How to Install GNU Emacs 24 on Ubuntu 16.04

Learn how to install the most popular code editor for programmers on Ubuntu/Fedora Linux distributions. Install Emacs 24.4 on Ubuntu 16.04.

Emacs is one of two most popular code editors on Linux. If you would also like to pray in Church of Emacs, often talked about in Editor Wars was originally developed by Richard Stallman. And if you’re wondering, the other competitor is Vi.

Emacs is a powerful, customizable and self-documenting editor. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install Emacs on Ubuntu. The older versions of Emacs are already available in Ubuntu Repository, however the recent versions can be installed by manual configuration. Let’s start!


First of all, open a terminal. You can use Ctrl+Alt+T. Now add the required PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-elisp/ppa
sudo apt-get update

Download & Install Emacs


Once you’ve installed the PPA, you can easily install Emacs with the following commands:

sudo apt-get install emacs24 emacs24-el emacs24-common-non-dfsg

Get Daily Build – Emacs Snapshot

There’s also a daily build version called Emacs Snapshot for more geeky people who would can take care of broken systems and mend them. You can install Emacs snapshot with the following command:

sudo apt-get install emacs-snapshot emacs-snapshot-el

Now you can launch Emacs from Emacs icon which you can also pin to the left among other icons. If you use icon to launch Emacs, the GUI window will open which will then be your default mode of using Emacs. However, if you would like to use text-based interface, run the `emacs -nw` command in a terminal Window.

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