How to Install GNU Emacs 26.1 in Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, 18.10

February 15, 2019 — 3 Comments

This quick tutorial shows how to install the latest GNU Emacs 26.1 in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 18.10, Linux Mint 18,x, 19.x, and their derivatives.

While Ubuntu ships old versions in its universe repositories and don’t provide future updates, a stable PPA repository maintained by Kevin Kelley contains the 26.1 packages with mailutils, systemd, and xwidgets support for all current Ubuntu releases.

1. Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by searching for “Terminal” from start menu. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kelleyk/emacs

Type user password (no asterisk feedback due to security reason) when prompts and hit Enter.

2. Then install Emacs26 either via Synaptic package manager, or by running following commands one by one in terminal:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install emacs26

For text-only interface, replace emacs26 with emacs26-nox in the last command. And Ubuntu 18.04 and higher can skip apt update command.

Once installed, open emacs from your system application launcher and enjoy!

How to Remove:

To remove Emacs26, open terminal and run commands:

sudo apt remove --autoremove emacs26 emacs26-nox

The PPA can be removed by going to Software & Updates -> Other Software tab.

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com

3 responses to How to Install GNU Emacs 26.1 in Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, 18.10

  1. I’ve tried to follow the instructions above, and it seems that in the present incarnation of emacs 26 (26.3 build 2) of 2019-09-16, it is not possible (be it via command line or via Synapatic tool) to have both emacs26 and emacs26-nox in the same machine…

    In Synaptic, selecting both brings the state to broken and it appears a conflict between them, in command line attempting to install emacs26-nox after emacs26 informs the later would be uninstalled (if you accept to proceed…).

    I wonder if this is by design or accident…

  2. Thank you! This helped me to install spacemacs. I had to do sudo apt install emacs26 but now everything works

  3. Be careful.
    This could break all other packages dependencies related to emacs.

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