Emacs 28.1 on Debian Linux

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As a happy Emacs 27 user on Debian Linux, I plan to use both Emacs 28.1 and Emacs 27 and gradually migrate from Emacs 27 to Emacs 28.

So I installed Emacs 28.1 without X Window System Support (emacs-nox) and it only runs in daemon mode.

Here are the steps,

  • Compare PKGBUILD of emacs-nox 27 and PKGBUILD of emacs-nativecomp 28 to get the difference of build script (I was more familiar with Arch Linux. You can use Gentoo Linux's website to collect information)
  • The only missing third party package is libgccjit. Run sudo apt install libgccjit-12-dev to install it
  • Download Emacs 28.1 source code, run below command in shell,
cd ~/Downloads/emacs-28.1 && mkdir -p ~/myemacs/28.1 && rm -rf ~/myemacs/28.1/* && ./configure CFLAGS=-no-pie --prefix=~/myemacs/28.1 --without-x --without-sound  --with-modules --with-native-compilation --without-compress-install && make && make install
  • After installation, run "~/myemacs/28.1/bin/emacs" and Emacs will compile the packages automatically (I watched a few youtube videos until the compilation finished)
  • Create "~/.config/systemd/user/emacs.service" with below content ("/home/cb" is my HOME directory),
Description=Emacs text editor
Documentation=info:emacs man:emacs(1) https://gnu.org/software/emacs/

ExecStart=/home/cb/myemacs/28.1/bin/emacs -Q --daemon -l "/home/cb/.emacs.d/init.el" --eval "(progn (require 'server) (server-start))"
ExecStop=emacsclient --eval "(kill-emacs)"

  • Run systemctl --user restart emacs.service in shell
  • Done! Run emacsclient to enjoy Emacs 28.1.

2.1. disable "idle loader" in server mode

I use "idle loader" in my Emacs distribution. Obviously it need be disabled in server mode.

Here is the code,

(defvar my-disable-idle-timer (daemonp)
  "If not nil, Function passed to `my-run-with-idle-timer' is run immediately.")

(defun my-run-with-idle-timer (seconds func)
  "After SECONDS, run function FUNC once."
    (funcall func))
    (run-with-idle-timer seconds nil func))))

2.2. Shell script to install Emacs

You could Use below script "install-emacs.sh" to install Emacs,

[ -z "$EMACS_VERSION" ] && echo "Usage: EMACS_VERSION=25.1 install-emacs.sh or EMACS_VERSION=snapshot install-emacs.sh" && exit 1
[ -z "$EMACS_URL" ] && EMACS_URL="http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/gnu/emacs/"
# I've assign 12G memory to /tmp as ramdisk
[ -z "$EMACS_TMP" ] && EMACS_TMP="/tmp"

if [ "$EMACS_VERSION" != "snapshot" ]; then
    echo "curl $EMACS_URL/emacs-$EMACS_VERSION.tar.gz"
    curl $EMACS_URL/emacs-$EMACS_VERSION.tar.gz | tar xvz -C $EMACS_TMP

# @see http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Emacs/GNU_Emacs_developer_guide
# @see http://packages.gentoo.org/package/app-editors/emacs for info on Gentoo Linux
# --without-gtk and --without-gtk3 is optional
echo "Installing Emacs ..."
if [ "$EMACS_VERSION" = "snapshot" ]; then
    cd $HOME/projs/emacs && mkdir -p $HOME/myemacs/snapshot && rm -rf $HOME/myemacs/snapshot/* && ./autogen.sh && ./configure CFLAGS=-no-pie --prefix=$HOME/myemacs/snapshot --without-x --without-dbus --without-sound --with-gnutls=no && make && make install
    echo "Emacs snapshot was installed!"
elif [ "$EMACS_VERSION" = "28.1" ]; then
    cd $EMACS_TMP/emacs-$EMACS_VERSION && mkdir -p $HOME/myemacs/$EMACS_VERSION && rm -rf $HOME/myemacs/$EMACS_VERSION/* && ./configure CFLAGS=-no-pie --prefix=$HOME/myemacs/$EMACS_VERSION --without-x --without-sound --with-modules --with-native-compilation --without-compress-install && make && make install
    cd $EMACS_TMP/emacs-$EMACS_VERSION && mkdir -p $HOME/myemacs/$EMACS_VERSION && rm -rf $HOME/myemacs/$EMACS_VERSION/* && ./configure CFLAGS=-no-pie --prefix=$HOME/myemacs/$EMACS_VERSION --without-x --without-sound  --with-modules && make && make install
    rm -rf $EMACS_TMP/emacs-$EMACS_VERSION
    echo "Emacs $EMACS_VERSION was installed!"
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