version

Software specification
    -w CODE     --wrap CODE          shell wrapper CODE to run in cl-launch
    -l LISP...  --lisp LISP...       try use these LISP implementations
    -m IMAGE    --image IMAGE        build from Lisp image IMAGE
    -f FILE     --file FILE          include lisp FILE while building
    -L FILE     --load FILE          load lisp FILE while building
    -S X        --source-registry X  override source registry of asdf systems
    -s SYSTEM   --system SYSTEM      load asdf SYSTEM while building
                --load-system SYSTEM same as above (buildapp compatibility)
    -p PACKAGE  --package PACKAGE    change current package to PACKAGE
    -sp SP      --system-package SP  combination of -s SP and -p SP
    -e FORM     --eval FORM          evaluate FORM while building
                --require MODULE     require MODULE while building
    -r FUNC     --restart FUNC       restart from build by calling (FUNC)
    -E FUNC     --entry FUNC         restart from build by calling (FUNC argv)
    -DE N/F  --dispatched-entry N/F  if exec'ed as N, restart from (F argv)
    -i FORM     --init FORM          evaluate FORM after restart
    -ip FORM    --print FORM         evaluate and princ FORM after restart
    -iw FORM    --write FORM         evaluate and write FORM after restart
    -F FORM     --final FORM         evaluate FORM before dumping IMAGE
    -I PATH     --include PATH       runtime PATH to cl-launch installation
    +I          --no-include         disable cl-launch installation feature
    -R          --rc                 try read /etc/cl-launchrc, ~/.cl-launchrc
    +R          --no-rc              skip /etc/cl-launchrc, ~/.cl-launchrc
    -Q          --quicklisp          use quicklisp (see --more-help)
    +Q          --no-quicklisp       do not use quicklisp
    -b          --clbuild            use clbuild (see --more-help)
    +b          --no-clbuild         do not use clbuild
    -v          --verbose            be quite noisy while building
    -q          --quiet              be quite quiet while building (default)

Output options
    -x   -o !   --execute            run the specified software NOW (default)
    -o FILE     --output FILE        create executable FILE
    -d IMAGE    --dump IMAGE         dump IMAGE for faster startup
    -X ... --   (see more help)      use #!/.../cl-launch as script interpreter
    --          --                   end of arguments when using -x or -X

Invocation of cl-launch

`cl-launch` will evaluate Common Lisp code or create shell scripts or
executable binaries that evaluate Common Lisp code. cl-launch follows
the invocation conventions of both Unix script interpreters
and Common Lisp implementations.

A suggested short-hand name for `cl-launch` is `cl` (you may create a
symlink if it isn't included in your operating system's `cl-launch` package).
We'd like to homestead the path `/usr/bin/cl` while we can, so that
script authors can reasonably expect a script to work when it starts with:
(See *Simple cl-launch scripts* below for caveats with `#!` scripts though.)
Recent Linux kernels support a script interpreter itself being a script;
BSD kernels don't and require a small C program cl-shim to be compiled and
installed as /usr/bin/cl to use cl-launch this way.

To work properly, `cl-launch` 4.1.3 depends on `ASDF` 3.1.2 or later, and
on its portability layer `UIOP`, to manage compilation and image life cycle.

The software is specified as the evaluation of code in several phases;
the distinction matters most for creating executable binaries,
but understanding the evaluation model can avoid surprises in other cases too.

In the first phase, the Lisp image is initialized:

* optionally having your Lisp start from a Lisp `IMAGE`
  (option `-I --image`)
* loading a small header of code that provides common `cl-launch` functionality
* loading `ASDF3`.
  The `cl-launch` header will try hard to load `ASDF 3.1.2` or later.
  If your implementation does not provide it via `(require "asdf")`,
  you can configure your implementation's `ASDF` (if any) to find it.
  Or you can put it in your home, under `~/common-lip/asdf/`
  and `cl-launch` will find it.
  Or it may be installed in `/usr/share/common-lisp/source/cl-asdf/`
  in which case `cl-launch` will also find it.
  Failing any of the above, `cl-launch` will be unable to proceed.
* optionally loading [quicklisp](
  (option `-Q --quicklisp`)

In a second phase, your software is built, based on the following options,
in order of appearance:

* evaluating one or several `FORMS` (option `-e --eval`)
  in the current package. The series of forms is evaluated
  as by `LOAD`, in a context where the `*package*`
  has been set to the current package (see below explanations on packages).
* compiling a `FILE` and load the fasl (option `-L --load`)
  Files are loaded with `*package*` bound to the current package (see below).
* including a `FILE`, compiling it and loading the fasl (option `-f --file`)
  The contents of the `FILE`, which will have be included in the output script,
  will be compiled and the fasl loaded as if by option `-L --load`.
  The difference matters mostly when creating an output script,
  as opposed to executing the code immediately or dumping an image.
  Only one file may be specified this way.
  If a filename specified with `-f --file` is `-` (after stripping quotes),
  then the standard input is used. You may thus concatenate several files
  and feed them to `cl-launch` through a pipe.
  To use a file named `-`, pass the argument `./-`
  (same trick as for `cat` and other Unix commands).
* A script file, as specified by `-X ... --` or by use of `#!`
  or by following options with an immediate filename that does not start with
  `(` or `-`, counts as if preceded by `--package cl-user --load`
  and followed by `--execute --`
* requiring an implementation-provided `MODULE` (option `--require`)
* having `ASDF3` compile and load a `SYSTEM`
  (option `-s --system --load-system`).
  Option `-sp --system-package` loads the `SYSTEM` like `-s --system`
  and also changes the current `*package*` like `-p --package`
  (see below on packages).
* optionally having your Lisp `DUMP` an image to restart from
  (option `-d --dump`), and just before
  evaluating one or several `FINAL` forms (option `-F --final`).
  See section *Dumping images*.

If you are creating a shell script with option `-o --output` but
without using option `-d --dump`, then these first two phases only happen
when the script is invoked. If you are using option `-d --dump`,
then these two phases happen immediately, and
no compilation happen when invoking the output.
Note that compiled files are cached, so that the compilation only happens
the first time a file is loaded via `--load of --system`,
or if the source file has been modified.
This may cause slower startup the first time over.
The cache is controlled by `ASDF`'s `output-translations` mechanism.
See your `ASDF` manual regarding the configuration of this cache,
which is typically under `~/.cache/common-lisp/`

In a third phase, your software is run via `UIOP:RESTORE-IMAGE`.
This happens immediately if using option `-x --execute` or
calling `cl-launch` as a Unix interpreter on a script e.g. via `#!`;
or it can happen later if you use option `-o --output` in combination
with (or without) option `-d --dump` to dump an image (which gives you faster
startup and single-file or double-file delivery, at the expense of disk space),
at which point it happens when you invoke the executable output file:

* Hooks from `ASDF3`'s `UIOP:*IMAGE-RESTORE-HOOK*` are called
  (in FIFO order).
* a series of `FORMS` specified via options `-i --init`,
  `-ip --print`, `-iw --write`, stored as a text string,
  are read and evaluated in order of appearance, each in the context
  of the package that was current at the time it was requested.
  (Concatenated together with separating whitespace, these forms constitute
  the `UIOP:*IMAGE-PRELUDE*` as handled by `RESTORE-IMAGE`).
  Arguments that start with an open parenthesis are assumed to be `FORMS`
  that follow an implicit `--print`.
  Loading from a stream means you don't have to worry about nasty read-time
  issues; forms will be read by the fully built Lisp image; however it also
  means that if you care a lot about the very last drop of startup delay when
  invoking a dumped image, you'll only use option `-r --restart`
  or `-E --entry` and avoid using `--init` and its variants.
  Option `-ip --print` specifies `FORMS` such that the result of
  the last form will be printed as if by `PRINC`, followed by a newline.
  Option `-iw --write` is similar to `--print`,
  using `WRITE` instead of `PRINC`.
* An optional `FUNCTION` provided option `-r --restart` or `-E --entry`
  is invoked. If the function was provided with option `-r --restart`
  (compatible with earlier versions of `cl-launch`),
  it will be called with no argument. If it was provided with
  option `-E --entry` (compatible with `buildapp`), it will be called
  with one argument, being the list of arguments passed to the program,
  not including `argv[0]`, which is available on most implementations via the
  function `uiop:argv0` (available in `ASDF` 3.1.2 and later).
  Using either option, the argument may be a function name
  or a lambda expression, that is read from the current package
  (see below option `-p --package` and `-sp --system-package`).
  Only one restart or entry function may be specified;
  if multiple are provided, the last one provided overrides previous ones.
  If you want several functions to be called, you may `DEFUN` one that calls
  them and use it as a restart, or you may use multiple init forms as below.
  See also below options `-DE --dispatch-entry`, `-sm --system-main`,
  `-Ds --dispatch-system` that behave as if `-E --entry` had been specified
  among other things.
* If neither restart nor entry function is provided, the program will exit with
  status `0` (success). If a function was provided, the program will exit
  after the function returns (if it returns), with status `0` if and only if
  the primary return value of result is generalized boolean true, and
  with status 1 if this value is `NIL`.
  See documentation for `UIOP:RESTORE-IMAGE` for details.

The current package can be controlled by option `-p --package` and its variant
`-sp --system-package` that also behaves like `-s --system`.
All forms passed to `--eval`, `--init`, `--print`, `--write`,
`--final`, `--restart`, `--entry`, etc., are read in the current package.
Files specified with `-f --file --load` are read in the current package.
Current means the package specified by the latest option `-p --package` or
`-sp --system-package` preceding the option being processed,
or `cl-user` if there was none.
Note that multiple `-i --init` or `-F --final` forms
may be evaluated consecutively after a package has been changed, and that
if one of these form itself modifies the package, or some other syntax control
mechanism such as the reader, it may adversely affect later forms in the same
category, but not those in other categories (if reached).

The following derived options work as if by a combination of simpler options:

* As mentioned above, option `-sp --system-package` combines `--system` and
  `--package` in one option, so that given the argument `SYSTEM`, the system
  is loaded as if by `--system SYSTEM` that creates a package `SYSTEM` that
  then becomes the current package.

* If option `-DE --dispatch-entry` is used, then the next argument must follow
  the format `NAME/ENTRY`, where `NAME` is a name that the program may be
  invoked as (the basename of the `uiop:argv0` argument), and `ENTRY` is
  a function to be invoked as if by `--entry` when that is the case.
  If the `ENTRY` is left out, function `main` in current package is used.
  Support for option `-DE --dispatch-entry` is delegated to a dispatch library,
  distributed with `cl-launch` but not part of `cl-launch` itself, by
  (1) registering a dependency on the dispatch library as if by
  `--system cl-launch/dispatch` (if not already)
  (2) if neither `--restart` nor `--entry` was specified yet, registering a
  default entry function as if by `--entry cl-launch/dispatch:dispatch-entry`.
  (3) registering a build-form that registers the dispatch entry as if by
  `--eval '(cl-launch/dispatch:register-name/entry "NAME/ENTRY" :PACKAGE)'`
  where `PACKAGE` is the current package.
  See the documentation of said library for further details.

* If option `-Ds --dispatch-system` is used with `SYSTEM` as its argument,
  it is as if option `-s --system` had been used with the same argument,
  followed by option `-DE --dispatch-entry` for the basename of the system
  (last `/` (slash) separated component of the system name) and the function `main`
  in the package of the system, but without otherwise changing the current package.

* If option `-sm --system-main` is used with `SYSTEM` as its argument,
  it is as if option `-s --system` had been used with the same argument,
  followed by option `-E --entry` with the `main` function
  in the package of the system, but without otherwise changing the current package.

General note on `cl-launch` invocation:
options are processed from left to right;
usually, repeated options accumulate their effects,
with the earlier instances taking effect before latter instances.
In case of conflicting or redundant options, the latter override the former.

`cl-launch` defines a package `cl-launch` that exports the following symbol:
Runtime functionality formerly provided by `cl-launch`
is now provided by `UIOP`, the portability layer provided by `ASDF3`.
See below section *cl-launch runtime API*.

When the first non-recognized option is a filename, `cl-launch` will try to
load this filename as a script, as if by `--load`,
then execute it immediately as if by `--execute --`,
with the rest of the command line passed as arguments.
The file name may not start with the character `-` or a `(` ---
To use a file with one of these (or something unknown) as a first character,
prepend `./` to the filename. Note that it is a security risk to let
adversaries control the names of files passed to cl-launch or other commands.

When option `--execute` is specified, the specified software is executed.
Command-line arguments may be given to software being executed by putting
them after a special marker `--`, that ends `cl-launch` option processing.

When option `--output FILE` is used, code will be generated
into the specified `FILE`. The output file itself
will be created atomically from complete generated contents
and may thus have the same pathname as the input file.
The restart function and init forms will not be evaluated, but kept for
when the output file is executed.
If `-` (after quoting) is specified, then the standard output is used.
If `!` (after quoting) is specified, then option `--execute` is assumed.

When no `--output` file is specified,
option `--execute` is implicitly assumed.
The last `--output` or `--execute` option
takes precedence over the previous ones.

If only one argument exists and it doesn't start with `-`
then the argument is considered as if given to option `-ip`,
to be evaluated and printed immediately.

The `ASDF3` source-registry configuration can be overridden with option
`--source-registry SOURCE_REGISTRY`. The provided configuration will take
priority over anything provided by the environment or configuration files,
though it may inherit from them as usual. See the `ASDF3` manual about that.

Options `-l --lisp` and `-w --wrap` may be used to control the way that
a Common Lisp implementation is found when the software is run.
Option `-l --lisp` specifies the list of implementations to try to use;
the list is whitespace-separated, and consists in
nicknames recognized by `cl-launch`.
Option `-w --wrap` supplies arbitrary code to be evaluated
by the shell wrapper, after it has read its configuration
and defined its internal functions, but before it tries
to find and run a Lisp implementation. Such wrapper code is typically used to
modify the variables that control the run-time behaviour of generated scripts,
as documented below. Use of other internals of `cl-launch` is possible,
but not supported, which means that it is your responsibility to keep a copy
of the specific version of cl-launch with which your code works and to
update your code if you later make an upgrade to an incompatible `cl-launch`.
For instance, `--lisp "foo bar"` is equivalent
to `--wrap 'LISPS="foo bar"'`.
See below the documentation section on *Lisp implementation invocation*.

Option `--no-include` specifies that cl-launch should generate a standalone
script that includes the configuration, shell wrapper, Lisp header, and
user-provided Lisp code (from `--file`). If you can rely on the presence of
a recent Lisp implementation that provides `ASDF`, then the script is pretty
much standalone indeed and may be moved around the filesystem and still used.
However the size of the output will be the size of the user Lisp code
plus about 36KiB.

Option `--include PATH` specifies that `cl-launch` should generate
a very small script (typically under 1KiB) that when run
will read the `cl-launch` shell wrapper and Lisp header
from a specified installation directory `PATH`.
Also, if option `--include` is used, and
Lisp code is specified with `--file`
and an absolute pathname starting with `/` as opposed to a relative pathname
or to the standard input, then Lisp code will also be loaded from the specified
location at runtime rather than embedded into the script at generation time.
This option generates leaner scripts, but may not be applicable when
the very same script is to used in a variety of situations
that lack common coherent filesystem management.

Which of `--include` or `--no-include` is the default
may depend on your cl-launch installation.
The version of `cl-launch` distributed by the author
uses `--no-include` by default, but
the version of `cl-launch` available in your operating system distribution may
rely on a well-managed include path (this is the case with debian for instance).
You may query the configuration of an instance of `cl-launch`
with option `--version`.

For instance, one may expect a debian version of cl-launch to use:
as a system-managed include path. One may also expect that Lisp implementations
managed by the system would come with `cl-launch` precompiled in Lisp images.
Since `cl-launch` provides feature `:cl-launch`,
and since the `cl-launch` Lisp header is conditionalized to not be read
with this feature, this would make `cl-launch` startup faster,
while still allowing non-system-managed Lisp implementations to run fine.

You may create an installation of cl-launch with such a command as:

        cl-launch --include /usr/share/common-lisp/source/cl-launch \
                --lisp 'sbcl ccl clisp' \
                --rc \
                --output /usr/bin/cl-launch -B install

You can use command `-B install_bin` if you only want to configure cl-launch
(with a different default for `--lisp` but no `--include`, for instance),
and command `-B install_path` if you only want to create support files.
Note that the `--backdoor` option `-B` must come last in your invocation.

Option `+R --no-rc` specifies that `cl-launch` should not try to
read resource files `/etc/cl-launchrc` and `~/.cl-launchrc`.

Option `-R --rc` specifies that cl-launch should try to read resource
files `/etc/cl-launchrc` and `~/.cl-launchrc`.
These files are notably useful to define override the value of `$LISP`
depending on `$SOFTWARE_SYSTEM`. A shell function `system_preferred_lisps`
is provided so that your `cl-launchrc` might contain lines as follows:

        system_preferred_lisps stumpwm cmucl sbcl clisp
        system_preferred_lisps exscribe clisp cmucl sbcl

Beware that for the sake of parsing option `--no-rc`, the resource files
are run *after* options are processed, and that
any overriding of internal variables will thus preempt user-specified options.
A warning will be printed on the standard error output
when such an override happens.
Note that such overrides only happen at script-creation time.
A script created by `cl-launch`
will not try to read the `cl-launch` resource files.

Option `+Q --no-quicklisp` specifies that `cl-launch`
should not use `quicklisp`.
Option `-Q --quicklisp` specifies that `cl-launch` should use `quicklisp`.
Which is the default depends on your installation.
The default default is `+Q`.
Quicklisp is loaded from `~/quicklisp/setup.lisp` if available,
or else `~/.quicklisp/setup.lisp`.

Option `-b --clbuild` specifies that `cl-launch` should rely
on `clbuild` to find and invoke the Common Lisp implementation.
Option `+b --no-clbuild` specifies that `cl-launch` should not rely
on `clbuild` to find and invoke the Common Lisp implementation.
Which is the default depends on your installation.
The default default is `+b`.

Files generated by `cl-launch` are made of several well-identifiable sections.
These sections may thus be considered as distinct software, each available
under its own regime of intellectual property (if any). In case of an accident,
you may still retrieve the exact original code provided with option `--file`
by stripping the wrapper, as delimited by well-identified markers.
Search for the marker string `"BEGINS HERE:"`.
Everything after it is not `cl-launch`.
This can be done automatically with backdoor option `-B extract_lisp_content`.
`cl-launch` uses this functionality implicitly when embedding a file specified
with the option `--file`, so that you may process
a script previously generated by `cl-launch` and change the options
with which it wraps the embedded Lisp code into runnable software.

As an alternative, you may also upgrade a previously generated script to use
the current version of `cl-launch` while preserving
its original wrapping options with option `--update`.
In this case, software specification options are ignored.
Output options still apply. Specifying `-` (after quoting) as the file to
update means to read the contents to be read from the standard input.
This feature might not work with scripts generated by very early versions
of the `cl-launch` utility. It should work with versions later than 1.47.

Supported Lisp implementations

The implementations supported by current version of cl-launch are:

        abcl allegro ccl clisp cmucl ecl gcl lispworks sbcl scl xcl

Also defined are aliases:

        clozurecl gclcvs lisp openmcl

which are name variations for `ccl`, `gcl`, `cmucl` and `ccl`
again respectively.

Fully supported, including standalone executables:

    sbcl:  SBCL 1.2.2
    clisp:  GNU CLISP 2.49
    ecl:  ECL 13.5.1
    cmucl:  CMUCL 20D
    ccl:  ClozureCL 1.10
    lispworks:  LispWorks Professional 6.1.0  (no personal ed, banner)

Fully supported, but no standalone executables:

    gcl (GCL 2.7):  GCL 2.7.0 ansi mode  (get a very recent git checkout)
    allegro:  Allegro 9.0  (also used to work with 5)
    scl:  Scieneer CL 1.3.9

Incomplete support:

    abcl:  ABCL 1.3.1 (no image dumping support, but you may use abcl-jar)
    xcl:  XCL (cannot dump an image) (get a recent checkout)

`GCL` is only supported in ANSI mode. `cl-launch` does export GCL_ANSI=t
in the hope that the `gcl` wrapper script does the right thing
as it does in Debian. Also `ASDF3` requires a very recent `GCL 2.7`.
Note that `GCL` seems to not be very actively maintained anymore.

There are some issues regarding standalone executables on `CLISP`.
See below in the section regarding *Standalone executables*.

`LispWorks` requires the Professional Edition; the Personal Edition isn't
supported as it won't let you either control the command line or dump images.
Dumped images will print a banner, unless you dump a standalone executable.
To dump an image, make sure you have a license file in your target directory
and/or to .../lispworks/lib/6-1-0-0/config/lwlicense
(or use a trampoline shell script to `exec /path/to/lispworks "$@"`),
create a build script with:

       echo '(hcl:save-image "lispworks-console" :environment nil)' > si.lisp
       lispworks-6-1-0-x86-linux -siteinit - -init - -build si.lisp

LispWorks also requires that you have `ASDF 3.1.2` or later;
make sure you have it installed and configured in your source registry.
There is no standard name for a console-only variant of LispWorks;
older versions of cl-launch assume a default `lispworks`; since,
`lispworks-console` is assumed instead, to avoid conflicts. You can
control the name you use with the shell variable `$LISPWORKS`, or you
can just leave `lispworks-console` in your path, and use a symlink, copy,
shell alias or trivial wrapper script to enable your favorite shorter name
`lispworks`, `lw`, `lwcon`, `lw-console`, etc.

Similarly, a mlisp image for allegro can be created as follows:

        alisp -e '(progn
                   (build-lisp-image "sys:mlisp.dxl"
                    :case-mode :case-sensitive-lower
                    :include-ide nil :restart-app-function nil)
                   (when (probe-file "sys:mlisp") (delete-file "sys:mlisp"))
                   (sys:copy-file "sys:alisp" "sys:mlisp"))'

Additionally, `cl-launch` supports the use of `clbuild` as a wrapper
to invoke the Lisp implementation, with the `--clbuild` option.

Supported shells

`cl-launch` was tested with all of
`posh` 0.4.7, `bash` 2.05, `bash` 3.1, `zsh` 4.3.2,
`dash` 0.5.3 and `busybox` 1.01 `ash`.

Lisp implementation invocation

When a `cl-launch` generated script is invoked,
the `cl-launch` shell wrapper will try to execute the Lisp code
with the first Common Lisp implementation it finds in a given list,
which can be specified through option `--lisp`.
The runtime behaviour of the `cl-launch` shell wrapper
is very configurable through a series of environment variables.
These variables can be controlled by the user
by exporting them in his environment, or
they can be restricted at the time of script generation
by using cl-launch option `--wrap`.

If variable `LISP` is defined, the shell wrapper will first try
the implementation named by variable `LISP`. If that fails,
it will try the list of implementations provided at script generation time.
The list of implementations generated will be
the argument to option `--lisp` if specified.
Otherwise, `cl-launch` will supply its default value.
This default value for the current instance of `cl-launch` is:

        sbcl ccl clisp abcl allegro lispworks scl cmucl ecl mkcl gcl xcl

This `LISP` selection only happens at system preparation time.
If you dump an image then the script will always use the Lisp implementation
for which an image was dumped.
If you don't then the user may override the implementation.

Note that these are nicknames built into the `cl-launch` shell wrapper,
and not necessarily names of actual binary. You may control the mapping of
implementation nickname to actual binary pathname to call with an environment
variable. For a given implementation nickname, the environment variable will be
the capitalization of the given nickname.
Hence, variable `$SBCL` controls where to look for the `sbcl` implementation,
and variable `$CMUCL` controls where to look for the `cmucl` implementation.
If a binary is found with a matching pathname (using the standard unix `$PATH`
as required), then said implementation will be used, using proper command line
options, that may be overridden with an environment variable similar to the previous
but with `_OPTIONS` appended to its name.
Hence, `$CMUCL_OPTIONS` for `cmucl`, `$CLISP_OPTIONS` for `clisp`, etc.
Sensible defaults are provided for each implementation, so as to execute the
software in non-interactive mode, with debugger disabled, without reading
user-specific configuration files, etc.

If you want to insist on using a given implementation with given options,
you may use option `--lisp` and `--wrap`, as follows:

    --lisp 'sbcl clisp' --wrap '
        LISP= # do not allow the user to specify his implementation
        SBCL=/usr/bin/sbcl # not any experimental thing by the user
        SBCL_OPTIONS="--noinform --sysinit /dev/null --userinit /dev/null \
        --disable-debugger" # predictable Lisp state
        CLISP=/usr/bin/clisp # fall back on machines that lack SBCL
        CLISP_OPTIONS=" -norc --quiet --quiet"
        # configure ASDF:
        # assuming precompiled fasls there:

If you dump an image, you need not unset the `LISP` variable, but you
might still want to override any user-specified `SBCL` and `SBCL_OPTIONS`
(or corresponding variables for your selected implementation) from what
the user may specify.

Note that you can use option `--wrap "$(cat your_script)"`
to embed into your program a full fledged script from a file.
Your script may do arbitrary computations before the shell wrapper is run.
It may make some consistency checks and abort before to run Lisp.
Or it may analyze invocation arguments and make according adjustments
to Lisp implementation options. This can be useful for setting options
that cannot be set from the Lisp code, such the path to a runtime image,
interactive or non-interactive execution, size of heaps,
locale settings for source file encoding, etc.

Reading the source code of `cl-launch` can be completely crazy.
You may have great fun understanding why things are how they are
and adding features without breaking anything! However,
adding support for a new CL implementation should be straightforward enough:
just search the sources for `clisp` or `sbcl` and mimic what I did for them.
Be sure to send me what will get your favorite Lisp flavor of the month rolling.

Limited clbuild support

`cl-launch` 2.12 and later support using `clbuild` as a wrapper
to configure your Lisp implementation, with option `--clbuild`
(which can be disabled with option `--no-clbuild` if it was enabled by default
in your `cl-launch` installation).

Note that when you use `clbuild`, you can no longer override implementation
options with say `SBCL_OPTIONS`, as clbuild takes care of the options for you.
Any implementation banner will not be removed unless you instruct clbuild
to do so. Also, you cannot use clbuild with a non-executable image different
from `clbuild`'s, which precludes image dumping with `cmucl` or `allegro`
(`allegro` could probably be updated, but I don't have a recent licence
to test and develop).

`clbuild` support is not fully tested at this point. Please report any bug.

Simple cl-launch scripts

In simple cases, you may create a Common Lisp shell script with `cl-launch`
without a script generation step, just because you'll spend a lot of time
editing the script and distributing it, and little time waiting for script
startup time anyway. This notably is a good idea if you're not spawning many
instances of the same version of a script on a given computer. If that's
what you want, you may use `cl-launch` as a script interpret the following way
(stripping leading spaces):

    #!/path/to/cl-launch ...options...

For instance, you may write the following script (stripping leading spaces):

    #!/usr/bin/cl --entry main
    (defun main (argv)
      (format t "Hello, World!~%~S~%" argv))

On a recent Linux kernel, the options may include spaces, parentheses, etc.,
provided they are quoted as in a shell script.
Also, using `-X` as your very first option and `--` as your last
will ensure that the script works even if its name starts with
a `(` or a `-`, in addition to working with older versions of `cl-launch`.

Note however that Darwin (MacOS X) and other BSD kernels or old Linux kernels
don't like the `#!` interpreter to itself be interpreted.
On these operating system kernels, the system administrator must
compile and install a small shim written in C, `cl-shim.c`,
that will handle the proper script invocation.

Most kernels have restrictions on how they handle arguments to a `#!` script,
that prevent e.g. using `/usr/bin/env` as a trampoline;
however, you may use the fully portable solution as follows,
where the `":" ;` ensures that the script should remain valid
bilingual shell and Lisp code:

    ":" ; exec cl-launch -X -sp my-package -E main -- "$0" ${1+"$@"} || exit

(Actually `"$@"` instead of `${1+"$@"}` should work just fine,
unless you have an antique shell.)

Note that if you don't need Lisp code to be loaded from your script,
with everything happening in the build specification, then you may instead
use a simple `#!/bin/sh` shell script from which you:

    exec /path/to/cl-launch -x ... -- "$@".

Also, in case you can't rely on `cl-launch` being at a fixed path,
or if your shell and/or kernel combination doesn't support using `cl-launch`
as a script interpreter, then you may instead start your script
with the following lines:

    ":" ; exec cl-launch -X -- "$0" "$@" || exit
    (format t "It works!~%")

Note that a mainline Linux kernel only supports the recursive `#!`
implicit in `#!/usr/bin/cl-launch` since

Dumping images

You can dump an image (for static compilation and fast startup) with option
`--dump IMAGE` where `IMAGE` specifies
the path where the image will be dumped.

If you use option `--include PATH` then the image will be loaded back from
that specified directory instead of the directory where you dumped it.
This is useful if you're preparing a script to be installed at another place
maybe on another computer.

This option is currently supported on all CL implementations available
with `cl-launch`.

As a limitation, `LispWorks` will print a banner on standard output,
unless you use the standalone executable option below.

As another limitation, `ECL` will not be able to dump an image when running
from a previously dumped image (with `--image`). This is because of the
link model of ECL, whereby you'd need to be able to locate which object files
were used in linking the original image, keep track of these files,
and prepend the list of them to to the object files linked into the dump.
This is not conceptually impossible and patches are welcome.
However, we hope to support that someday with a real build system
that does it for you, such as XCVB.

Standalone executables

You can create standalone executables with the option `--dump '!'`
(or by giving a `--dump` argument identical to the `--output` argument).

This option is currently only supported with
`SBCL`, `ECL`, `CLISP`, `CMUCL`, `CCL` and `LispWorks` Professional.
Moreover `CLISP` has the issues below.

`CLISP` standalone executables will react magically if invoked with options
such as `--clisp-help` or `--clisp-x '(sys::main-loop)'`.
That's a pretty far-fetched thing to hit by mistake, and
the `CLISP` maintainers consider it a feature (I don't).
Don't use such executables as `setuid`, and don't let untrusted users
control arguments given to such executables that are run with extra privileges.

cl-launch runtime API

`cl-launch` provides the following Lisp functions:

Function `cl-launch:compile-and-load-file` takes as an argument
a source pathname designator, and keyword arguments
`force-recompile` (default `NIL`) and `verbose` (default `NIL`).
It will arrange to compile the specified source file if it is
explicitly requested, or if the file doesn't exist,
or if the fasl is not up-to-date.
It will compile and load with the specified verbosity.
It will take use `uiop:compile-file-pathname*` to determine the fasl pathname.

The following variables and functions previously provided by `cl-launch`
have the following replacement from `ASDF` and `UIOP`:

Variable `cl-launch:*arguments*`
is replaced by `uiop:*command-line-arguments*`.

Function `cl-launch:getenv` is replaced by `uiop:getenv`.

Function `cl-launch:load-system` is replaced by `asdf:load-system`.

Function `cl-launch:quit` is replaced by `uiop:quit`
(beware: the lambda-list is slightly different).

Additionally, environment variables `CL_LAUNCH_PID` and `CL_LAUNCH_FILE`
will be set to the process ID and the script invocation filename respectively.

Verbose output mode

If the shell variable `CL_LAUNCH_VERBOSE` is exported and non-`nil`,
then `cl-launch` and the scripts it generates will produce
an abundance of output, display such things as the Lisp invocation command,
compiling and loading files with `:verbose t` and `:print t`, etc.
This is only useful for debugging `cl-launch` and/or your build process.
Option `--verbose` sets this variable, whereas option `--quiet` resets it.

Makefile examples

    ### Automatically download of the current version of cl-launch if not present
            wget -O
            chmod a+x

    ### Making a shell script executable from a simple Lisp file named foo.lisp foo.lisp
            ./ --output --file foo.lisp

    ### A more complex example using all options. preamble.lisp
            ./ --output \
            --file preamble.lisp --system foo \
            --init "(foo:main uiop:*command-line-arguments*)" \
            --source-registry ${PREFIX}/cl-foo/systems: \
            --lisp "ccl sbcl" --wrap 'SBCL=/usr/local/bin/sbcl-no-unicode' \

    ### An example with horrible nested makefile, shell and Lisp quoting
            opera=wORlD ; ./ --execute --init \
            "(format t \"~25R~A~A~%\" 6873049 #\\space '$$opera)"

Caveat Lispor

`cl-launch` begins evaluation of your Lisp software
in the `cl-user` package, or whichever package you specify.
By the time your initialization forms are evaluated,
the package may or may not have changed,
depending on the fine-grained semantics of `load`.
Be sure to use `in-package` if these things matter.
If you change the readtable, even weirder things may happen.

There are lots of ways of making mistakes by improperly quoting things when
you write shell commands. `cl-launch` does the right thing,
but you still must be careful with the nested quoting mechanisms
of `make`, shell, and Lisp.

Here is a simple example use of cl-launch to quickly compare the result of
a same computation on a variety of systems:

    for l in sbcl cmucl clisp gcl ccl ; do
      ./ --lisp $l --execute --init \
        '(format t "'$l' ~A~%" most-positive-fixnum)' ; done

Internally, `cl-launch` includes many self-test functions.
You may for instance try (from a directory where it may create junk):

    ./ -l 'sbcl cmucl clisp gclcvs' -B tests

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