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Manual Reference Pages  -  GUILE (1)


guile - The GNU Project Extension Language




guile [-L DIRECTORY] [-l FILE] [-e FUNCTION] [\] [-c EXPR] [-s SCRIPT] [--] [SCRIPT [ARGs for SCRIPT] ]

Only the most useful options are listed here; see below for the remainder.


GNU Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language. It extends the R5RS and R6RS language standards, providing additional features necessary for real-world use.

Guile works well for interactive use, basic scripting, and extension of larger applications, as well as for stand-alone Scheme application development.

The guile executable itself provides a stand-alone interactive compiler and run-time for Scheme programs, both for interactive use and for executing Scheme scripts or programs.

This manual page provides only brief instruction in invoking guile from the command line. Please consult the Guile info documentation for more information, (type info "(guile)Invoking Guile" at a command prompt).


  Add DIRECTORY to the front of Guile’s module load path.
-l FILE Load Scheme source code from FILE.
  After reading SCRIPT, apply FUNCTION to command-line arguments. Note that FUNCTION is evaluated, so, for example, (@ (my-module) my-proc) is valid here.
\ The "meta switch", used to work around limitations in #! scripts. See "The Meta Switch" in the texinfo documentation for more details.
-- Stop argument processing, and start guile in interactive mode.
-c EXPR Stop argument processing, and evaluate EXPR as a Scheme expression.
  Load Scheme source from SCRIPT-FILE and execute as a script. Note that in many cases it is not necessary to use -s; one may invoke guile simply as guile SCRIPT-FILE ARG...
-ds Carry out -s SCRIPT at this point in the option sequence. Note that this argument must be used in conjunction with -s.
  Start guile with the debugging VM. By default, debugging is on when guile is invoked interactively; it is off otherwise.
  Start guile without the debugging VM, even if guile is being run interactively.
  Compile source files automatically (default behavior).
  Disable automatic source file compilation.
  Listen on a port or socket for remote REPL connections. See the manual for more details.
  Load SRFI extensions N, M, etc. For example, --use-srfi=8,13.
  Add EXTENSION to the guile load extension list.
-h, --help Describe command-line options and exit.
-v, --version
  Display guile version and exit.
-q In interactive mode, suppress loading the user’s initialization file, ~/.guile.


  If $GUILE_LOAD_PATH is set before guile is started, its value is used to augment the path to search for Scheme files when loading. It should be a colon-separated list of directories, which will be prefixed to the default %load-path.
  If $GUILE_LOAD_COMPILED_PATH is set before guile is started, its value is used to augment the path to search for compiled Scheme files (.go files) when loading. It should be a colon-separated list of directories, which will be prefixed to the default %load-compiled-path.


  A Guile script that is executed before any other processing occurs. For example, the following .guile activates guile’s readline interface:

  (use-modules (ice-9 readline)) (activate-readline)


The full documentation for Guile is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and guile programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info guile
should give you access to the complete manual. provides a general introduction to the Scheme language.


There is a mailing list,, for reporting Guile bugs and fixes. But before reporting something as a bug, please try to be sure that it really is a bug, not a misunderstanding or a deliberate feature. We ask you to read the section ‘‘Reporting Bugs’’ in the Guile reference manual (or Info system) for hints on how and when to report bugs. Also, include the version number of the Guile you are running in every bug report that you send in. Bugs tend actually to get fixed if they can be isolated, so it is in your interest to report them in such a way that they can be easily reproduced.


Copyright (C) 2010, 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this document under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this document into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission notice may be stated in a translation approved by the Free Software Foundation.


Robert Merkel <> wrote this manpage. Rob Browning <> has added to it.

guile is GNU software. Guile is originally based on Aubrey Jaffer’s SCM interpreter, and is the work of many individuals.

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GNU GUILE (1) 2011-03-04

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