Gnu Emacs 26.2 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 18.04

April 14, 2019

Gnu Emacs text editor 26.2 was released yesterday with a wide variety of new features. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 18.10, Ubuntu 19.04, and derivatives.

New features in Gnu Emacs 26.2 include:

  • Emacs modules can now be built outside of the Emacs tree source.
  • Compliant with the latest 11.0 of the Unicode Standard.
  • In Dired, the ‘Z’ command on a directory name compresses all of its files.
  • New toggle ‘ibuffer-do-toggle-lock’, bound to ‘L’.
  • The value for ‘imenu-auto-rescan-maxout’ increased to 600000.
  • Supports 24-bit colors on capable text terminals.
  • VC support for Mercurial was improved
  • And many other changes, see the changelog.

How to Install Emacs 26.2 in Ubuntu:

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 repository:

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 in 2007 and wish 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 via [email protected]

3 responses to Gnu Emacs 26.2 Released, How to Install in Ubuntu 18.04

  1. Hello Ji m,

    Thanks a ton.

    Really helped me out.

    I’m a complete noob ;P

    I really appreciate your help.

    Kind Regards,


  2. Samantha Atkins July 4, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Does not work as gets conflict with something from emacs25 on ubuntu 18.10 and others. I even tried removing the older emacs first with no joy.

    trying to overwrite ‘/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/subdirs.el’, which is also in package emacs-common 1:25.2+1-11
    dpkg-deb: error: paste subprocess was killed by signal (Broken pipe)

    • Torbjørn Pettersen August 14, 2019 at 7:45 am

      I had the same problem (running ubuntu 18.04 under windows 10).
      However, removing emacs25 helped.
      sudo apt remove emacs25
      sudo apt autoremove # don’t know if this was needed…
      sudo apt install emacs26

      emacs started up as emacs 26.2.