LispWorks® Frequently Asked Questions

General Product Information

Technical Support

General Product Information

Q. What version of LispWorks is currently available?

A. The current version is 8.0 (released December 2021).

Q. What platforms does it run on?

A. See our system requirements page.

Q. What are the hardware requirements for LispWorks?

A. See our system requirements page.

Q. What are the LispWorks "Editions"?

A. On most platforms LispWorks is available in five Editions

The Personal Edition is intended for personal and educational Lisp programming. As a contribution to the Common Lisp community, we make LispWorks Personal Edition available free of charge. While the Personal Edition includes the full Common Lisp compiler and the LispWorks integrated development environment, it does limit program size and duration and it does not support delivery of runtimes.

The Hobbyist Edition is available to individual licensees for non-commercial and non-academic use. It is a fully-functional Common Lisp IDE without most of the limitations of the Personal Edition, but runtimes cannot be generated.

The HobbyistDV Edition has all the features of the Hobbyist Edition plus application delivery, allowing generation of non-commercial runtime applications and libraries.

The Professional Edition includes everything you need for commercial Common Lisp software development and application delivery. CLIM 2.0 is included on most platforms to allow support of legacy applications on Windows and Motif.

The Enterprise Edition includes all the features of the Professional Edition, and provides further support for software needs of the modern enterprise, including:

  • Database access through object-oriented SQL/ODBC libraries.
  • Industry standard distributed computing through the LispWorks ORB.
  • Expert system programming through our KnowledgeWorks® product and an embedded Prolog compiler.

We do not charge license fees for programs you develop with LispWorks. In particular we do not charge runtime license fees for delivered applications. The HobbyistDV Edition allows you to distribute non-commercial applications free of charge, and with the Professional and Enterprise Editions 100% of any commercial revenue is yours.

We offer site licenses to teaching and research institutions which need a large number of seats at an economic price. Let us know what your requirements are. Visit your pricing page to see the information we need.

Q. How do I obtain the Personal Edition?

A. Simply download it from the LispWorks web site.

Q. Is 64-bit LispWorks available?

A. Yes, 64-bit LispWorks is available on Windows, Macintosh, x86_64 Linux, ARM Linux, x86/x64 Solaris and FreeBSD platforms.

Q. How much does LispWorks cost?

A. LispWorks is very competitively priced with no runtime fees - see our price information page or send email to or call +44 1223 421860.

Q. Can I install LispWorks on more than one computer?

A. The LispWorks End-User License Agreement allows for one main installation and also one additional installation on a portable computer, provided that the two installations are not used simultaneously. If you have just one license then no further installations are permitted. If you need further information about LispWorks licensing please send email to or call +44 1223 421860.

Q. How can I transfer LispWorks to my new computer?

A. You can transfer your LispWorks license to another computer providing the same platform, for example when you replace your hardware. You must ensure LispWorks is uninstalled from the old computer. Full instructions may be found in the Release Notes and Installation Guide.

Q. Can more than one person use my copy of LispWorks?

A. The Professional and Enterprise Editions may be used only by a single user at any one time: a second simultaneous user would require a second license. The Hobbyist and HobbyistDV Editions are licensed only to individual users. If you need further information about LispWorks licensing please send email to or call +44 1223 421860.

Q. We are an Academic site: is there an academic discount?

A. Yes, generous discounts are available for qualifying organizations. We do not offer discounts to individual students or teaching staff - you must purchase through the academic institution to qualify for an academic discount. For further details, please contact us.

Q. What's the royalty for delivering my own application?

A. End-user applications (runtimes) delivered from the HobbyistDV, Professional and Enterprise Editions are royalty-free, including those using LispWorks ORB, KnowledgeWorks, Common SQL or CLIM 2.0. We believe this is the least restrictive commercial Lisp deployment model available.

Q. Can my LispWorks application run on another platform?

A. Yes! LispWorks (including the CAPI) is source code compatible between all supported platforms, so your LispWorks applications can be ported between Windows, macOS, x86_64 Linux, ARM Linux and FreeBSD with a minimum of effort.

With LispWorks for iOS Runtime or LispWorks for Android Runtime, non-GUI programs developed with desktop LispWorks can be delivered for iOS or Android and incorporated into mobile apps.

Q. Does my LispWorks license cover multiple platforms?

A. No. LispWorks for Windows, Macintosh, x86_64 Linux, ARM Linux, x86/x64 Solaris and FreeBSD are all separately licensed. LispWorks for iOS Runtime and LispWorks for Android Runtime are separately licensed additionally to LispWorks for a desktop platform.

Q. Is KnowledgeWorks available on all platforms?

A. Yes. KnowledgeWorks and Prolog are available in LispWorks Enterprise Edition, and can also be used in a mobile app if you have LispWorks for Mobile Runtime. Load them both by entering the form (require "kw")

Q. Is LispWorks ORB available on all platforms?

A. Yes. Our CORBA module is available in LispWorks Enterprise Edition. Load it by entering the form (require "corba")

Q. Is CLIM available on all platforms?

A. Not quite. CLIM is included in LispWorks Professional Edition on Windows, x86_64 Linux, x86/x64 Solaris, FreeBSD and Macintosh. However LispWorks CLIM runs only in the Windows and X11/Motif window systems. It does not run in the native macOS GUI or in GTK+. We do not plan to port CLIM to the native macOS GUI, GTK+ or mobile platforms. Load CLIM by entering the form (require "clim")

Q. Does an Enterprise license run a Professional Edition image?

A. Yes. The Enterprise license is needed to load or run the Enterprise modules, but it enables all the Professional Edition features as well.

Q. Can I upgrade from Personal simply by entering a license key?

A. No.

Q. Can LispWorks Personal and LispWorks Hobbyist/Professional etc co-exist on my computer?

A. Yes. LispWorks Hobbyist, HobbyistDV, Professional and Enterprise Editions have a different executable, more libraries, and you install all this independently of the Personal Edition. The Hobbyist/HobbyistDV/Professional/Enterprise installer does not overwrite anything created by the Personal installer, and vice versa.

LispWorks Hobbyist/HobbyistDV/Professional/Enterprise Edition can co-exist with LispWorks Personal Edition on the same computer and has a different program icon to enable you to distinguish them.

Q. Can 32-bit LispWorks and 64-bit LispWorks co-exist on my 64-bit computer?

A. Yes. 32-bit LispWorks and 64-bit LispWorks have different executables, libraries etc, and you install them independently. The 32-bit LispWorks installer does not overwrite anything created by the 64-bit LispWorks installer, and vice versa.

32-bit LispWorks and 64-bit LispWorks have slightly different program icons to enable you to distinguish them.

Q. Does LispWorks have an integrated editor?

A. Yes, a sophisticated code editor is fully integrated as part of the LispWorks IDE. If you're not used to the default EMACS keys, switch to more familiar platform-standard editor keys using the LispWorks Editor's emulation.

Q. Can I use libraries written in other languages?

A. Yes, LispWorks includes a full Foreign Language Interface (FLI) for interfacing Lisp to C and Win32 libraries.

Q. Does LispWorks support SQL?

A. Yes, LispWorks Common SQL is a Lisp/SQL interface with a CLOS abstraction over relational databases. Common SQL is included in LispWorks Enterprise Edition, and can also be used in a mobile app if you have LispWorks for Mobile Runtime.

Q. Does LispWorks support ODBC?

A. Yes, LispWorks provides an ODBC interface as part of Common SQL on all platforms.

Q. How does LispWorks support multiprocessing?

A. LispWorks provides full thread support via the multiprocessing package. On Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, x86/x64 Solaris and FreeBSD, LispWorks supports Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP), using a native thread for each lightweight process. On other platforms LispWorks uses a single native thread and implements user level threads. The IDE itself is multithreaded e.g. the Listener tool has an execution process separate from its GUI process.

Q. Does LispWorks support internationalization / localization?

A. Yes, the LispWorks character implementation covers the full Unicode range, including the supplementary planes in addition to the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP). Specialized 16-bit and 8-bit string types are available for efficiency if needed (that is, if your program uses many "thin" strings). The Foreign Language Interface (FLI) provides support for passing string types to foreign code in the common encodings. Support for file I/O to common file formats is provided.

Q. What is included in the LispWorks ORB?

A. Everything you need to develop and deploy CORBA solutions and provide a complete distributed computing solution for Common Lisp, including a fully integrated Interface Definition Language (IDL) compiler with full Common Lisp language binding, a complete Object Request Broker (ORB), and support for version 2.0 of CORBA as well as relevant portions of the 2.2 standard, for the Portable Object Adapter (POA), the Internet InterOrb Protocol (IIOP), Dynamic Invocation Interfaces (DII) and for Dynamic Skeleton Interfaces (DSI).

Q. How about connectivity on Windows?

A. LispWorks for Windows provides support for building COM client and server applications, and Automation. LispWorks also supports embedding ActiveX components. There's also support for DDE client and server applications.

Q. Does LispWorks support fancy graphics?

A. LispWorks includes an example implementation of an OpenGL interface which is integrated into the CAPI. Also LispWorks supports high quality drawing in CAPI code.

Q. Is LispWorks available in languages other than English?

A. No. LispWorks is available in English only, although it does provide support for the development of internationalized applications.

Q. Does LispWorks support DLLs?

A. Yes. LispWorks loads and executes dynamic libraries on all platforms via the FLI. Additionally, LispWorks HobbyistDV, Professional and Enterprise Editions support generation (delivery) of standalone dynamic libraries (DLLs) on most platforms.

Q. Does LispWorks for Windows support ActiveX?

A. Yes, in LispWorks 4.4 and later.

Q. What documentation is available for LispWorks?

A. A full set of documentation is provided in both PDF and HTML formats. This can optionally be installed with the commercial product. All the latest documentation is also available here.

Technical Support

Q. How is support provided for LispWorks?

A. Technical support is provided via email. Other than 30 days "Getting Started" support for installation and other typical new-user issues, you will need to have a support contract. See the description of our support service for details. Alternative support arrangements are available on a negotiated basis. Contact us at for additional details. Click here for information on how to contact Lisp Support

Q. I think I have located a bug. How do I submit a bug report?

A. Follow these instructions.

Please note: the most common cause of delays in fixing problems and helping users is failure to follow these instructions.

Q. Is there a place for supported customers to download public patch sets?

A. Full details of available patch sets, plus downloading instructions can be found on our patch site.

Q. Do I need to load all public and private patches each time I start up LispWorks?

A. No, you can save an image with all current public patches and any private patches we have provided by using the function save-image. This functionality is not available in the Personal Edition.

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