Carpe diem (Felix's blog)

I am a happy developer

Lisp Development on Mac

Setting up a development environment is such a pain. In short, here is my final configs:

I also tried many other combinations. For example, sbcl should be a faster alternative to clisp, but I can’t make its debugger work. sbcl also support better linking to slime and sldb, but sldb isn’t working well. Emacs 24 seems to be a better emacs environment because it has package manager built right into it. However, I tired emacs starter-kit and slime installation through its package manager, and it just don’t work. Any suggestions would be greatly welcome. ;)


  1. Download osx-gcc if you haven’t.
  2. Install homebrew.
  3. brew install clisp.
  4. Setting up quicklisp.
    1. Download quicklisp.lisp
    2. clisp -i quicklisp.lisp
    3. [1]> (quicklisp-quickstart:install)
    4. [2]> (ql:add-to-init-file)
    5. [3]> (quit)
  5. Download Aquamacs emacs
  6. Install Aquamacs emacs SLIME plugin
  7. cat '(setq inferior-lisp-program "/usr/local/bin/clisp")' >> ~/.emacs

Then you can use trace, step and other debug utilities in emacs SLIME. Enjoy it!


I found out how to enable STEP-MODE in sbcl form this post. In short, put this in your .sbclrc.

(declaim (optimize (debug 3)))

and in your .emacs

(setq inferior-lisp-program "/usr/local/bin/sbcl")