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CMUCL is a free, high performance implementation of the Common Lisp programming language which runs on most major Unix platforms. It mainly conforms to the ANSI Common Lisp standard. CMUCL provides a sophisticated native code compiler; a powerful foreign function interface; an implementation of CLOS; the Common Lisp Object System; which includes multimethods; a metaobject protocol; a source-level debugger and code profiler; and an Emacs-like editor implemented in Common Lisp. CMUCL is maintained by a team of volunteers collaborating over the Internet, and is mostly in the public domain.

Here is a summary of its main features:

  • support for static arrays that are never moved by GC but are properly removed when no longer referenced.
  • Unicode support, including many of the most common external formats such as UTF-8 and support for handling Unix, DOS, and Mac end-of-line schemes.
  • native double-double floats including complex double-double floats and specialized arrays for double-double floats and and complex double-double floats that give approximately 106 bits (32 digits) of precision.
  • a sophisticated native-code compiler which is capable of powerful type inferences, and generates code competitive in speed with C compilers.
  • generational garbage collection on all supported architectures.
  • multiprocessing capability on the x86 ports.
  • a foreign function interface which allows interfacing with C code and system libraries, including shared libraries on most platforms, and direct access to Unix system calls.
  • support for interprocess communication and remote procedure calls.
  • an implementation of CLOS, the Common Lisp Object System, which includes multimethods and a metaobject protocol.
  • a graphical source-level debugger using a Motif interface, and a code profiler.
  • an interface to the X11 Window System (CLX), and a sophisticated graphical widget library (Garnet, available separately).
  • programmer-extensible input and output streams (Gray Streams and simple-streams).
  • an Emacs-like editor, Hemlock, implemented in Common Lisp.
  • freely redistributable: free, with full source code (most of which is in the public domain) and no strings attached (and no warranty). Like the GNU/Linux and *BSD operating systems, CMUCL is maintained and improved by a team of volunteers collaborating over the Internet.