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Tags: vim editor emacs github.com
Clipped on: 2019-03-07

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A community-driven Emacs distribution - The best editor is neither Emacs nor Vim, it's Emacs *and* Vim! http://spacemacs.org
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Image (Asset 3/15) alt= .github Issue template: direct link to bug report template 3 years ago assets Update badge to follow sheilds.io guidelines 3 years ago core Bump version to 0.200.13 a year ago doc dsm-line-numbers: support parent modes, fix mode restriction 2 years ago layers Remove ess-R-object-popup from ess layer. a year ago news Some corrections to newsletter. 3 years ago private Fix private/README.md 2 years ago tests Fix test test-resolve-package-archives--org-supports-https a year ago .gitignore add magnars/multiple-cursors.el's mc-lists.el to gitignore 2 years ago .projectile Correct Projectile root file with syntax to exclude paths 4 years ago .travis-build.sh CI test for bad white spaces in PR 2 years ago .travis.yml CI test for bad white spaces in PR 2 years ago CHANGELOG.org Bump version to 0.200.13 a year ago COMMUNITY.org Add bmag collaborator to COMMUNITY.org 2 years ago CONTRIBUTING.org Fix links in documentation which breaks org html export 2 years ago README.md Fix line separation in README a year ago init.el Bump version to 0.200.13 a year ago spacemacs.mk Bump year in copyright headers 2 years ago


Image (Asset 4/15) alt=

Image (Asset 5/15) alt=Introduction

Spacemacs is a new way to experience Emacs -- a sophisticated and polished set-up focused on ergonomics, mnemonics and consistency.

Just clone it, 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. Switching easily between input styles makes Spacemacs a great tool for pair-programming.

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

Image (Asset 6/15) alt=Features

  • Great documentation: access documentation in Emacs 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 space bar 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 organised 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 question 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.



Spacemacs requires Emacs 24.4 or above. The development version of Emacs (at the time of writing, this is 25.2) is not officially supported, but should nevertheless be expected to work.

Some modes require third-party tools that you'll have to install via your favorite package manager.

Linux distros

Install Emacs from the package manager of your Linux distribution.

You should install the "emacs" package, not the "xemacs" package. XEmacs is an old fork of Emacs. The X in its name is unrelated to X11. Both Emacs and XEmacs have graphical support.

Note: Ubuntu LTS 12.04 and 14.04 repositories have only Emacs 24.3 available. You have to build from source Emacs 24.4 or greater, as Spacemacs won't work with 24.3. The same may be true for other distributions as well.


The recommended way of installing Emacs on macOS is using homebrew:

$ brew tap d12frosted/emacs-plus
$ brew install emacs-plus
$ brew linkapps emacs-plus

Note: these homebrew commands will install GNU Emacs, and link it to your /Applications directory. You still need to run the git clone mentioned at the start of this file. That will populate your ~/.emacs.d directory, which is what transforms a regular GNU Emacs into Spacemacs.

Note: the proposed emacs-plus tap is identical to the emacs formulae, it just builds GNU Emacs with support of several features by default along with providing Spacemacs icon. See emacs-plus for more information.

Note: to have the title bar match your theme background color, consider using instead:

$ brew install emacs-plus --HEAD --with-natural-title-bars

Note: after you have completed the install process below, it is also recommended to add the osx layer to your dotfile. Install instructions are available in the osx layer documentation.

Note: if the powerline separators on the spaceline are a different (less saturated) color than the rest of the line, you can add following snippet to dotspacemacs/user-config in your .spacemacs file.

(setq ns-use-srgb-colorspace nil)

Keep in mind that this is not ideal solution as it affects all colours in Emacs. Another option is to use different powerline separator. For example, alternate and bar diminishes the difference. And using utf-8 separator makes it go away completely without the need to change colour space. In order to change powerline separator put following snippet in dotspacemacs/user-config.

(setq powerline-default-separator 'utf-8)

For more information about powerline separators, please refer to appropriate section in Documentation.


You can download good quality builds from the emacs-w64 project. It is recommended to install the most recent stable build.

Be sure to declare a environment variable named HOME pointing to your user directory C:\Users\<username>. Then you can clone Spacemacs in this directory.

Sometimes you'll get the following error when you first start Emacs:

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

To fix it change 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

For efficient searches we recommend to install pt (the platinum searcher). pt version 1.7.7 or higher is required.


Default installation

  1. If you have an existing Emacs configuration, back it up first:

    cd ~
    mv .emacs.d .emacs.d.bak
    mv .emacs .emacs.bak

    Don't forget to backup and remove ~/.emacs file otherwise Spacemacs WILL NOT load since that file prevents Emacs from loading the proper initialization file.

  2. Clone the repository:

    git clone https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs ~/.emacs.d

    master is the stable branch and it is immutable, DO NOT make any modification to it or you will break the update mechanism. If you want to fork Spacemacs safely use the develop branch where you handle the update manually.

  3. (Optional) Install the Source Code Pro font.

    If you are running in terminal you'll also need to change font settings of your terminal.

  4. Launch Emacs. Spacemacs will automatically install the packages it requires. If you get an error regarding package downloads then you may try to disable the HTTPS protocol by starting Emacs with

    emacs --insecure

    Or you can set the dotspacemacs-elpa-https to nil in your dotfile to remove the need to start Emacs with --insecure argument. You may wish to clear out your .emacs.d/elpa directory before doing this, so that any corrupted packages you may have downloaded will be re-installed.

  5. Restart Emacs to complete the installation.

If the mode-line turns red then be sure to consult the FAQ.

Alternate installations

It may be useful to clone Spacemacs outside Emacs dotdirectory ~/.emacs.d so you can try Spacemacs without replacing completely our own configuration. There is currently two possibilities to support alternative location for Spacemacs configuration.

Modify HOME environment variable

This solution is ideal to quickly try Spacemacs without compromising your existing configuration.

mkdir ~/spacemacs
git clone https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs.git ~/spacemacs/.emacs.d
HOME=~/spacemacs emacs

Note: If you're on Fish shell, you will need to modify the last command to: env HOME=$HOME/spacemacs emacs

Modify spacemacs-start-directory variable

This solution is better suited to "embed" Spacemacs into your own configuration. Say you cloned Spacemacs in ~/.emacs.d/spacemacs/ then drop these lines in ~/.emacs.d/init.el:

(setq spacemacs-start-directory "~/.emacs.d/spacemacs/")
(load-file (concat spacemacs-start-directory "init.el"))

Spacemacs logo

For Ubuntu users, follow this guide to change the logo in Unity.

For Mac users, you need to download the .icns version of the logo, then change the logo on Dock.


Spacemacs has a built-in notification of a new version when you are on the master branch. If you are on the develop branch then you'll have to update Spacemacs manually by updating your repository.

Automatic update (on master branch)

When a new version is available a little arrow appears in the mode-line.

Its color depends on the number of versions available since your last update. Green means that your current version is recent, orange and red mean that your current version is older.

Image (Asset 7/15) alt=Manual update (on master branch)

(Remove the angle brackets when typing the lines below into your shell.)

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

On develop branch

  1. Update Emacs packages by clicking (press RET) on the [Update Packages] link of the starting page.

  2. Close Emacs and update the git repository:

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

Revert to a specific version

To revert to a specific version you just have to checkout the corresponding branch, for instance to revert to the last 0.103:

git checkout origin/release-0.103

After you update, either manually, or automatically, you are advised to update your packages by clicking the [Update Packages] button on the Spacemacs Home Buffer.


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 propose great and useful configuration for all the things!

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

Here is a throughput graph of the repository for the last few weeks:

Image (Asset 8/15) alt=Communities


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 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: Image (Asset 9/15) alt=