I just installed Prompt on my iPad so I could possiby do some real work on my iMac via ssh. so far Mutt and Vim and emacs seemto work responsively enough for me. I've made a few tries at emacs before, but am essentially relearning it.

Of course the emacs that comes with Lion is 22.1.1. I installed the current emacs cocoa on my iMac, but it doesn't run in a terminal.

Is there a terminal version of 24 precompiled for OS X? Or is compiling it straightforward? So far I've had no need for Macports or Homebrew, and would prefer not to use them.


As far as I know, every emacs under the sun can run in a terminal:

/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs -nw

Change the path, of course, if your emacs resides elsewhere. If this is too long to type, even with tab completion, you can create a symlink to the Emacs executable, or make an alias for your shell.

Look to http://emacsformacosx.com/ for a precompiled modern Emacs for OS X.

  • I just discovered this. I should have checked AskDifferent first thing today instead of downloading the 24.1.1 source. At least on reading the installation instructions I ran accross the -nw option. As I mentioned, I already downloaded Emacs Cocoa 24.1.1, so I'm all set. – John Velman Jul 19 '12 at 15:31

The emacs wiki has a nice summary of your options to get a package manager and compile your own version of emacs as new as you please.

I would choose homebrew unless you read something you really prefer about one of the other tools for managing open source tools. If you are happy with version 22.1.1 you can just install Xcode and download the command line tools as they package emacs for the terminal with the rest of the things you'll need to compile the source yourself.

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