GNU Mes 0.18 released

October 07, 2018

We are pleased to announce the release of GNU Mes 0.18, representing 83 commits over 8 weeks.

Mes is now bringing a Reduced Binary Seed bootstrap to GuixSD; the size of bootstrap binaries has been halved and no regular toolchain binaries are used as binary seeds (i686-linux and x86_64-linux only).

MesCC has been refactored to use an abstracted assembly language and can now (cross-)build x86_64 binaries.

Next targets:

Packages are available from Guix's core-updates-next branch.


GNU Mes brings a Reduced Binary Seed bootstrap to Guix and potentially to any other interested GNU/Linux distribution, and aims to help create a full source bootstrap as part of the bootstrappable builds effort.

It consists of a mutual self-hosting Scheme interpreter written in ~5,000 LOC of simple C and a Nyacc-based C compiler written in Scheme. This mes.c is being simplified to be transpiled by M2-Planet.

The Scheme interpreter (mes.c) has a Garbage Collector, a library of loadable Scheme modules-- notably Dominique Boucher's LALR, Pre-R6RS portable syntax-case with R7RS ellipsis, Matt Wette's Nyacc --and test suite just barely enough to support a simple REPL and simple C-compiler: MesCC.

Mes+MesCC can compile an only lightly patched TinyCC that is self-hosting. Using this tcc and the Mes C library we now have a Reduced Binary Seed bootstrap for the gnutools triplet: glibc-2.2.5, binutils-2.20.1, gcc-2.95.3. This is enough to bootstrap Guix for i686-linux and x86_64-linux.

Mes is inspired by The Maxwell Equations of Software: LISP-1.5 -- John McCarthy page 13, GNU Guix's source/binary packaging transparency and Jeremiah Orians's stage0 ~500 byte self-hosting hex assembler.

GNU Mes is free software, it is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence version 3 or later.


git clone git://

Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature[*]:

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums:

f9f901f175fbc8a5a3d90c9c551ccc8c  mes-0.18.tar.gz
4f7612731a745ebb806548186453d55e0d0bf217  mes-0.18.tar.gz

[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the .sig suffix) is intact. First, be sure to download both the .sig file and the corresponding tarball. Then, run a command like this:

gpg --verify mes-0.18.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, then run this command to import it:

gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 1A858392E331EAFDB8C27FFBF3C1A0D9C1D65273

and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.

Mes runs from the source tree and can also be built, packaged and installed in Guix[SD] from a git checkout by running

guix package -f .guix.scm

Get informed, get involved

Join #bootstrappable on

Changes in 0.18 since 0.17.1

Changes in 0.17.1 since 0.17

Greetings, janneke

  1. GNU Mes
  2. GuixSD
  3. bootstrappable builds
  4. being simplified
  5. M2-Planet
  6. LALR
  7. portable syntax-case
  8. Nyacc
  9. bootstrappable TinyCC
  10. LISP-1.5
  11. stage0