guile1.8 - Man Page

a Scheme interpreter


guile [-q] [-ds] [--help] [--version] [--emacs] [--debug] [-l FILE] [-e FUNCTION] [] [-c EXPR] [-s SCRIPT] [--]


GNU Guile is an interpreter for the Scheme programming language.  It implements R5RS, providing additional features necessary for real-world use.  It is extremely simple to embed guile into a C program, calling C from Scheme and Scheme from C.  Guile's design makes it very suitable for use as an "extension" or "glue" language, but it also works well as a stand-alone scheme development environment.

The guile executable itself provides a stand-alone interpreter for scheme programs, for either interactive use or executing scripts.

This manpage provides only brief instruction in invoking guile from the command line.  Please consult the guile info documentation (type info guile at a command prompt) for more information.  There is also a tutorial (info guile-tut) available.



Load scheme source code from file.


After reading script, apply FUNCTION to command-line arguments


do -s SCRIPT at this point (note that this argument must be used in conjuction with -s)


Describe command line options and exit


Start guile with debugging evaluator and backtraces enabled  (useful for debugging guile scripts)


Display guile version and exit.


Enable emacs protocol for use from within emacs (experimental)


Stop argument processing, start guile in interactive mode.


Stop argument processing, evaluate EXPR as a scheme expression.


Load Scheme source from SCRIPT-FILE and execute as a script.



If $GUILE_LOAD_PATH is set, its value is used to agument the path to search for scheme files when loading.  It should be a colon separated list of directories which will be prepended to the default %load-path.


~/.guile is 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))

See Also

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.


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.