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How to Build Emacs on OS X Tiger and Above

Stefan Tilkov,

Dan Sugalski explains why Emacs on OS X breaks so easily after an OS update:

Part of the build process actually core-dumps a running emacs and then fixes up the core file to be an executable, which is clever but somewhat fragile on some OSes, including OS X.

It may cause breakage, but it’s definitely totally cool :-)

Here’s the world’s shortest tutorial on how to build Emacs on OS X yourself:

  • Open
  • cd to some directory where you want the emacs dir for the source created; ~/Desktop will do
  • Checkout and build:

    cvs -d :ext:[email protected]:/cvsroot/emacs -z9 co emacs

    cd mac

    ./make-package --self-contained --build-in-place

This will do the make and configure game and finally create a disk image called EmacsInstaller.dmg in your mac directory. The --self-contained option tells the make script to put everything in the application package itself.

On August 30, 2005 5:59 PM, Matthias Bolten said:

Thaks a lot to point out that building Emacs from CVS is that simple! One addition: If you haven’t set up CVS to use ssh (for example because you are only using it locally or because of using subversion) you have to set the environment variable CVS_RSH to ssh (using bash: export CVS_RSH=ssh).

On August 30, 2005 8:34 PM, Stefan Tilkov said:

Thanks Matthias, I missed that one because I have it set for other purposes anyway.

On January 21, 2006 10:25 AM, Mulleteer said:

The checkout doesn’t work anymore, see following link for updated procedure.