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All the code you need to get started, with an emphasis on dynamic languages.
Emacs Lisp
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Emacs Starter Kit

From Phil Hagelberg's emacs-starter-kit.

Current or planned customizations by Geoffrey Grosenbach (topfunky)

  • Intended for use with Carbon Emacs
  • May have partially functional or half-implemented features. Try forking the original from Phil if you experience problems or want a fresh start.

Some current additions

  • defunkt's TextMate minor-mode.
  • Some Mac key equivalents (Command-S, Command-Z).
  • Textile, Haml, Sass, etc.
  • Color themes.
  • yasnippet for TextMate-style snippets.
  • Useful functions such as toggle-fullscreen


  • More snippets
  • Better color theme


This should provide a saner set of defaults than you get normally with Emacs. It's intended for beginners, but it should provide a reasonable working environment for anyone using Emacs for dynamic languages.


  1. Install Emacs (at least version 22) Use your package manager if you have one. Otherwise, Mac users should get it from Apple. Windows users can get it from GNU.
  2. Move the directory containing this file to ~/.emacs.d
  3. Launch Emacs!

If you are missing some autoloads after an update (should manifest itself as "void function: foobar" errors) try M-x regen-autoloads.

If you want to keep your regular ~/.emacs.d in place and just launch a single instance using the starter kit, try the following invocation:

$ emacs -q -l ~/src/emacs-starter-kit/init.el


Libraries from ELPA ( are preferred when available since dependencies are handled automatically, and the burden to update them is removed from the user.

See starter-kit-elpa.el for a list of libraries that are pending submission to ELPA.


If you know your way around Emacs, please try out the starter kit as a replacement for your regular dotfiles for a while. If there's anything you just can't live without, add it or let me know so I can add it. Take a look at what happens in init.el to get started.

Also: see the file TODO.

The latest version is at

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