Very happy with Emacs pretest

By Sachin
April 17, 2016

I decided to use pretest version of Emacs instead of a stable release and so far it turned out to be a pleasant experience.


For those who don’t have any idea, you can visit and download the latest version. Compiling and using should not be a problem. But still for newcomers, following are the steps:

  • Download and extract the latest pretest version.

      wget -Nc --show-progress
      tar xvJf emacs-25.0.92.tar.xz
  • Configure and compile.

      cd emacs-25-0.92

    Make sure you have /opt/emacs-pretest directory present.

      sudo mkdir -p /opt/emacs-pretest

    Configure the build environment

      ./configure --prefix=/opt/emacs-pretest --host=x86_64-fedora23-linux-gnu

    Build from source


    make will take time depending on your system specs

    If you are not aware of the flags:

    • --prefix makes sure that the final binary(with directory structure) will be copied inside /opt/emacs-pretest/ when you run make install

    • --host ensures that when you do M-x version, it should return ‘x86_64-fedora23-linux-gnu’ instead of ‘x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu’. Feel free to experiment but make sure the string ends with ‘linux’ or ‘gnu’.

    If the make is successful, you can go head and try the build.


    Now try querying the version within Emacs.

      M-x version
  • Install

    Try out Emacs with your custom configuration. When you are happy, you can proceed toward installation.

      sudo make install

    Emacs binary will be inside /opt/emacs-pretest/bin/emacs. This is symbolic link to the file /opt/emacs-pretest/bin/emacs-25.0.92

If everything goes well, you can add this binary to your launch application or just create a desktop shortcut.

You should keep the stable version of Emacs as a backup. Till now, I never faced any problem and will continue using Emacs-pretest as my default.

If you encounter any issues during make, make sure you have all dependencies installed. If you think, there is an issue in the pretest release and needs to be fixed, make sure that it is reproducible before notifying You can also ask for help on IRC at freenode, channel #emacs.