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Alexander Artemenko <>


Unlicense, Public Domain

cl-brewer - Homebrew formula builder for Common Lisp applications.

CL-BREWER ASDF System Details


Currently there is now easy way to distribute common lisp applications. One promising way is to use roswell project however it might be to complicated for the users how just want to install an application and are not really interested in having one more package manager for that.

In Mac OS X world the most popular solution is to use brew package manager and all we need is to be able to generate formula that will handle installation proccess. Since homebrew guidelines are not really fond of using third-party managers to get dependencies, we need to generate list manually and feed it to brew.

cl-brewer uses SBCL and targets command line applications written in Common Lisp. GUI applications haven't been tested and might require additional changes.

This application is based on the awesome quicklisp-homebrew-roundup but has a purpose to make a process simplier by:

  • Allowing to generate file for any system available not just quicklisp package (dependencies should be on quicklisp though)

  • Allowing to generate a complete formula, not just dependencies

  • Having a cli interface that can be used in CI services to generate formulas automatically.

At the moment several assumptions were made:

  • We can use Buildapp or Deploy make executable.

  • Formula is generated for the system available for ASDF.

  • All dependencies should be available via quicklisp.

  • System source code should live on github all releases should be tagged with vX.Y.Z scheme.

  • System should have description, version, homepage fields defined. Project at GitHub should have a tag corresponding to the current system version. GitHub build a tar.gz archive with sources of the tagged revision and this way a formula, created by cl-brewer, will be able to fetch sources, corresponding to the version.

  • Buildapp calls main function. By default main function is searched in the package with the same name as system name but can be overridden with option.

  • When using Deploy, you don't have to define an entry point. Also, Deploy is able to create formulas for applications which build some dynamic libraries.

Here is an example formula


brew tap 40ants/soft
brew install cl-brewer

Or you can install it using Roswell:

# install roswell and sbcl before
$ ros install 40ants/cl-brewer

If you want to install it to use from the REPL, then you can install this library from Quicklisp, but you want to receive updates quickly, then install it from

(ql-dist:install-dist ""
                      :prompt nil)
(ql:quickload :cl-brewer)


Just run:

cl-brewer <your-system-name>

This will emit <your-system-name>.rb file in current folder.

To run cl-brewer under Qlot, you'll need set SBCL_HOME variable. Otherwise sb-sys::*sbcl-homedir-pathname* variable will be reinitialized and this can cause some incompatibilities if Qlot and cl-brewer were built with different SBCL implementations.

Thus, in this case call cl-brewer like this:

qlot exec bash -c "SBCL_HOME='' cl-brewer <your-system-name>"

Building a formula for cl-brewer

To kickstart a cl-brewer and to create a formula for itself, load it in the REPL and do like that:

CL-USER> (cl-brewer:create-formula :cl-brewer)
#<BUILDAPP-FORMULA "cl-brewer" depends on 23 systems>

CL-USER> (cl-brewer:save-formula * "cl-brewer"
                                 :preload (list "quicklisp-starter"))
Downloading "" (Unknown size)

However, in most cases you can just install cl-brewer from the Homebrew. In this case, you can update cl-brewer's formula with this command:

qlot exec cl-brewer 
          --preload quicklisp-starter 

Installing From Local Formula

How to install cl-brewer (or any other project) from a local formula?

Replace url line in a formula:

url ""

with two lines like this:

url File.dirname(__FILE__), :using => :git
version "0.5.6-rc1"

Next, do this in the shell:

HOMEBREW_NO_AUTO_UPDATE=1 brew install --debug --verbose ./*.rb

it should build and install cl-brewer.


If you are interested in using this project but your application has different requirements, please open an issue or make a pull request. Contributions are welcome!


All code is public domain except parts that were taken from quicklisp-homebrew-roundup which is under MIT License.



package cl-brewer



class cl-brewer:formula ()

Base class for Homebrew formula definition.


reader cl-brewer/formula:included-systems (formula) (:included-systems)

reader cl-brewer/formula:missing-systems (formula) (:missing-systems)

reader cl-brewer/formula:root-system (formula) (:root-system)


accessor cl-brewer/formula:included-systems (formula) (:included-systems)

accessor cl-brewer/formula:missing-systems (formula) (:missing-systems)

accessor cl-brewer/formula:root-system (formula) (:root-system)


generic-function cl-brewer:create-formula system

Create object based on asdf:system with a list of all dependencies

generic-function cl-brewer:get-implicit-dependencies system-name

Some systems, like cl-unicode have implicit dependencies in their asdf methods: use this method to provide information about such dependencies.

System name is a keyword and method should return a one keyword or a list of keywords with names of systems. Each returned system should be possible to find with ql-dist:find-system.


function cl-brewer:save-formula formula name &key entry-point preload

Saves Homebrew formula definition into the file with given NAME.

If ENTRY-POINT argument was given, then it might be used as entry-point, but some formula classes like cl-brewer/deploy/formula:deploy-formula might ignore this argument.

PRELOAD argument if given, should be a list of strings with ASDF system names to be preloaded before cl-brewer will build a binary.


package cl-brewer/buildapp/formula



class cl-brewer/buildapp/formula:buildapp-formula (formula)

This formula class uses Buildapp to build a binary.


package cl-brewer/deploy/formula



class cl-brewer/deploy/formula:deploy-formula (formula)

This formula class uses Deploy to build a binary.

The core difference from cl-brewer/buildapp/formula:buildapp-formula is that this type of formula also builds and distributes all necessary dynamic libraries.


package cl-brewer/formula


generic-function cl-brewer/formula:get-additional-dependencies formula

Some formulas might add dependencies needed to build a binary. For example, Deploy formula adds cl-brewer because it uses it's cl-brewer/deploy/hooks subsystem.

[generic-function] cl-brewer/formula:included-systems object

[generic-function] cl-brewer/formula:missing-systems object

[generic-function] cl-brewer/formula:root-system object


macro cl-brewer/formula:define-quesser name (asdf-system) &body body

Use this macro to define a function to guess a formula class.

The function should accept a one argument - an ASDF system and return a symbol denoting a class derived from formula class.

If guesser does not know how to create a formula for the system, then it should return a NIL value.

[generated by 40ANTS-DOC]

Dependencies (3)

  • ci
  • deploy
  • rove

Dependents (0)

    • GitHub
    • Quicklisp