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User Documentation

There is a user manual for Gambit in HTML and PDF formats.

See the Scheme page for documentation on Scheme in general.

Prebuilt Distributions

Some prebuilt distributions are available.

Building Gambit from Source

To build Gambit from source, one must first run the configure script, which has a number of important options.

There are various make targets of which you should be aware.

Packages, modules, libraries and driving systems

The Snow package system

Snow is a package system for R4RS and R5RS Scheme. Nearly all Snow packages run on Gambit. Users can simply download and install existing packages. For those who want to develop new packages, Snow has its own documentation.

Black Hole module system

Black Hole is a module system that enables Gambit with features for incremental development and making sharing code easy. It is bundled with a set of standard libraries, that serve a general purpose in Scheme software development.


The Scheme community has accumulated a set of common libraries and conventions called Scheme Requests for Implementation, publicly collected on

Gambit has SRFIs 0, 4, 6, 8, 9, 18, 21, 22, 23, 27, and 39 built-in.

Snow as well as Black Hole feature certain SRFI:s. Also, there are SRFI:s that remain to be ported to Gambit.

Dumping grounds

There is an informal listing of sourcecode on the Dumping Grounds.

Editor/IDE Support

Gambit provides a powerful development environment through Emacs.

For those running Windows you can download Emacs here. You may want to read the Emacs FAQ for Windows before customizing Emacs for use with Gambit.

Editors such as Eclipse with the SchemeWay extension, or just about any text editor with Scheme syntax highlighting, such as VIM or GVIM, may prove valuable as well.


Termite is an Erlang-like distributed programming system written in Scheme.

Distributed computing hot right now, and Termite has been noticed in blogs and elsewhere.

Termite depends on specific features of Gambit, and at one time or another the Termite source code has been distributed with Gambit, so we point to the Termite web site from here.


A Tour of Scheme in Gambit gives a general introduction to Scheme and Gambit to people with experiences of general programming languages. Available in PDF, Open Office and Microsoft Word formats.

Internals Documentation

People who want to contribute to Gambit development will need to learn something about how the Gambit-C runtime and compiler are organized. While we intend that source code documentation be included in the source itself (currently there is very little documentation), we intend that descriptions of program design or algorithms used in the runtime and compiler could be included on the Internal Documentation page.

Working with External Libraries

With Gambit's C FFI (Foreign Function Interface), one can easily use standard C and C++ libraries with your code; this wiki has some examples of and practices on using Gambit with external libraries. See Using Gambit with External Libraries.


See the Debugging page.


The mailing list archive covers many topics at depth. You can make Google search queries limited to the mailing list by clicking "advanced settings" on

Compiling Gambit software for different target environments

Wish list

External links

Personal tools