Upstream URL


Marco Antoniotti




An updated version (3.9.1) of the first widely available (and quite portable) DEFSYSTEM for Common Lisp.

Copyright (c) 1989 - 1999 Mark Kantrowitz, all rights reserved.
1999 - 2005 Mark Kantrowitz and Marco Antoniotti, all rights reserved.
2005 - 2008 Marco Antoniotti all rights reserved.
2008 - 2023 Marco Antoniotti, and Madhu all rights reserved.

See the preamble in the file defsystem.lisp for licensing information.


MK:DEFSYSTEM was, and is, the first widely available, implementation independent, DEFSYSTEM (or make) for Common Lisp.

The current distribution and repository (3.9) contains a file defsystem.lisp, a docs directory, and this README file. Plus it contains a .asd for redistributability with Quicklisp. The current version is based on MK:DEFSYSTEM distributed with CLOCC, but it contains enhancements and extensions for newer CL implementations.

MK:DEFSYSTEM works on most current (February 2022) Common Lisp implementations and it is still used by a wide variety of projects.


To install MK:DEFSYSTEM, you should just make sure to load the file defystem.lisp in you CL environment. You can do that by putting the appropriate load statement in your CL initialization file (which most implementations have).


The documentation for MK:DEFSYSTEM is part of a the following CMU Technical Report:

Mark Kantrowitz, Portable Utilities for Common Lisp, User Guide and Implementation Notes, Tech Report CMU-CS-91-143, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, May 1991.

The docs directory contains a quick introduction to MK:DEFSYSTEM.

A Note on Forking

Of course you are free to fork the project subject to the current licensing scheme. However, before you do so, I ask you to consider plain old "cooperation" by asking me to become a developer. It helps keeping the entropy level at an acceptable level.

Dependencies (0)

    Dependents (0)

      • GitHub
      • Quicklisp