Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
Mar 26, 2021

Made with Spacemacs GPLv3 Software Twitter


philosophy | for whom? | screenshots | documentation | contribute | achievements | FAQ

Gitter Discord elisp state Donate Merchandise Recommend it

Quick Start

If you don't have an existing Emacs setup and want to run Spacemacs as your configuration, and if you have all prerequisites installed, you can install Spacemacs with one line:

  • shell:

    git clone $HOME/.emacs.d
  • Windows PowerShell:

    git clone $HOME/.emacs.d

    If HOME is not set in environment or in registry:

    git clone $env:APPDATA/.emacs.d

If you do have an existing Emacs configuration, look at the full installation instructions for other options.


Spacemacs is a new way of experiencing Emacs -- it's a sophisticated and polished set-up, focused on ergonomics, mnemonics and consistency.

Just clone and launch it, then press the space bar to explore the interactive list of carefully-chosen key bindings. You can also press the home buffer's [?] button for some great first key bindings to try.

Spacemacs can be used naturally by both Emacs and Vim users -- you can even mix the two editing styles. Being able to quickly switch between input styles, makes Spacemacs a great tool for pair-programming.

Spacemacs is currently in beta, and any contributions are very welcome.



  • Great documentation: access the Spacemacs documentation with SPC h SPC.
  • Beautiful GUI: you'll love the distraction free UI and its functional mode-line.
  • Excellent ergonomics: all the key bindings are accessible by pressing the SPC or Alt-m.
  • Mnemonic key bindings: commands have mnemonic prefixes like SPC b for all the buffer commands or SPC p for the project commands.
  • Batteries included: discover hundreds of ready-to-use packages nicely organized in configuration layers following a set of conventions .


Comprehensive documentation is available for each layer by pressing SPC h SPC.

You can also check the general documentation, quick start guide and the FAQ.

Getting Help

If you need help, ask your questions in the Gitter Chat and a member of the community will help you out.

If you prefer IRC, connect to the Gitter Chat IRC server and join the #syl20bnr/spacemacs channel.

Last but not least there are a lot of high class tutorials available on YouTube:


  1. A package manager if the OS doesn't have one already.

  2. Spacemacs is an extension of a popular text editor called Emacs. So you'll need Emacs installed first.

    Spacemacs requires Emacs 27.1 or above. The development version of Emacs is not officially supported, but it should nevertheless be expected to work.

  3. git is required to download and update Spacemacs.

  4. Tar, either GNU Tar or BSD Tar, is required to install and update Emacs packages used by Spacemacs.

  5. (Optional) The default font used by Spacemacs is Source Code Pro. You may customize your own font settings and choose another font. If you want to use this default font, it must be installed.

    Spacemacs also uses fallback fonts to ensure certain Unicode symbols it uses symbols appear correctly. The fonts used are determined by the OS:

    If the mode-line doesn't look similar to the picture at the top of this page, make sure you have the correct fallback font installed.

  6. (Optional) Various commands in Spacemacs needs one of the following line searching program:

    Grep is very slow but it's widely available on most systems and is used as an fallback option.

    We strongly recommend ripgrep over other line searching programs, for its blazing fast speed. The following subsections helps you to install it.


  1. Most Linux distribution ships a package manager already and if this is the case you are all set for this step.

    If it doesn't, you may need to build the softwares mentioned below from their sources.

  2. In most distributions, Emacs is installed via an emacs package from the package manager.

    N.B. DO not install XEmacs because it's not supported by Spacemacs. XEmacs is an old fork of Emacs with various subtle differences.

    N.B. Some Linux distributions support only Emacs versions older than 27.1. In this case you should build it from source instead.

  3. Very likely Git is already installed on your system. Otherwise, you should be able to install git from your system's package manager.

  4. Very likely Tar is already installed on your system. Otherwise, you should be able to install tar from your system's package manager.

  5. (Optional) If Nerd Fonts and Nanum Gothic are available from your distribution's package manager, you should install it there.

    Otherwise, the generic way to install it is:

    1. Download the latest pre-built TTF font from and

    2. Extract the archive and move the font files to ~/.fonts.

    3. Refresh font cache with:

    fc-cache -fv
  6. (Optional) If your distribution is listed here, follow the instructions. Otherwise, you can download its pre-built binary or build it from source.


  1. The most popular package manager on macOS is Homebrew, to install it:

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"
  2. Several options exist for installing Emacs on macOS:

    1. Emacs Plus features additional functionalities over base Emacs.

      brew tap d12frosted/emacs-plus
      # install latest stable release, with Spacemacs icon and native compilation
      brew install emacs-plus --with-spacemacs-icon --with-native-comp
    2. Emacs Mac Port adds native GUI support to Emacs 28. And the full list of features is available here.

      brew tap railwaycat/emacsmacport
      brew install emacs-mac
    3. Emacs for Mac OS X is the binary build of GNU Emacs, without any extra feature.

      brew install --cask emacs
  3. To install git:

    brew install git
  4. macOS ships with BSD Tar so you don't need to install it.

  5. (Optional) To install Source Code Pro Font:

    brew tap homebrew/cask-fonts
    brew install --cask font-source-code-pro

    Arial Unicode MS is shipped with macOS v10.5 and later so you don't need to install it manually.

  6. (Optional) You can install ripgrep via Homebrew:

    brew install ripgrep


  1. We recommend Scoop as the package manager for Windows users. You can install it via PowerShell:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned -Scope CurrentUser # Optional: Needed to run a remote script the first time
    irm | iex
  2. Emacs can be installed in PowerShell:

    scoop bucket add extras
    scoop install emacs
  3. To install git in PowerShell:

    scoop bucket add main
    scoop install git
  4. Windows 10 build 17063 and later ships with BSD Tar and you won't need to install it manually.

    If you're running an earlier version of Windows, Tar can be installed in PowerShell:

    scoop bucket add main
    scoop install tar
  5. To install Source Code Pro Font in PowerShell:

    scoop bucket add KnotUntied_scoop-fonts
    scoop install sourcecodepro

    MS Gothic and Lucida Sans Unicode are shipped with Windows 2003 and later so you don't need to install it manually.

  6. (Optional) You can install ripgrep in PowerShell:

    scoop bucket add main
    scoop install ripgrep


Default Install

  1. The default installation downloads Spacemacs to the .emacs.d directory in your HOME directory.

    But in the case of Windows, HOME is not set out-of-box. We recommend you to set it as an environment variable, with the same value as environment variable HOMEPATH, which usually looks like C:\Users\<username>.

  2. Since Spacemacs will now be downloaded at $HOME/.emacs.d, if it already exists it'll be overridden.

    Also, if you have either $HOME/.emacs.el or $HOME/.emacs, they will appear before Spacemacs in Emacs's initialization steps. Thus they must be renamed in order for Spacemacs to load correctly.

    To backup/rename the aforementioned files/directory, in shell:

    [ -d $HOME/.emacs.d ] && mv $HOME/.emacs.d $HOME/.emacs.d.bak
    [ -f $HOME/.emacs.el ] && mv $HOME/.emacs.el .emacs.el.bak
    [ -f $HOME/.emacs ] && mv $HOME/.emacs $HOME/.emacs.bak

    or in PowerShell:

    if( TestPath -Path $HOME/.emacs.d )
        Rename-Item $HOME/.emacs.d $HOME/.emacs.d.bak
    if( TestPath -Path $HOME/.emacs.el )
        Rename-Item $HOME/.emacs.el $HOME/.emacs.el.bak
    if( TestPath -Path $HOME/.emacs )
        Rename-Item $HOME/.emacs $HOME/.emacs.bak
  3. Now clone this repository with Git. The following work for both shell and PowerShell:

    git clone $HOME/.emacs.d

    In case you have a limited internet connection or limited speed:

    git clone --depth 1 ~/.emacs.d
  4. Now you can launch Emacs and Spacemacs will be loaded.

Alternative Install Location

To install Spacemacs in a different location, we first need to introduce how Spacemacs is loaded:

When Emacs is started, it looks for the init file in a deterministic way. The default installation exploits it by occupying $HOME/.emacs.d/init.el and let Emacs use it as its init file.

In other word, in default installation, Emacs find and load $HOME/.emacs.d/init.el, which is then responsible to load other files in $HOME/.emacs.d.

If you want to install Spacemacs to a different location, you need to make sure it's loaded by Emacs in one of its init file.

For example, if you've cloned Spacemacs to $HOME/Spacemacs, and if you use $HOME/.emacs.el as Emacs init file, then the following lines in $HOME/.emacs.el:

;; load Spacemacs's initialization file, "~" is equivalent to "$HOME"
(load-file "~/Spacemacs/init.el")

First Launch and Configuration

  1. After cloning Spacemacs, the first time when you launch Emacs, Spacemacs will automatically install the essential packages it requires. This step is the bootstrap.

  2. Once the bootstrap packages are installed, Spacemacs checks whether you have an customization file $HOME/.spacemacs, known as dotspacemacs:

    • If it already exists, Spacemacs loads it as the configuration.
    • Otherwise, you need to answer a few questions and Spacemacs will generate the dotspacemacs file for you.

    If you are new to Emacs and/or Spacemacs, it's fine to just accept the default choices. They can be changed in the dotspacemacs file later.

  3. Spacemacs will download and install remaining packages it will require, according to your dotspacemacs. When the all the packages have been installed, restart Emacs to complete the installation.

  4. dotspacemacs is the configuration file for Spacemacs, it's self explanatory and is written in Emacs Lisp. Read general documentation and quick start guide for more information.

  5. In case you want to store your dotspacemacs at another location, say under $HOME/.spacemacs.d:

    • First set the environment variable SPACEMACSDIR to $HOME/.spacemacs.d.
    • Move $HOME/.spacemacs to $HOME/.spacemacs.d/init.el.

    In other word, set SPACEMACSDIR to the parent directory of your dotspacemacs, and move dotspacemacs to the said directory.

Spacemacs logo

For Linux users, create spacemacs.desktop in ~/.local/share/applications/ using this .desktop file as a reference. Change the Name parameter to Name=Spacemacs and the Icon parameter to Icon=/PATH/TO/EMACSD/core/banners/img/spacemacs.png where PATH/TO/EMACSD is the path to your .emacs.d directory, by default ~/.emacs.d.

For macOS users, you need to download the .icns version of the logo and simply change the logo on the Dock.


  • Depending on the installed version of GnuTLS, securely installing Emacs packages may fail. It may also fail if you have a bad internet environment. In either case it is possible to install packages using emacs --insecure. However be aware that this means your packages will be transferred using HTTP, use at your own risk.

  • (Windows) If the following error occurs after starting Emacs:

    The directory ~/.emacs.d/server is unsafe

    Fix it by changing the owner of the directory ~/.emacs.d/server:

    • From Properties select the Tab “Security”,
    • Select the button “Advanced”,
    • Select the Tab “Owner”
    • Change the owner to your account name

    Source: Stack Overflow

  • (Windows) The period (dot) before a file or folder name means that it's a hidden file or folder. To show hidden files and folders:

    • Press the Windows key
    • Type File explorer options
    • Select the View tab at the top
    • Check Show hidden files, folders and drives
    • Click OK


Spacemacs supports two different update schemes, the default is a rolling update scheme based on the latest version of packages available. This version can be found on the develop branch and is updated by a simple git pull.

The second method is deprecated. It was a fixed version scheme which was based on a stable set of packages. The latest fixed version can be found on the master branch and would show a notification when a new version is available. Be warned that this method has not been updated in a long time, so packages will be very old.

Rolling update (on develop)

  1. Close Emacs and update the git repository:

    git pull --rebase
  2. Restart Emacs to complete the upgrade.

Deprecated automatic update (on master branch)

When a new version is available, a little arrow will appear in the mode-line.

Its color depends on the number of versions that have been released since the last update. Green means that you have a recent version, orange and red means that you have an older version.


Click on the arrow to update Spacemacs to the latest version.

Manual update (on master branch)

Remove the < and > angle brackets when you're typing the lines below into your shell. Make sure to also replace the text: "tag version which you are updating to" with a tagged version. This page lists the latest tags

git fetch
git reset --hard <tag version which you are updating to>

Revert to a specific release version (on master branch)

To revert to a specific release version, just checkout the corresponding branch. For instance, the following command reverts Spacemacs to version 0.200:

git checkout origin/release-0.200

After updating Spacemacs (either manually or automatically), you should also check if any updates are available for your packages. On the Spacemacs Home Buffer SPC b h, click (press RET) on the [Update Packages] button, or use the convenient keybinding SPC f e U


Quote by ashnur:

«I feel that spacemacs is an aircraft carrier and I am playing table tennis
on the deck as a freerider.»

Quote by deuill:


 That is all»


Spacemacs is a community-driven project, it needs you to keep it up to date and to propose great and useful configurations for all the things!

Before contributing, be sure to consult the contribution guidelines and conventions.


Spacemacs Everywhere

Once you've learned the Spacemacs key bindings, you can use them in other IDEs/tools, thanks to the following projects:

  • Intellimacs - Spacemacs' like key bindings for IntelliJ platform
  • Spaceclipse - Spacemacs’ like key bindings for Eclipse
  • SpaceVim - A community-driven modular vim distribution
  • VSpaceCode - Spacemacs’ like key bindings for Visual Studio Code


The license is GPLv3 for all parts specific to Spacemacs, this includes:

  • the initialization and core files
  • all the layer files
  • the documentation

For the packages shipped in this repository, you can refer to the files header.

Spacemacs logo by Nasser Alshammari released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Supporting Spacemacs

The best way to support Spacemacs is to contribute to it either by reporting bugs, helping the community on the Gitter Chat or sending pull requests.

You can show your love for the project by getting cool Spacemacs t-shirts, mugs and more in the Spacemacs Shop.

If you want to show your support financially, then you can contribute to Bountysource, or buy a drink for the maintainer by clicking on the Paypal badge.

If you used Spacemacs in a project, and you want to show that fact, you can use the Spacemacs badge: Built with Spacemacs

  • For Markdown:

    [![Built with Spacemacs](](
  • For HTML:

    <a href=""><img alt="Built with Spacemacs" src="" /></a>
  • For Org-mode:


Thank you!