Practicalli Spacemacs - Clojure install banner

Establish a Clojure environment by installing the following tools:

Tools Required Purpose
Clojure CLI tools Essential Run Clojure REPL for development and production
Aliases for CLI tools Recommended Additional tools to enhance Clojure development experience
clj-kondo Recommended Static analysis of code to find all those little bugs
rlwrap Optional A simple read line for command history, only used by clj

Aliases provided by practicalli/clojure-deps-edn

practicalli/clojure-deps-edn provides a user wide configuration of over 30 aliases to support Clojure development. These aliases use meaningful names to avoid clashes with project specific aliases, ensuring that the user wide aliases remain available in all projects.

Clojure CLI tools

Clojure CLI tools provides the simplest way to run the Clojure REPL and Clojure projects.

Use the Linux script installer from

curl -O
chmod +x
sudo ./

If required, install curl using sudo apt install curl

The installation creates /usr/local/bin/clojure, /usr/local/bin/clj wrapper and /usr/local/lib/clojure directory.

With Mac OSX Homebrew or Homebrew on Linux or Windows with WSL installed.

Open a terminal window and run the brew command line to install Clojure from the official clojure/tools tap:

brew install clojure/tools/clojure

For Windows 10 use Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Terminal are recommended if you have administrative privileges and are happy to use a Unix system on the command line.

For earlier versions of Windows use is a command line installer for windows and is the recommended approach. Powershell 5 or greater is required.

Follow the scoop-clojure install instructions, summarized here:

scoop install git
scoop bucket add java
scoop bucket add scoop-clojure
scoop install adoptopenjdk-lts-hotspot
scoop install clojure
scoop update clojure

To also use scoop to install clj-kondo

scoop bucket add extras

scoop install clj-kondo

An early release version of clj on Windows is available.

Clojure CLI tools and common aliases

practicalli/clojure-deps-edn contains aliases for a number of community tools that support the Clojure development workflow.

Clone repository to ~/.clojure/, using a fork if you wish to maintain your own aliases

git clone ~/.clojure/

All tools are provided via libraries and installed on first use, or if library versions are updated.

If using your own ~/.clojure/deps.edn then add an alias for the clj-new tool as this is extensively used in this guide.

clj-kondo static analyser / linter

clj-kondo will greatly enhance the joy of coding in Clojure by keeping your code idiomatic and free from a wide range of syntax bugs. It performs static analysis on Clojure, ClojureScript and EDN, without the need of a running REPL.

Follow the clj-kondo install guide for your operating system.

Spacemacs integration requires the syntax-checking layer and the clojure-enable-linters variable added to the clojure layer, within the dotspacemacs-configuration-layers of the .spacemacs file.

SPC f e d opens the .spacemacs file

SPC s s dotspacemacs-configuration-layers RET to jump to that section of the file

Add clojure-enable-linters variable to the clojure layer

(clojure :variables
             clojure-enable-linters 'clj-kondo)

Add the syntax-checking layer

SPC f s to save and SPC q r to restart Emacs and download any additional packages.

clj-kondo has sensible default configuration, however its simple to add your own configuration

Optional: rlwrap readline

Install the rlwrap binary to support the clj wrapper, which launches a basic repl with command history. This approach is not as useful as using rebel readline.

rlwrap is available with most Linux systems and install instructions should be found by searching for rlwrap in a web browser.

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