How to Install Emacs Text Editor on Ubuntu

Do you want to install Emacs text editor on Ubuntu?

Emacs is a cross-platform text editor made for POSIX operating systems, including Linux. Created in a time when flashy word processors weren’t a thing, it has remained a mainstream option because of its powerful features and usability.

Like any old software, there is a notion of Emacs being complex and obsolete. But it does have plugins and configuration hacks that makes it a convenient text editor.

Being a text editor is just one of the functions of Emacs. The reason behind Emacs popularity is that its features are on equal footing with the latest IDE’s available. Pair that up with resource efficiency and you have the perfect coding environment.

You’re here because you’re wondering how to install Emacs text editor on your Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution. This article will help you navigate through the different ways you can achieve just that. 

So, let’s hop right in!

Method 1: Installing Emacs Using $ install Command.

Linux and its distros have built-in software repositories. These repositories house configuration and command files for multiple software and Emacs is available in the Ubuntu repository. This means that you don’t have to add the software to the repository anymore. 

With that, you’ll only need to install Emacs through the Command Terminal using the $ install command. The following steps will help you do that:

  1. First, open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard.
  2. Once opened, type the following in the Terminal to update the software repository: 
$ sudo apt update
Emacs Text Editor on Ubuntu

Updating will enable you to access the latest versions of the applications.

  1. After the repository is updated, you can now install Emacs using this command:
$ sudo apt install emacs

The Terminal will ask for your password to start the installation process.

  1. After entering your password, the process should start. You can track the installation progress as shown in the image below.
Emacs Text Editor on Ubuntu
  1. To verify the installation, you can use this command to check the version of Emacs installed:
$ emacs -- version

Now you know the first method of how to install Emacs text editor on your Ubuntu. If this method doesn’t check out for you or seems complicated, then you can try the other methods in this guide.

Method 2: Installing Emacs Using Snaps.

Snaps are software packages similar to the software repositories available on Linux and its distros. The packages are present in a separate Snap library with complete applications available for installation using the $ snap command. 

An advantage of using Snaps is that they eliminate problems of dependency. Examples of such problems are incompatible program versions, lack of certain resources, or overwritten files due to installing another program. 

To get rid of the problems mentioned above, Snaps run the program in the form of a closed cage. With that, the files of the program are not able to interact with the other files present on your system. 

So, if you want to install Emacs using Snaps, follow these steps:

  1. Start by opening the Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard.
  2. Next, type the following in the Command Terminal:
$sudo snap install emacs --classic
stable

The Terminal should ask for your password to start the process.

  1. When the installation is complete, you should receive the following message:
Emacs Text Editor on Ubuntu

This concludes the second method you can use to install Emacs on your Ubuntu or other Linux distributions. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to use code, try the next method.

Method 3: Installing Emacs Using Ubuntu Software Store.

If you’re someone looking for a more GUI-based approach then worry not, we got you covered. This method makes use of Ubuntu Software, Ubuntu’s very own software store.

The Ubuntu Software store contains the majority of applications available as packages and repositories. Installing software using this store is easier to follow than the other methods as it is GUI-based.

Emacs is available in the store and this is how you can install it:

  1. Start by opening the Ubuntu Software application.
  2. Once it opens, type ‘Emacs’ in the search bar.

You should see some results on your screen as shown in the image below.

Emacs Text Editor on Ubuntu
  1. Choose the Emacs GUI option.
  2. Click on the Install option to install the application.
  3. You can track the progress of the task and use the application after Installed appears next to the icon.
Emacs Text Editor on Ubuntu

This was the third method of how to install Emacs text editor on your Ubuntu. You can use any of the above-mentioned methods according to your convenience. 

How to Remove Emacs.

In case you wish to uninstall Emacs from your system, it is achievable by using different commands and methods. The first command you can use is the $ remove command. $ remove gets rid of the application but keeps the related executable files that were created using the application as well as the configuration files for future use.

The second command you can use is the $ purge command. This command will not only get rid of the application but also all the related files and folders. 

The third method is to use the Ubuntu Software application and remove Emacs from there.

uninstalling

Any of those three methods should work to remove Emacs from your Ubuntu.

Now here’s a final reminder for you. There’s a chance that you may encounter an error during your installation process using the Command Terminal. The most common of these errors is “Repository is not valid yet”. Having an idea on how to fix this error will save you a lot of time and energy when working with the Terminal.

This article was primarily a guide on how to install Emacs text editor on your Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution. If this guide helped you out, or if you think there are more efficient methods to achieve the same results, let us know in the comment section.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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