How to Install GNU Emacs 29.4 in Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04 via PPA

Last updated: June 26, 2024 — Leave a comment

GNU Emacs text editor released version 29.4 on Jun 22, 2024. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 24.04, Ubuntu 23.10, Ubuntu 22.04, and Ubuntu 20.04

The new Emacs 29.2 is an emergency bugfix release intended to fix the security vulnerability. Arbitrary shell commands are no longer run when turning on Org mode. This is for security reasons, to avoid running malicious commands.

You may check the NEWS page for more changes. For the Emacs 29.1 release, it features:

  • Supports “pure GTK” (PGTK) build
  • Uses XInput 2 on X for input events
  • Uses tree-sitter parsers for several programming modes
  • Includes LSP client called Eglot
  • Includes the use-package package
  • Can access SQLite databases using sqlite3 library
  • Can display WebP images using libwebp library
  • Faster editing of files with very long lines
  • Better support for drag-and-drop on X
  • Pixel-precise scrolling with touchpad support
  • Enhanced support for editing and displaying Emoji
  • Support for Unicode 15.0 and many new scripts
  • Many enhancements of help and completion commands
  • Numerous enhancements to Image Dired
  • Double-buffering on MS-Windows

How to install Emacs (29.4 Updated) in Ubuntu:

GNU Emacs editor is easy to install in Ubuntu Linux with few different ways. Choose any one that you prefer!

Option 1: Snap package

For Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 24.04, simply launch Ubuntu Software (or App Center for 24.04), then search and install GNU Emacs from Snap Store. Though, it’s a Snap package runs in sandbox environment.

The snap package so far provides version 29.4 for amd64, arm64, ppc64el, riscv64 platforms, and old versions for armhf, i386, and s390x.

For choice, user can run command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) instead to install from command line:

snap install emacs --classic

The snap package installs updates automatically. To check updates manually, use command:

snap refresh emacs

Option 2: Ubuntu PPA

For those prefer the classic .deb package format, Debian upstream has built the new release package. And, I backported it into this PPA with support for for Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 23.10 and Ubuntu 24.04 on amd64, arm64 and armhf platforms.

NOTE: The PPA package is just no-change backport from 24.10 without testing! It may or may not work in your case!

First, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/emacs

Type user password (no asterisk feedback) when it asks and hit Enter to continue.

Then, either open Software Updater (Update Manager) to upgrade the package if an old version was installed.

Or, run the command below instead to install/update the Emacs package:

sudo apt install emacs emacs-common

Linux Mint user needs to run sudo apt update first to manually refresh package cache.

Option 3: Flatpak package

Emacs is also available to install as Flatpak package, which also runs in sandbox environment and supports amd64 and arm64 platforms.

Linux Mint 21 and Fedora 38/39 (with 3rd party repository enabled) users can search for and install the package from either Software Manager or GNOME Software.

While Ubuntu users can run the 2 commands below one by one to get the package:

  • First, run command to enable Flatpak support:
    sudo apt install flatpak

  • Then, run command to install Emacs Flatpak package:
    flatpak install https://dl.flathub.org/repo/appstream/org.gnu.emacs.flatpakref

If this is the first Flatpak package you installed on the system, then you may need a log out and back in to make app icon visible in system menu.

And, to update the Flatpak package, use command:

flatpak update org.gnu.emacs

Uninstall Emacs 29.4

For the snap package, also use Ubuntu Software to remove it. Or, run command in terminal:

sudo snap remove --purge emacs

For the package installed from Ubuntu PPA, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

  • purge the PPA as well as downgrade Emacs to stock version:
    sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/emacs
  • Or, simply remove Emacs by running command:
    sudo apt remove --autoremove emacs emacs-common

    As well, remove the PPA either from “Software & Updates -> Other Software” or by running command:

    sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/emacs

To uninstall the Emacs Flatpak package, run command in terminal:

flatpak uninstall --delete-data org.gnu.emacs

Also run flatpak uninstall --unused to clear useless run-time libraries.

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I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

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