Searching for program: no such file or directory, lisp

October 6, 2008 at 11:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

slime under ubuntu 8.04.1 (Hardy Heron)
Seems I found another bug in getting slime to work under ubuntu. I couldn’t find the solution online, but I found out about it by just poking around:

When using slime under emacs, I got the following error: “Searching for program: no such file or directory, lisp”

The problem can be fixed in one of two ways:
1) ln -s /usr/bin/clisp /usr/bin/lisp
2) Add this to your .emacs file:
(setq inferior-lisp-program “sbcl”)

Evidently, SLIME is using the name “lisp” to invoke Lisp, when it should be using “sbcl”.

The error has been reported on the ubuntu forums, but I am putting it in my blog just in case people google search this problem. The ubuntu forums don’t index well on google.


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  1. I had the same error but fixed it with: sudo apt-get install clisp


  2. thanks. one link missed, now it works.

  3. My Ubuntu box defaults to having sbcl but not clisp installed, so the command is:

    ln -s /usr/bin/sbcl /usr/bin/lisp

  4. Both solutions working but i prefer

    “sudo apt-get install clisp”

    The same case held to me but now resolved after installing clisp….


  5. Thank you.

  6. how do you fix this issue in Window? Thanks.

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