How to install a library
Here and in the following sections we assume that you have set up your environment as described in Prerequisites.
Note: Of course, the fact that a library can be installed with ASDF-INSTALL and that ASDF-INSTALL was ported to your Lisp implementation doesn't necessary mean that the library itself will work with your Lisp! Check the library's docs before you try to install it.
Installing a library by name
The webpage http://www.cliki.net/asdf-install contains a list of libraries which can automatically be downloaded and installed via ASDF-INSTALL. Listed here are libraries which are explicitely prepared to work with ASDF-INSTALL and where the author decided to announce this via CLiki. This is the preferred way to install a library via ASDF-INSTALL.
You can click on the name of each library to get a description. Use the library's name from the list to install it. If, say, you want to install CL-PPCRE make sure you're connected to the Internet and use this command:
Then proceed with Where to store the library below.
Note: If you install a library by name, ASDF-INSTALL will connect to the CLiki website and from there it'll be redirected to the actual download location provided by the library's author.
Note: The argument to the
ASDF-INSTALL:INSTALL function is a string designator, i.e. instead of
:CL-PPCRE you can also use
"cl-ppcre". CLiki is case-insensitive and therefore case doesn't matter if you install a library by name.
Installing a library by URL
The list mentioned above is not necessary complete, i.e. there might as well exist libraries which aren't listed there but which can be installed via ASDF-INSTALL.
In order to be ASDF-installable a library has to contain a system definition for ASDF. It also has to be packaged in a certain way: It is assumed to come as a gzipped tar archive (usually ending in
.tgz) which unpacks into one directory possibly containing sub-directories. The system definition has to have a name corresponding to the name of the library (so if your library is called "foobar" the system definition is supposed to be
foobar.asd) and has to reside in the top-level directory.
If this is the case you can download and install the library directly by providing the download URL of the package like so:
Now proceed with Where to store the library below.
Note: Currently, ASDF-INSTALL only understands http. Other protocols like ftp or https aren't supported.
Note: It's obviously rather easy to make an existing library ASDF-installable if it isn't already. If you come across a library which you'd like to use but which isn't listed on http://www.cliki.net/asdf-install, it might be worthwhile to kindly ask the library's author to change this.
Installing from a local file
and afterwards carry on with the next section.
Note: For obvious reasons this namestring must not start with
"http://" although your operating system might otherwise allow this.
Where to store the library
ASDF-INSTALL will now ask you where the library should be stored. (This can be customized.) In the default configuration this'll look more or less like so:
Install where? 1) System-wide install: System in /usr/local/asdf-install/site-systems/ Files in /usr/local/asdf-install/site/ 2) Personal installation: System in /Users/gwking/.asdf-install-dir/systems/ Files in /Users/gwking/.asdf-install-dir/site/ 0) Abort installation. -->
Choose one of these options and enter the corresponding number, then press the
Return key. (Note that on Unix-like systems you usually don't have write access in
/usr/local/ unless you're
root.) Choice 0 will always be assigned to canceling the installation.
The security check
If you don't install from a local file, ASDF-INSTALL will now check the validity of the library. (This behaviour can be customized.) Library authors are supposed to crypto-sign their libraries and provide a file with the (PGP) signature in the same place where the library can be downloaded, i.e. if the library is at
http://www.example.com/frob.tar.gz then ASDF-INSTALL will try to download the signature from
ASDF-INSTALL will check
- if the signature exists on your computer,
- if there is a GPG trust relationship between the package signer and you (i.e. that the package comes from someone whose key you've signed, or someone else you have GPG trust with has signed), and
- if the signer is listed in your personal list of valid suppliers of Lisp code.
If all these tests succeed, ASDF-INSTALL will compile and install the library and you can now use it. (This will also happen instantly if you have installed from a local file.)
If one of the checks fails, you'll most likely be confronted with one of these situations:
Downloading 157777 bytes from http://weitz.de/files//cl-ppcre.tgz ... Error: Server responded 404 for GET http://weitz.de/files//cl-ppcre.tgz.asc [condition type: DOWNLOAD-ERROR] Restart actions (select using :continue): 0: Don't ckeck GPG signature for this package 1: Return to Top Level (an "abort" restart). 2: Abort entirely from this process.
There was no signature corresponding to this package.
Downloading 6365 bytes from http://files.b9.com//cl-base64-latest.tar.gz ...gpg: WARNING: using insecure memory! gpg: please see http://www.gnupg.org/faq.html for more information gpg: Signature made Thu 12 Jun 2003 04:06:04 PM CEST using DSA key ID C4A3823E gpg: Can't check signature: public key not found Error: No key found for key id 0x112ECDF2C4A3823E. Try some command like gpg --recv-keys 0x112ECDF2C4A3823E [condition type: KEY-NOT-FOUND] Restart actions (select using :continue): 0: Don't ckeck GPG signature for this package 1: Return to Top Level (an "abort" restart). 2: Abort entirely from this process.
The library was signed but the signer's public key wasn't found in your public keyring.
Downloading 6365 bytes from http://files.b9.com//cl-base64-latest.tar.gz ...gpg: WARNING: using insecure memory! gpg: please see http://www.gnupg.org/faq.html for more information gpg: Signature made Thu 12 Jun 2003 04:06:04 PM CEST using DSA key ID C4A3823E gpg: Good signature from "Kevin M. Rosenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>" gpg: aka "Kevin Rosenberg <email@example.com>" gpg: aka "Kevin M. Rosenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>" gpg: aka "Kevin Marcus Rosenberg, M.D. <email@example.com>" gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature! gpg: There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner. Primary key fingerprint: D7A0 55B6 4768 3582 B10D 3F0C 112E CDF2 C4A3 823E Error: GPG warns that the key id 0x112ECDF2C4A3823E (Kevin M. Rosenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>) is not fully trusted [condition type: KEY-NOT-TRUSTED] Restart actions (select using :continue): 0: Don't ckeck GPG signature for this package 1: Return to Top Level (an "abort" restart). 2: Abort entirely from this process.
The signer's key is in your public keyring but you have no GPG trust relationship with him.
Downloading 157777 bytes from http://weitz.de/files//cl-ppcre.tgz ...gpg: WARNING: using insecure memory! gpg: please see http://www.gnupg.org/faq.html for more information gpg: Signature made Fri 24 Oct 2003 11:22:11 AM CEST using DSA key ID 057958C6 gpg: Good signature from "Dr. Edmund Weitz <email@example.com>" Error: Dr. Edmund Weitz <firstname.lastname@example.org> (key id 595FF045057958C6) is not on your package supplier list [condition type: AUTHOR-NOT-TRUSTED] Restart actions (select using :continue): 0: Add to package supplier list 1: Don't ckeck GPG signature for this package 2: Return to Top Level (an "abort" restart). 3: Abort entirely from this process.
The signer's key is in your public keyring, you have a GPG trust relationship with him but the signer wasn't found in your list of valid suppliers of Lisp code.
As you'll have noticed, in all these cases ASDF-INSTALL offers the restart not to check the GPG signature in this particular case. How you can select this restart depends on your Lisp implementation but if you select it ASDF-INSTALL will proceed compiling and installing the package without further checks for this library.
In the last case (condition type
AUTHOR-NOT-TRUSTED) you are also offered another restart. If you select this one the signer of the library will be added to your package supplier list and you won't be asked again if you install another library signed by the same person.
Note: You might be asking yourself if all this security stuff is really necessary. Well, CLiki, the website where ASDF-INSTALL looks for the package URL if you install by name, can be edited by anyone so it would be fairly easy for a malicious hacker to redirect you to a library which once it's installed insults your boss by email or withdraws US$ 100,000 from your bank account. You better make sure this doesn't happen... See the section about customization on how to (partly) disable security checks.
Note: If you're unsure about notions like public keyring or GPG trust relationship, please read the GnuPG documentation. It is beyond the scope of this text to explain these terms.
How to use an installed library
After you've successfully executed
ASDF-INSTALL:INSTALL you can immediately use the library you've just installed while you're still in the same Lisp session. If you quit your Lisp image and start it anew you have to reload the library. (Of course you don't have to install it again!) This is done like so:
(asdf:operate 'asdf:load-op :library-name)
:LIBRARY-NAME is either the name you've used if you installed by name or it is the name of the main
.asd file if you've installed by URL or from a local file. If you're not sure about the name you have to use, you can list the contents of your registry for all libraries which are available to you. So, if your registry looks like this
edi@bird:~ > ls ~/.asdf-install-dir/systems/ cl-ppcre.asd cl-ppcre-test.asd cl-who.asd html-template.asd
you can substitute
:LIBRARY-NAME with one of
:HTML-TEMPLATE. (CL-PPCRE-TEST was most likely automatically installed when you installed CL-PPCRE.)
If you use SBCL you can, instead of calling
REQUIRE the library:
How ASDF-INSTALL resolves dependencies
Sometimes a library depends on one or more other libraries. This can be expressed within an ASDF system definition. If there's a dependency and the necessary libraries aren't already installed then ASDF-INSTALL will try to download the missing libraries by name and install them before it proceeds to install the main library. This of course requires that the missing libraries are also listed on CLiki.
You can for example from CMUCL issue the command