I generally work with a terminal window with a half-dozen tabs open, and that window lives for a week or so. Every once in a while, tabs (running emacs) become corrupted or something [every other line is missing, new text appears as blank spaces, first few lines are missing, etc] --- where emacs no longer accurately displays what's in the file, and modifications don't appear correctly (while the files themselves always seem to be fine). Only individual tabs are effected, and I've only noticed problems in emacs. New tabs always work fine, so closing the tab and opening a new one effectively works-around the problem.

This has only happened since I upgraded to Mountain Lion.

Has anyone had similar problems? I'm having trouble even coming up with directions or search-terms to try to investigate the problem; does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Do you mean that if you exit emacs and then start it again in the same terminal, the display is still messed up? Does the output of less or vim look okay? This is a long shot, but one thing to try is Shell > Send Reset (and if that doesn't work, try Shell > Send Hard Reset) to ensure the terminal is in an initial state. Another thing to try is resizing the window, so Terminal and emacs agree on the size of the terminal screen (they might have gotten out of synch).
    – Chris Page
    Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 14:15
  • Yes, even after restarting emacs, its still messed up. Resizing doesn't help -- but I'll try the 'reset' next time it happens. Thanks Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 17:25
  • A screenshot might help make it clearer exactly what's going wrong.
    – Chris Page
    Commented Jan 16, 2013 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


One way to keep emacs running stable for a long time is running it as a separate GUI app. I installed GNU Emacs for Mac OSX and it runs without any redraw issue. It will pick up your normal .emacs configuration and if you do not like the GUI elements like the toolbar you can hide them on startup in the variable default-frame-alist.

  • I am fully aware, that the question was directly about issues with terminal windows, but relaising the asker's ultimate aim might be a stable emacs session, I do post the suggestion above.
    – halloleo
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 0:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .