The Common Lisp to C Compiler

Copyright (C) 1991 - 1996 Wolfgang Goerigk, Ulrich Hoffmann, Heinz Knutzen,
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany.


CLiCC is a Common Lisp to C Compiler. It generates C-executables or modules from Common Lisp application programs. CLiCC is intended to be used as an addon to existing Common Lisp systems for generating portable applications. CLiCC supports a strict and very large subset CL0 (Common Lisp0) of Common Lisp + CLOS.

CLiCC is not a Common Lisp system. The generated C code, although human readable, is not primarily intended to be maintainable in C, hence, CLiCC is not a translator. The target language is a subset of C. CLiCC is adaptable to generate ANSI- or K&R-C. A standard C compiler, e.g. the GNU gcc, can be used on the target machine to generate stand alone executables or linkable modules.

CLiCC itself is a Lisp application. It has been developed using Franz Allegro Common Lisp 4.1. However, it does not require Allegro to run. Other Lisp systems including CLISP, GCL (AKCL) or CMU Common Lisp will do. The forthcoming release 0.6.5 will run under Allegro 4.3 as well. Moreover, CLiCC should compile itself to C. Unfortunately, this is impossible at present. As this bug is not yet fixed, release 0.6.2 has to be used in order to produce a stand alone compiler.


CLiCC is available via anonymous ftp from The most recent release is 0.6.5 beta. CLiCC is now distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).


The most recent CLiCC release is 0.6.5 beta, available from There is a patch, pre-0.6.5-patch1, which should be applied in the CLiCC root directory. After patching CLiCC, you should rebuild the runtime system libraries. Note, that the old files "src/runtime/lisp2c/*.c" should be deleted before.

Information and Documentation

The CLiCC distribution includes some documentation. Look at the file COPYRIGHT for copyright and warranty conditions. The file INSTALL describes the installation of CLiCC, and the file "src/compiler/README" describes how to use the compiler. Check the file NOTES for details about the actual release.

If you have any problems using CLiCC, please contact us. Any suggestions or ideas to improve CLiCC are welcome. We are very interested in hearing about you, even if you just used CLiCC successfully. Requests or comments regarding CLiCC should be mailed to . You may also contact us individually:

Wolfgang Goerigk ( )
Ulrich Hoffmann ( (
Heinz Knutzen ( (
Friedemann Simon ( (


This work has been supported by the German Federal Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT) within the joint project APPLY (1991 - 1994).

Wolfgang Goerigk ( )