How to install Emacs 25.1 in ubuntu 16.04. – debyum

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install Emacs in ubuntu


Emacs is one of the oldest and most versatile libre text editors available for Linux and UNIX. The latest version of Emacs currently available is 25.1. Emacs 25.1 is the result of 4 years of the development cycle.

In Emacs version 25.1 you can embed GTK+ user interface widgets, including WebKitGTK+ which is a full-featured WebKit port which allows you to browse the internet inside Emacs.

Emacs has more than enough commands and more than that it let user’s to combine them with macros to automate work.


Main Features of Ubuntu Emacs 25.1 are as follows:

  • Emacs can now load shared/dynamic libraries (modules)
  • Experimental support for Cairo drawing.
  • Enhanced network security (TLS/SSL certificate validity and the like)
  • New minor mode ‘electric-quote-mode’ for using curved quotes as you type
  • Character folding support in isearch.el
  • Xwidgets: a new feature for embedding native widgets inside Emacs buffers
  • New and improved facilities for inserting Unicode characters


Also, there are some important Installation changes in Emacs 25.1, few of them are:

  • C99 or later is required to build Emacs.
  • To load dynamic modules into emacs you need to add  –with-modules option while configuring EMACS.
  • You need to use GNU make version of 3.81 or later to build emacs.
  • To enable CAIRO drawing ( experimental ) support within Emacs, we need to use  –with-cairo  option while configuring EMACS.


Installing GNU Emacs 25.1 in Ubuntu 16.04.

We need to install dependencies before we can start installing GNU Emacs 25.1 on Ubuntu 16.04:

Install Build Tools in Ubuntu 16.04.

shell> sudo apt install build-essential checkinstall


If you want to use xwidgets feature than we need to install some extra packages.

shell> sudo apt-get install libgtk-3-dev libwebkitgtk-3.0-dev -y


Then install the build dependencies for Ubuntu emacs 25. Build dependencies for Emacs 24 and 25 are same.

shell> sudo apt-get build-dep emacs24


If you received any error while installing build-dep for emacs 24, then you need to enable source code in Software & Updates –> Ubuntu software –> Source code.

Now update your system with

root@debyum:~# apt-get update


Now try again and everything should work fine.


Download EMACS 25.1 in Ubuntu 16.04.

You can Download the Emacs 25.1 tarball from here.


I have downloaded the Emacs 25.1 for Ubuntu 16.04 & Extracted it in /home/engy/Documents/STUDY/software directory.

root@debyum:/home/engy/Documents/STUDY/software# ls -l
total 60892
drwxr-xr-x 21 engy engy     4096 Oct  6 15:22 emacs-25.1
-rw-rw-r--  1 engy engy 62345581 Oct  6 13:34 emacs-25.1.tar.gz


Navigate to emacs-25.1 directory

root@debyum:/home/engy/Documents/STUDY/software# cd emacs-25.1


When you’re inside the emacs-25.1 folder then you need to configure it with all the necessary options.

root@debyum:~# ./configure --with-cairo --with-xwidgets --with-x-toolkit=gtk3
root@debyum:~# make


And finally run checkinstall , it will create a  .deb  package in the source folder, and it can be used in another Ubuntu machine to install Emacs 25.1.

root@debyum:~# sudo checkinstall


Emacs config ubuntu 16.04


And to finish the config:



And if you anytime want to delete or remove Emacs-25.1 then you need to use the command as suggested in above picture.

root@debyum:~# sudo dpkg -r emacs


( This step can be different in different installations so please check before using this command. )


To launch the Emacs in ubuntu 16.04 use

root@debyum:~: emacs


Or you can use the following steps to launch it.

root@debyum:~# which emacs
root@debyum:~# /usr/bin/emacs


After that lock EMACS in the launcher.



That’s all you need to know on how to install Emacs in ubuntu 16.04.

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Hello there, My name is Rishi Guleria and I work as a Linux system administrator. I have created this blog to share what I have learned so far and to learn new things. Don't forget to leave the feedback. Have a great day. :)

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