1. Sunday, December 10, 2006 12:54:30 AM by Tom
    Why is it that all the Emacs blog posts are so long. Since Emacs is for programmers, it should be easy to keep these short:

    1. Get Emacs from somewhere - 21.x is best
    2. Unpack with 7-Zip
    3. Set home directory
    4. Put .emacs file in home directory
    5. No step 5

    After reading how to do this elsewhere, it turns out to really be this simple.

    Adding extensions seems to be similarly verbose, and I'm guessing it's actually very easy - probably only 3 steps.
  2. Sunday, December 10, 2006 1:47:27 AM by Derek
    Most people with enough knowledge to follow those steps don't read these sorts of posts. If I was writing the steps for an Emacs expert unfamiliar with Windows, I would say:

    1. Extract the Emacs binary of your liking to a shared directory using GNU tar or similar.

    2. Set your HOME directory to the value of %USERPROFILE%.

    There are plenty of tutorials written to users of this level -- the length of this post is intended to provide enough background information so that someone following these steps doesn't have to find other sources of information (Why GNU Emacs vs. XEmacs? Why shouldn't I just put .emacs in C:\? etc.)

    If you wrote a book on programming Java for a C++ expert, you'd surely write it differently than if you were writing it for an audience of CS students.

    Yes, Emacs is (mostly) for programmers -- not all programmers are experts :)
  3. Thursday, January 11, 2007 5:23:47 PM by JW
    Tom, I rather think the explanation of the different binary releases is quite useful. I'm a programmer AND I want to learn emacs, but I'm severely disinterested in gambling on which release is the 'correct' one that won't kneecap me as I'm trying to learn.
  4. Tuesday, February 06, 2007 11:39:32 PM by Michael Ludwig
    Thanks, Derek, as a VIM user who's never really used emacs and hasn't used Windows for such a long time I found your instructions and explanations really helpful, particularly those pertaining to the different releases - this is how I found your page via Google.
  5. Tuesday, March 13, 2007 5:23:56 AM by Adam
    Thanks, this really helped one student who would never have figured out how to install Emacs on his own.
  6. Friday, March 16, 2007 11:55:52 PM by Ed B
    Does anyone know how to get diff working on windows? I installed cygwin after installing emacs, but it still can't find diff.
  7. Thursday, March 22, 2007 6:31:25 PM by Derek
    Ed B, you probably just need to add Cygwin to your PATH. You can either set it in Windows, or to set it in Emacs only you can use add this to .emacs (assuming you've installed to C:\cygwin):

    (setenv "PATH" (concat (getenv "PATH") ";C:\\cygwin\\bin"))

    You can also fetch some native Windows versions of GNU tools here:
  8. Sunday, April 08, 2007 5:57:23 AM by ajc
    I wounldn't have discovered the "setx" thing (way better than the awful GUI), nor would I have known about addpm.exe ---
  9. Sunday, April 08, 2007 5:58:35 AM by ajc
    I liked the post. thanks. I wounldn't have discovered the "setx" thing (way better than the awful GUI), nor would I have known about addpm.exe ---
  10. Tuesday, June 05, 2007 7:10:40 PM by af
    YAY! setx stuff was just what i needed, and now i can save my profile!

  11. Thursday, July 05, 2007 11:06:28 PM by Lee
    Thank you for the wonderful "Emacs Hacks" postings. They are thorough and beautifully written, and very useful.
  12. Sunday, July 29, 2007 10:27:42 PM by Jason
    Has anyone able to "M-x shell" in Windows Vista irregardless of whether you downloaded binaries or source and build it yourself? I'm not able to with the Gnu and Xemacs binaries.
  13. Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:15:39 PM by Justin
    I gave up trying to build emacs for windows. With mingw and visual studio it just doesn't seem to work out of the box. Anyway... I've been using the binaries for a few days. Seems good so far. I haven't really got much benefit over the cygwin version. The path names and copy and pasting is slightly easier.

    What I've lost though is:

    etags. How do you run etags? I suppose I need to download a win32 version?

    Is there way to get the nice crisp font that Putty uses into w32 emacs?
  14. Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:58:56 PM by Derek

    I use Ctags for building TAGS files on Windows, it works very nicely.

    I use Consolas as my font. You can hold shift and left-click on the Emacs window to try different fonts. My snippet for setting the font can be found here.
  15. Friday, September 14, 2007 3:11:54 AM by Justin
    Thanks, I'm happy!
  16. Sunday, September 16, 2007 2:48:23 PM by Sarah
    Thanks for putting this up. As I would say to Captain Kirk, "dangit Jim, I'm a researcher, not a Windows administrator!" so I'm grateful for posts like this that help me get on with my work.
  17. Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:46:15 PM by Bharath
    I followed you instructions here and got EMACS set up, but for some reason EMACS is refusing to read my .emacs file. I've set the home variable and I've put my .emacs file there, but none of the stuff I put in it is taking effect.
  18. Wednesday, October 03, 2007 6:53:52 PM by Barry
    I didn't even get through unpacking the program before I encountered difficulties. 7-Zip said that it couldn't unpack all the important files. And the unpacked directory doesn't show up in Program Files. I'm using Vista, so any help would be most appreciated.
  19. Friday, October 19, 2007 7:21:29 AM by Gabriel Nguyen
    I am having an odd problem. When using the cgywin package for Emacs 21.12, it installs fine. When I run the emacs command within the cgywin prompt, I see emacs INSIDE the prompt. How come it doesn't pop up a window? I have xemacs, and that pops up a window.

    I will have a shot at your instructions Derek.
  20. Monday, October 22, 2007 5:38:38 PM by Mark
    Barry, I am on Vista and don't want to install unnecessary stuff like 7-Zip, so I just grabbed a .zip version instead of a .tar.gz version. I recommend doing that.
  21. Monday, October 22, 2007 5:48:58 PM by Mark

    I appreciate this blog too, in spite of being a programmer, and having used Emacs for over 20 years. I'm still getting the hang of Windows, but having Emacs available lets me amaze my colleagues with the stuff I can do in a few keystrokes....

    Regarding addpm [GNU Emacs 22.1], it doesn't seem to be adding any Registry entries under the location you mentioned. I even explicitly invoked it as Administrator here on Windows Vista, but got nothing showing up there in the Registry. I'm too lazy to go get the CVS source to see what it's trying to do. I find some interesting entries, such as HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.emacs, though. Did it add that?

    Also, it'd be great if you could address the whole gnuserv vs. emacsclient/emacsclientw stuff that's new to Emacs22. I'd been using gnuserv for years, and now I'm struggling to understand what to put in the Registry.
  22. Friday, November 02, 2007 5:11:25 PM by Knight
    Thanks ! I love your detailed instructions.. For the commenters above, this detail removes ambiguity. Dont we all hate ambiguity ? :)
  23. Sunday, November 18, 2007 7:16:51 AM by Matthew Kimber
    Muchas gracias!
  24. Wednesday, November 21, 2007 5:43:28 PM by Jan-Henrik Horstmann
    Perfect! Thank you so much!
  25. Tuesday, January 08, 2008 3:36:48 PM by Robert Inder
    Ignore Tom! I believe the detail is excellent, and beneficial. People can skim stuff that looks familiar. I know a lot about emacs, and not-so-much about Windows. I learnt how to set environment variables! A "detail" that I could doubtless have found in any number of places on the Web in only half an hour or so with Google...

    So well done!

  26. Monday, February 04, 2008 1:40:12 AM by Paul McQuesten
    Thanks for the good write-up. Anyone who complains about excessive detail in documentation is obviously an amateur.
  27. Saturday, September 13, 2008 9:19:04 AM by Ray Vega
    Thanks for the post. As someone just learning Emacs and using Windows this was very helpful.
  28. Saturday, October 04, 2008 12:19:27 AM by S P Arif Sahari Wibowo
    Descriptions of what each file for is very useful. Thanks!
    Just a note, now version 22.3 already available as binary. No fullbin file anymore and the lisp file also not in that directory.
  29. Thursday, December 11, 2008 4:42:09 AM by Mark Sheldon
    I also found the detail useful.  I've been an emacs user for over 20 years, I write programs, but I've never used Windows much, and I find Vista resistant to my work style :-)  But, even though it's my wife's machine, I can't live without emacs, and now I'm a bit more comfortable.

    Thank you!
  30. Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:03:40 AM by Ram
    Very good and helpful post. each article has its own audience, and i happen to have found this very useful. Please dont mind others saying things like "its too verbose etc.." there are millions of people like me who find it useful and not verbose at all!! Thank you.
  31. Wednesday, December 24, 2008 6:04:18 AM by Ram
    Very good and helpful post. each article has its own audience, and i happen to have found this very useful. Please dont mind others saying things like "its too verbose etc.." there are millions of people like me who find it useful and not verbose at all!! Thank you.
  32. Saturday, March 07, 2009 1:28:27 PM by Robert Zanzerkia
    Thanks for the article.
    I have GNU Emacs 22.2.1 installed on my Vista premium. If I modify files in windows directory (for example "Program Files/Apache group/Apache2/conf/httpd.conf", they DO NOT gave saved and you get NO errors.
    However if I open the file in emacs I can see the changes. However in windows notepad you do not see changes. Notedpad gives error and does not save the file. I think this is perrmission issue but it's weird that emacs does not give error on save failure?

  33. Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:07:31 AM by btate
    Thanks so much for making this available. I for one appreciate the detail you've included to make even the most inexperienced user understand.
  34. Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:13:11 AM by Steve
    Perfect install instructions. Works for me, if I must be type labeled I'd have to say "Perpetual Student". BTW, If I already knew, I wouldn't be reading this page. It's as simple as that.
  35. Thursday, June 11, 2009 8:14:55 AM by Martin
    excellent instructions.. thanks
  36. Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:11:08 PM by Seth
    Thanks for the instructions! I've used this multiple times!
  37. Monday, November 09, 2009 4:36:56 PM by O Sauter
    Following the comments by Derek I tried to add the path within the .emacs file. It did not work for some reasons.

    However setting up: the windows control panel--system--advanced-variables
    choose "Path" in system variables and click modify
    Add at the end ";C:\Program Files\GnuWin32\bin"
    (That is the place where you find "diff.exe" after installing the "DiffUtils" package from GnuWin32)

    This way I get (without cygwin) diff working in emacs on windows XP. Thanks
  38. Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:40:41 PM by Avg
    Thanks Derek. A simple tutorial saving a lot of hassle.
    7-Zip does not extract the bin folder in the zipped version. We ll need to use in- built Vista copy command(within the File Explorer)
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