Roslisp is part of the ros stack in C-turtle and later releases, so installing ros also installs roslisp.
Roslisp uses the SBCL Common Lisp implementation. It will be automatically installed during roslisp installation as a Debian package.
Running nodes within Lisp
To start SBCL you can just call
on the command line. To set up ros-related paths, etc., load scripts/roslisp-sbcl-init from within Lisp after SBCL startup:
If you're using the popular and recommended SLIME interface, see here for how to set this up automatically; if not, add it to your .sbclrc.
Roslisp is tightly integrated with SBCL's ASDF build system, and extends it using rospack to search over packages. Basically, there's a special variable called ros-load:*current-ros-package* that holds a package name. Say it equals foo, and say foo has a dependency on another ROS package bar containing an ASDF system definition bar.asd. Then, the startup script above extends ASDF, so that whenever you refer to system bar, either if you directly ask to load bar or if you just state that some other system foo depends on bar, the name will be resolved to the right thing. Currently, if there are multiple ASDF systems with the same name in different dependent packages, we depend on the first one found by rospack.
For the special case of messages and services, we refer to their ASDF system using the -msg and -srv suffixes respectively. In the above example, say we want to make use of the messages in the bar package. We would then add a dependency on bar-msg to our ASDF file.
Running nodes from the command line
Currently, running nodes from the command line is not supported in catkin.
If you're using rosbuild, you can use the rosbuild_add_lisp_executable Cmake macro. For example, in the roslisp_tutorials package CMakeLists.txt, there is the line:
rosbuild_add_lisp_executable(bin/talker roslisp-tutorials roslisp-tutorials:talker)
This means: create an executable called bin/talker in the current package. The ASDF system for this package is called roslisp_tutorials/roslisp-tutorials (the package name concatenated with the second argument of the CMake macro). To run the node inside Lisp, invoke the function roslisp-tutorials:talker after loading that system.