README.W32 13.7 KB
Newer Older
Copyright (C) 2001-2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
2 3
See the end of the file for license conditions.

			   Emacs for Windows

6 7 8
  This README.W32 file describes how to set up and run a precompiled
  distribution of GNU Emacs for Windows.  You can find the precompiled
  distribution on the server and its mirrors:

11 12

  This server contains other distributions, including the full Emacs
13 14
  source distribution and a barebin distribution which can be installed
  over it, as well as older releases of Emacs for Windows.

16 17 18 19 20
  Information on how to compile Emacs from sources on Windows is in
  the files README and INSTALL in this directory.  If you received
  this file as part of the Emacs source distribution, please read
  those 2 files and not this one.

21 22
* Preliminaries

23 24
  Along with this file should be four subdirectories (bin, libexec,
  share, and var).
25 26 27

* Setting up Emacs

28 29 30 31 32 33
  To install Emacs, simply unpack all the files into a directory of
  your choice, but note that you might encounter minor problems if
  there is a space anywhere in the directory name.  To complete the
  installation process, you can optionally run the program addpm.exe
  in the bin subdirectory.  This will put an icon for Emacs in the
  Start Menu under "Start -> Programs -> Gnu Emacs".
34 35 36 37 38 39

  Some users have reported that the Start Menu item is not created for
  them.  If this happens, just create your own shortcut to runemacs.exe,
  eg. by dragging it on to the desktop or the Start button.

  Note that running addpm is now an optional step; Emacs is able to
40 41 42 43 44 45 46
  locate all of its files without needing any information to be set in
  the environment or the registry, although such settings will still
  be obeyed if present.  This is convenient for running Emacs on a
  machine which disallows registry changes, or on which software
  should not be installed.  For instance, you can now run Emacs
  directly from a CD or USB flash drive without copying or installing
  anything on the machine itself.

48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
* Prerequisites for Windows 9X

  To run Emacs on Windows 9X (Windows 95/98/Me), you will need to have
  the Microsoft Layer for Unicode (MSLU) installed.  It can be
  downloaded from the Microsoft site, and comes in a form of a single
  dynamic library called UNICOWS.DLL.  If this library is not
  accessible to Emacs, it will pop up a dialog saying that it cannot
  find the library, and will refuse to start up a GUI session.
  (However, it is still possible to use Emacs in text mode, even
  without UNICOWS.DLL, by invoking it as "emacs -nw", see below.)

59 60 61
* Starting Emacs

  To run Emacs, simply select Emacs from the Start Menu, or invoke
62 63 64 65 66
  runemacs.exe directly from Explorer or from a command prompt.  This
  will start Emacs in its default GUI mode, ready to use.  If you have
  never used Emacs before, you should follow the tutorial at this
  point (select Emacs Tutorial from the Help menu), since Emacs is
  quite different from ordinary Windows applications in many respects.
67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74

  If you want to use Emacs in tty or character mode within a command
  window, you can start it by typing "emacs -nw" at the command prompt.
  (Obviously, you need to ensure that the Emacs bin subdirectory is in
  your PATH first, or specify the path to emacs.exe.)  The -nw
  (non-windowed) mode of operation is most useful if you have a telnet
  server on your machine, allowing you to run Emacs remotely.

75 76 77 78
* EXE files included

  Emacs comes with the following executable files in the bin directory.

  + emacs.exe - The main Emacs executable.  As this is designed to run
80 81 82 83
    as both a text-mode application (emacs -nw) and as a GUI application,
    it will pop up a command prompt window if run directly from Explorer.

  + runemacs.exe - A wrapper for running Emacs as a GUI application
84 85 86
    without popping up a command prompt window.  If you create a
    desktop shortcut for invoking Emacs, make it point to this
    executable, not to emacs.exe.
87 88

  + emacsclient.exe - A command-line client program that can
    communicate with a running Emacs process.  See the `Emacs Server'
    node of the Emacs manual.
91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

  + emacsclientw.exe - A version of emacsclient that does not open
    a command-line window.

  + addpm.exe - A basic installer that creates Start Menu icons for Emacs.
    Running this is optional.

  + ctags.exe, etags.exe - Tools for generating tag files.  See the
    `Tags' node of the Emacs manual.
100 101 102 103

  + ebrowse.exe - A tool for generating C++ browse information.  See the
    `Ebrowse' manual.

104 105 106 107 108 109
  Several helper programs are in a version-specific subdirectory of
  the libexec directory:

  + cmdproxy.exe - Used internally by Emacs to work around problems with
    the native shells in various versions of Windows.

110 111 112 113 114 115
  + ddeclient.exe - A tool for interacting with DDE servers.  To be
    invoked as "ddeclient SERVER [TOPIC]", where SERVER is the DDE
    server name, and sends each line of its standard input to the DDE
    server using the DdeClientTransaction API.  This program is
    supposed to be invoked via the 'call-process-region' Emacs

  + hexl.exe - A tool for producing hex dumps of binary files.  See the
118 119 120 121 122 123
    `Editing Binary Files' node of the Emacs manual.

  + movemail.exe - A helper application for safely moving mail from
    a mail spool or POP server to a local user mailbox.  See the
    `Movemail' node of the Emacs manual.

124 125 126 127 128 129
  + profile.exe - A helper program that generates periodic events for
    profiling Emacs Lisp code.

  + update-game-score.exe - A utility for updating the score files of
    Emacs games.

Jason Rumney's avatar
Jason Rumney committed
130 131 132
* Image support

  Emacs has built in support for XBM and PPM/PGM/PBM images, and the
133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144
  libraries.  These libraries are all available on the following sites:

     -- leaner, more up-to-date builds, only for 32-bit Emacs
     -- GTK project site; offers much fatter builds, but includes 64-bit
  3. GnuWin32 project -- very old builds, not recommended

  Emacs will find these libraries if the directory they are installed
  in is on the PATH.
Jason Rumney's avatar
Jason Rumney committed
145 146

  Emacs can also support some other image formats with appropriate
  libraries.  These libraries are all available as part of GTK
  download for Windows (, or
149 150 151 152
  from the GnuWin32 project.  Emacs will find them if the directory
  they are installed in is on the PATH.

      PNG: requires the PNG reference library 1.4 or later, which will
      be named libpngNN.dll or libpngNN-NN.dll.  LibPNG requires zlib,
154 155 156 157 158 159
      which should come from the same source as you got libpng.
      Starting with Emacs 23.3, the precompiled Emacs binaries are
      built with libpng 1.4.x and later, and are incompatible with
      earlier versions of libpng DLLs.  So if you have libpng 1.2.x,
      the PNG support will not work, and you will have to download
      newer versions.
Jason Rumney's avatar
Jason Rumney committed

Juanma Barranquero's avatar
Juanma Barranquero committed
      JPEG: requires the Independent JPEG Group's libjpeg 6b or later,
Jason Rumney's avatar
Jason Rumney committed
162 163 164 165 166 167
      which will be called jpeg62.dll, libjpeg.dll, jpeg-62.dll or jpeg.dll.

      TIFF: requires libTIFF 3.0 or later, which will be called libtiff3.dll
      or libtiff.dll.

      GIF: requires libungif or giflib 4.1 or later, which will be
168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175
      called libgif-6.dll, giflib4.dll, libungif4.dll or libungif.dll.

      SVG: requires librsvg 2.x whose DLL will be called
      librsvg-2-2.dll.  SVG also requires several dependency DLLs,
      such as Pango, Cairo, and Glib, all of them found on the
      above-mentioned sites.  If you download from the ezwinports
      site, you need only, it comes with all
      the other dependencies bundled.
Jason Rumney's avatar
Jason Rumney committed

   If you have image support DLLs under different names, customize the
   value of `dynamic-library-alist'.

   In addition, Emacs can be compiled to support SVG.  This precompiled
181 182
   distribution has not been compiled that way, since the SVG library
   or one or more of its extensive dependencies appear to be
   unreliable under Windows.  See nt/INSTALL in the src distribution if
   you wish to compile Emacs with SVG support.
Jason Rumney's avatar
Jason Rumney committed

186 187 188 189 190 191
* GnuTLS support

  In order to support GnuTLS at runtime, Emacs must be able to find
  the relevant DLLs during startup; failure to do so is not an error,
  but GnuTLS won't be available to the running session.

192 193
  You can get pre-built binaries (including any dependency DLLs) at

195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204
* libxml2 support

  In order to support libxml2 at runtime, a libxml2-enabled Emacs must
  be able to find the relevant DLLs during startup; failure to do so
  is not an error, but libxml2 features won't be available to the
  running session.

  You can get pre-built binaries (including any required DLL and the
  header files) at

205 206
* Uninstalling Emacs

207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216
  If you should need to uninstall Emacs, simply delete all the files
  and subdirectories from the directory where it was unpacked (Emacs
  does not install or update any files in system directories or
  anywhere else).  If you ran the addpm.exe program to create the
  registry entries and the Start menu icon, then you can remove the
  registry entries using regedit.  All of the settings are written
  under the Software\GNU\Emacs key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, or if you
  didn't have administrator privileges when you installed, the same
  key in HKEY_CURRENT_USER.  Just delete the whole Software\GNU\Emacs
217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228

  The Start menu entry can be removed by right-clicking on the Task bar
  and selecting Properties, then using the Remove option on the Start
  Menu Programs page.  (If you installed under an account with
  administrator privileges, then you need to click the Advanced button
  and look for the Gnu Emacs menu item under All Users.)

* Troubleshooting

  Unpacking the distributions

  If you encounter trouble trying to run Emacs, there are a number of
229 230
  possible causes.  Check the following for indications that the
  distribution was not corrupted by the tools used to unpack it:

    * Be sure to disable CR/LF translation or the executables will
233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242
      be unusable.  Older versions of WinZipNT would enable this
      translation by default.  If you are using WinZipNT, disable it.
      (I don't have WinZipNT myself, and I do not know the specific
      commands necessary to disable it.)

    * Check that filenames were not truncated to 8.3.  For example,
      there should be a file lisp\abbrevlist.elc; if this has been
      truncated to abbrevli.elc, your distribution has been corrupted
      while unpacking and Emacs will not start.

243 244 245 246
    * On Windows 9X, make sure you have the UNICOWS.DLL library either
      in the same directory where you have emacs.exe or in the
      directory where system-wide DLLs are kept.

247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259
  If you believe you have unpacked the distributions correctly and are
  still encountering problems, see the section on Further Information

  Virus scanners

  Some virus scanners interfere with Emacs' use of subprocesses.  If you
  are unable to use subprocesses and you use Dr. Solomon's WinGuard or
  McAfee's Vshield, turn off "Scan all files" (WinGuard) or "boot sector
  scanning" (McAfee exclusion properties).

* Further information

260 261
  The FAQ for the MS Windows port of Emacs is distributed with Emacs
  (info manual "efaq-w32"), and also available at

264 265

  In addition to the FAQ, there is a mailing list for discussing issues
266 267 268
  related to the Windows port of Emacs.  For information about the
  list, see this Web page:

Ramprasad B's avatar
Ramprasad B committed
270 271 272 273

  To ask questions on the mailing list, send email to  (You don't need to subscribe for that.)
  To subscribe to the list or unsubscribe from it, fill the form you
Ramprasad B's avatar
Ramprasad B committed
  find at as
  explained there.
276 277 278

  Another valuable source of information and help which should not be
  overlooked is the various Usenet news groups dedicated to Emacs.
  These are particularly good for help with general issues which aren't
280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296
  specific to the Windows port of Emacs.  The main news groups to use
  for seeking help are:

  There are also fairly regular postings and announcements of new or
  updated Emacs packages on this group:


* Reporting bugs

  If you encounter a bug in this port of Emacs, we would like to hear
  about it.  First check the FAQ on the web page above to see if the bug
  is already known and if there are any workarounds.  Then check whether
  the bug has something to do with code in your .emacs file, e.g. by
297 298 299 300 301 302
  invoking Emacs with the "-Q" option.

  If you decide that it is a bug in Emacs, use the built in bug
  reporting facility to report it (from the menu; Help -> Send Bug Report).
  If you have not yet configured Emacs for mail, then when you press
  C-c C-c to send the report, it will ask you to paste the text of the
303 304 305
  report into your mail client.  If the bug is related to subprocesses,
  also specify which shell you are using (e.g., include the values of
  `shell-file-name' and `explicit-shell-file-name' in your message).

Andrew Innes's avatar
Andrew Innes committed
308 309 310 311

This file is part of GNU Emacs.

GNU Emacs is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
314 315
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
316 317 318 319 320 321 322

GNU Emacs is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with GNU Emacs.  If not, see <>.