Common Lisp/External libraries/ASDF/Configuring ASDF

Configuring ASDFEdit

Most frequently, you will add settings for asdf to the configuration file for your lisp system. For example, sbcl uses ~/.sbclrc while cmucl uses ~/.cmucl-init. The most important setting is the central registry described below. Most of the other configuration settings are optional.


The central-registry is a list of file directories that will be searched for system definition (.asd) files and is the least you need to know about configuring ASDF. The safest way to modify asdf:*central-registry* is to use pushnew to push a new directory onto the list.

(pushnew "/Path/to/asd/files/" asdf:*central-registry*)

Automatically updating stale fasl filesEdit


;;; If the fasl was stale, try to recompile and load (once). Since only SBCL
;;; has a separate condition for bogus fasls we retry on any old error
;;; on other lisps. Actually, Allegro has a similar condition, but it's 
;;; unexported.  Works nicely for the ACL7 upgrade, though.
;;; CMUCL has an invalid-fasl condition as of 19c.
(defmethod asdf:perform :around ((o asdf:load-op) (c asdf:cl-source-file))
  (handler-case (call-next-method o c)
    (#+sbcl sb-ext:invalid-fasl 
     #+allegro excl::file-incompatible-fasl-error
     #+lispworks conditions:fasl-error
     #+cmu ext:invalid-fasl
     #-(or sbcl allegro lispworks cmu) error ()
     (asdf:perform (make-instance 'asdf:compile-op) c)

Alternative to symlinks, search directories recursivelyEdit

The standard way of adding libraries to ASDF involves either:

  1. Making a symbolic link for the .asd file in a directory listed in asdf:*central-registry* or
  2. Adding directories to asdf:*central-registry*.

The following code snippit shows how to recursively search through subdirectories for asdf packages.


;; An alternative to the standard sysdef search can be defined.  This                
;; code below can be dropped into your Lisp init files and customized.               
;; It will search for all ASDF systems in subdirectories of the                      
;; specified directories.  That lets you simply "drop-in" new packages               
;; into one of the specified directories, and it will be available for               
;; loading without any further steps.                                                
(in-package #:asdf)
(defvar *subdir-search-registry* '(#p"/my/lisp/libraries/")
  "List of directories to search subdirectories within.")
(defvar *subdir-search-wildcard* :wild
  "Value of :wild means search only one level of subdirectories; value of :wild-inferiors means search
 all levels of subdirectories (I don't advise using this in big directories!)")
(defun sysdef-subdir-search (system)
  (let ((latter-path (make-pathname :name (coerce-name system)
                                    :directory (list :relative
                                    :type "asd"
                                    :version :newest
                                    :case :local)))
    (dolist (d *subdir-search-registry*)
      (let* ((wild-path (merge-pathnames latter-path d))
             (files (directory wild-path)))
        (when files
          (return (first files)))))))
(pushnew 'sysdef-subdir-search *system-definition-search-functions*)


Last modified on 11 May 2009, at 02:12