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This repo is for useful '.emacs' files for GNU Emacs. The approach is to add intuitive extensions that never modify built-in Emacs bindings and standard behaviors. There has been a welcome wave of recent Emacs development and usage, but it has been accompanied by some unfortunate overrides of default behavior.


Installation instructions can be found in the .emacs files. The .emacs file currently works on both Mac OS X and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. See the section below about Mac OS X for tips on installation there.

The .emacs_centos-5 file is rather out of date at this point, but should still work.

The .emacs file can be adopted wholesale. But as a rule of thumb, only add code into your .emacs file that you fully understand. So, often, the adoption model is to try out select segments of other .emacs files one at a time.


See the Quick Start guide, and optionally, the Extras guide.
The official manual and numerous books fill in the gaps.

Mac OS X

For Mac, the vanilla build is recommended since it supports a very current version of Emacs:


  • Aquamacs is great, but at the time of this writing, outdated since it is built with Emacs 23.
  • It can be found at:
  • Here is a link to all the Emacs packages referenced by the Aquamacs Mac OS X version of the '.emacs' file (found under 'aquamacs', above):
  • Note that only Aquamacs needs the file, 'customizations.el' (a sample one is located under 'aquamacs', here).