Make it Easy to Install Emacs
Sunday December 7, 2014
“GNU Emacs is an extensible, customizable text editor—and more.”
I wanted to invite novice hackers to check out Emacs. But installing Emacs for the first time isn't easy! Or rather: the installation can be easy, but finding the right package for your system may not be.
So I made emacs.link, a static site hosted with GitHub pages (repo). It does a rough system detection and then presents simple, direct installation directions.
The directions are opinionated in that they only show one method per system:
- On Linux you might want to build Emacs from source, but I don't mention that alternative.
- On a Mac, you might prefer to install Emacs using brew, but if you don't have brew installed already it's easier to skip that step.
- There's no Emacs installer for Windows. The current directions may be too difficult for some Windows users.
- There are ways to try to get Emacs running on iOS and Android, but I'm not sure that's even a good idea, so on mobile I recommend watching some fun Emacs videos.
I tried to make emacs.link attractive, after the fashion of hip startup sites. The nice background image is courtesy of Andrea Schieber, who released the original on Flickr with a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Thanks very much to her! I cropped and edited the original a little bit with GIMP. As required, the edited version has the same license.