GNU Mes 0.25 released

November 11, 2023

We are happy to announce the release of GNU Mes 0.25!

Although it's been only nine months since the previous release, this release represents 116 commits over two years by six people. This release brings RISC-V64-linux support.

We are excited that the NLnet Foundation is sponsoring this work!

What's next?

Bringing the Full Source Bootstrap to NixOS. Full Guile compatible module support, and support for running Gash and Gash-Utils. Support for bootstrapping gcc-4.6.4, and a Full Source Bootstrap for armhf-linux, and riscv64-linux.



GNU Mes is a Scheme interpreter and C compiler for bootstrapping the GNU System. It has helped to decimate the number and size of binary seeds that were used in the bootstrap of GNU Guix 1.0. Recently, version 0.24.2 has realized the first Full Source Bootstrap for Guix. The final goal is to help create a full source bootstrap as part of the bootstrappable builds effort for any UNIX-like operating system.

The Scheme interpreter is written in ~5,000 LOC of simple C, and the C compiler written in Scheme and these are mutual self-hosting. Mes can now be bootstrapped from M2-Planet and Mescc-Tools.

Mes + MesCC + Mes C Library can build a bootstrappable TinyCC that is self-hosting. Using this bootstrappable-tcc and the Mes C library we can build an ancient version of the GNU tools triplet: glibc-2.2.5, binutils-2.20.1, gcc-2.95.3. This is enough to bootstrap Guix for i686-linux, x86_64-linux, armhf-linux and aarch64-linux.

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


git clone git://

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

Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:

Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:

a0fcd35a32d16580cacb52add632d96eae0548a9  mes-0.25.tar.gz  
325250b3567ed9203ba70161c835af01079e73ebed97b4b5bb77ca500b828940  mes-0.25.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-0.25.tar.gz.sig

If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, or that public key has expired, try the following commands to update or refresh it, and then rerun the 'gpg --verify` command.

gpg --recv-keys 1A858392E331EAFDB8C27FFBF3C1A0D9C1D65273

Alternatively, Mes can be installed or updated using Guix:

guix pull
guix install mes

Get informed, get involved

Join #bootstrappable on

Changes in 0.25 since 0.24.2

Join and #bootstrappable on for discussions.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release:

12  Andrius Štikonas
 1  Efraim Flashner
24  Ekaitz Zarraga
 1  Emily Trau
69  Janneke Nieuwenhuizen
15  W. J. van der Laan