Lispy Gnuplot library

  • Structure-less -- no CFFI, no CLOS, no STRUCTURE
  • Just print the data to the *standard-output* inside plot function
  • Supports a single datafile with multiple :using options. Plotting made more efficient. [Oct 2015]
  • Supports for Multiplot environment partially available.
  • When :terminal is missing, eazy-gnuplot tries to guess its terminal type from the given pathname.
  • Growing the list of interfaces available as functions. Still, "unsupported commands" can be directly printed to the stream.
  • Fitting function now available.
  • Most arguments supports list notation. e.g. not only `:using '(1 2)` but also `:errors`, `:via`, `:size`, `m?[xyzr]2?(range|tics)` ...
  • PLOT function accepts strings (treated as functions) and pathnames (treated as datafile). func-plot and datafile-plot are deprecated (but still available).

Library Usage

Write 1 with-plots and (at least) 1 gp-setup per output file. gp-setup accepts and sets any attributes -- mighty &allow-other-keys. no compatibility issue re: different gnuplot!.

For more examples, see the eazy-gnuplot cookbook !

;;; when :debug is non-nil, gnuplot code is copied to *trace-output*
(with-plots (*standard-output* :debug t)
   (gp-setup :xlabel "x-label"      ; strings : "\"x-label\""
             :ylabel "y-label"
             :output #p"sample.png" ; pathnames : "\"sample.png\""
             :terminal :png         ; keyword/symbols: "terminal png"

             ;; list contents are recursively quoted, then joined by a space
             :key '(:bottom :right :font "Times New Roman, 6")

             :pointsize "0.4px"

             :yrange :|[0:1]|
             ;; currently, specifying these kinds of options requires to abuse
             ;; keywords and symbols. Another example: comma separated list, e.g.,
             ;; :terminal '(:png :size |10cm,6cm|)
             ;; 2/4/2016 Major options are now covered. 

   ;; any unsupported commands are available by printing it to the stream
   (format t "~%unset key")

   ;; We are extending its expressivity. For example, as of 39d60d, there is gp-unset and gp-set.
   ;; An equivalent of above is (gp-unset :keys) .
   ;; The list is growing!

   ;; Functions can be protted with func-plot
   (plot "sin(x)" :title "super sin curve!")
   ;; Plot a lisp data directly
   (plot (lambda ()
           (format t "~&0 0")
           (format t "~&1 1"))
         :using '(1 2)
         :title "1"
         :with '(:linespoint))
   (plot (lambda ()
           (format t "~&0 1")
           (format t "~&1 0"))
         :using '(1 2)
         :title "2"
         :with '(:lines)))

It results in the following png:

From the Command Line

Requirements: Install roswell.

ros install eazy-gnuplot
plot-init myplot.ros

How it works

Above code This produces the following gnuplot code internally. It will then be fed into gnuplot interpreter.

set xlabel "x-label"
set ylabel "y-label"
set output "sample.png"
set terminal png
set key bottom right font "Times New Roman, 6"
set pointsize "0.4px"
plot sin(x) title "super sin curve!", '-' using 1:2 title "1" with linespoint, '-' using 1:2 title "2" with lines
0 0
1 1
0 1
1 0

When the script contains some error and gnuplot finishes with non-zero value, it signals UIOP:SUBPROCESS-ERROR .

Advanced Usage

Use the GUI terminals e.g. WXT, QT

You can even try a wxt terminal or qt terminal and see the GUI interactively.

(eazy-gnuplot:with-plots (*standard-output* :debug t)
  (eazy-gnuplot:gp-setup :terminal '(:qt))
  (eazy-gnuplot:plot (lambda ()
                       (format t "~&~A ~A" 1 2)
                       (format t "~&~A ~A" 2 5)
                       (format t "~&~A ~A" 3 4)))
  (format t "~&pause mouse button1;~%"))

However, these options may not be available on older versions of gnuplot. QT terminal is supported from gnuplot-4.6. WXT terminal has a known bug which leaves a zombie process until gnuplot-4.6.


This library is at least tested on implementation listed below:

  • SBCL 1.2.1 on X86-64 Linux 3.13.0-39-generic (author's environment)

Also, it depends on the following libraries:


Jonathan Amsterdam's iterator/gatherer/accumulator facility

OPTIMA by Tomohiro Matsuyama

Optimized Pattern Matching Library


Alexandria is a collection of portable public domain utilities.


  • Masataro Asai



Masataro Asai