I want to get started with Common Lisp and I follow this guide to install it on my arch linux machine. However, this call fails:

(load (expand-file-name "~/.quicklisp/slime-helper.el"))

...because there is actually no such slime-helper.el file in my ~/.quicklisp-folder. How do I proceed with normal installation?


2 Answers 2


This doesn’t seem to be an emacs question at all.

Did you successfully install the :quicklisp-slime-helper package in the previous step? Carefully examine the output in your shell; it should have a message telling you to add the helper to your Emacs init, something like this:

slime-helper.el installed in "/home/db48x/.quicklisp/slime-helper.el"

To use, add this to your ~/.emacs:

  (load (expand-file-name "~/.quicklisp/slime-helper.el"))
  ;; Replace "sbcl" with the path to your implementation
  (setq inferior-lisp-program "sbcl")

If you don’t see this message, and you see an error message instead, then you should fix the error indicated in the error message.


Using quicklisp to install SLIME is not the easiest way. The easy way is to just use-package the emacs slime package : when you run slime inside Emacs, slime will automatically install the common lisp part (called SLYNK) into your common lisp implementation.

Here is my configuration :

(use-package slime
    (require 'slime-autoloads)
    (add-hook 'slime-mode-hook
              (lambda ()
                (unless (slime-connected-p)
                  (save-excursion (slime))))))
    (use-package slime-company)
    (setf inferior-lisp-program "sbcl")
    (slime-setup '(slime-fancy slime-company))
    (setq slime-net-coding-system 'utf-8-unix)
    (define-key lisp-mode-map (kbd "C-c C-q") 'slime-close-all-parens-in-sexp)
    (define-key slime-mode-indirect-map (kbd "M-_") 'paredit-convolute-sexp)
    (define-key slime-repl-mode-map (kbd "C-c C-z") #'quit-window)
    (define-key slime-repl-mode-map (read-kbd-macro paredit-backward-delete-key) nil)))

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