Running Lisp on OpenWRT

Get the Makefile tarball

From this site, get the tarball with the Makefile (it’s something like tinyscheme-x.zz-openwrt-w.tar.gz or picolisp-x.zz-openwrt-w.tar.gz)

Get OpenWRT

For trunk (bleeding edge):

git clone

For the stable release, get the tags from that git repository and checkout the release you want.

NOTE: if you are trying to compile against trunk and it doesn’t work, try compiling against the source of the latest release. Even if you installed a development snapshot, the package compiled against the latest release may work.


cd openwrt
tar xzf tinyscheme-x.zz-openwrt-w.tar.gz
tar xzf picolisp-x.zz-openwrt-w.tar.gz

From here on, LANG is either tinyscheme, picolisp or retro.

Look at the package/LANG/Makefile. It automatically downloads the language implementation.

Configure and build

From the OpenWRT sources, do:

make menuconfig

choose to build for your device; confgure packages: choose to build languages->LANG

Now download and compile the toolchain (this takes some gigabytes!)

make tools/install
make toolchain/install

And finally, compile the package:

make package/LANG/compile

The package will be placed in bin/TARGET/packages/LANG-....ipk

Send it to your router and install it with opkg:

# opkg install LANG-....ipk

Including the language in a full OpenWRT image

If you want the package to be included in the OpenWRT image, then when you run make manuconfig you should select them not as modules (“M”), but as built-in ("*").

Then do:

make target/linux/clean world

The above command will build a full OpenWRT image with LANG included:


You can ten either flash your device with this image or run it under qemu.