Since 2000

Chicken (stylized "CHICKEN") is an enduringly popular Scheme implementation. A crowd favorite due to its friendly and practical-minded user community, libraries are plentiful and advice is readily available. The system is well rounded with competitive performance, a good feature set, and fairly complete documentation, making it a good fit for a large variety of problems.

Chicken has a separate compiler and interpreter. The compiler generates C code which can be fed to a number of C compilers, including tcc. Standard practice is to compile libraries (called "eggs") using the compiler, load them into the interpreter for interactive development, then compile the finished program into a self-contained OS-native executable.

Chicken's runtime is the best-known implementation of the Cheney on the MTA design. Continuations and garbage collection are done by leveraging the C language call stack. Chicken has a complete and efficient C FFI. The threading model is green threads. Despite its featurefulness, the sytem is very portable. Chicken is generally among the first implementations ported to fringe operating systems.

Visit the CHICKEN home page

Standout features


Standards: R6RS


Native code compiler: x86-64

Interpreter: bytecode (Petite Chez Scheme)



Browse libraries compatible with Chez Scheme


docker run -it

docker run -it


Browse Chez Scheme files