GNU Emacs 24.5 was released on April 10th. I’m in the process of setting up a dual boot Windows/Linux machine right now as I’m slowly moving away from Mac OS X, mainly because of the cost of the hardware but also because I don’t like it that much as a Unix-y development environment anymore.

Xubuntu 14.10 only comes with Emacs 24.3 and it looks like 15.04 will “only” include 24.4 so now is a good time as any to manually install 24.5. Please note this is not a complaint about Ubuntu and its many contributors. They do a great job, I’d rather have a stable system comprised of well-tested packages and install the exciting, cutting edge stuff manually.

A manual “out of the box” install is actually pretty easy. I followed the instructions for installing 24.4 on UbuntuHandbook, substituting 24.5 where appropriate. I also installed Emacs in a user-local directory tree as I really don’t like mixing system-wide tools that have been installed by the package manager and manually installed packages in the same directory tree. Yes, I’m weird like this.

All in all the install was completely hassle free and allows me to send a test blog post from Emacs 24.5 on my new Xubuntu box to the blog using org2blog as usual.

Update: The instructions linked to above also work for Ubuntu 15.04 – you have to rebuild your Emacs 24.5 for 15.04 as some of the dependencies have changed.

10 thoughts on “GNU Emacs 24.5 on (X)ubuntu 14.10”

  1. Hello, I realize the topic of setting up dual-boot Linux/Windows laptops has been covered elsewhere extensively but I can’t help but be interested in the details of your since your scenario–slowly migrating from OSX because of expense, interested in using the Unix tools available in Linux, running Xubuntu, and the fact that your dual-boot machine sounds like it is used for professional purposes–sounds a lot like mine.

    If you’ve shared any of the details elsewhere regarding hardware, partition schemes, or anything at all, I’d love to see them.

    Thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading it.

    1. Will,

      thanks for the kind words. I’m actually planning a few posts about the new machine and the pitfalls of migrating the Windows installations from my Bootcamp’d Mac over to it. Still haven’t resolved all the issues with the Windows migrations but expect the hardware review post within a week or so.

  2. Timo,

    Terrific! Last May, I started migrating slowly to applications and services that would be as platform-independent and free and open source as possible. I gave myself 12 months to try this scenario out before I would permit myself the purchase of a new machine for a dual-boot setup. I think the experiment has been largely successful as I’m able to do all the writing, light HTML editing, and media development I need for my job at a university. Learning to use Emacs has been a huge part of this process too.

    Anyway, I’ll look forward to reading your post.

  3. My favorite Linux box is VMWare. It is fast. Drivers are always perfect. Tons of people use it so it is vetted “hardware”. Works fine on Windows and OSX so the laptop “sleep” always works correctly.

    What hardware are you happy with for dual-booting Win/Lin?

    1. Grant,
      I usually tend to have a Linux VM or two floating around, too, however I occasionally like to use Linux on real hardware.

      As to what I put in my new computer, it’s pretty run of the mill hardware. Asus Z97-P motherboard with an Intel i5 processor, 16GB RAM, SSD for the OSs and spinning rust for the data, Asus/NVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti. The only part that caused “issues” was the graphics card as that needs to use the binary nvidia drivers for X. Other than that, it just worked, and it works really well.

      I’ll eventually get around to posting more info about the build as I put a lot of effort into building a quiet machine which may be of interest to some people.

  4. Timo,

    After a few months, I found myself reviewing your instructions again and wondered about a detail you mentioned: the installation of Emacs 24.4 (or 24.5 in my case) in a local user directory to avoid mixing manually installed and package installed applications. Can you share what directory you use for this purpose? I think I’d like to do the same but I’m not sure about the best location to use. Maybe something under /usr/local?

    Best regards,


    1. Will,

      I normally stay out of /usr/local on *BSD and Linux as some of the distributions use it themselves. For software I have to custom build, I have my own bin/lib/etc/sbin directories under my home directory. That seems to work pretty well and doesn’t get in the way of software that the distributions themselves install.

      If you know that your distribution doesn’t use /usr/local, it’s the perfect place for self built executables, if it does, I’d go with something like $HOME/local.

      Hope this helps,

      1. Thanks for answering such a basic question, Timo. It is very helpful.

        I’d like to ask a followup question: have you created top-level directories for /bin /lib /etc and others under $HOME in the manner described here or have you opted to contain all the directories under one, like $HOME/bin/bin $HOME/bin/lib as suggested here

        I realize that both approaches described could work but I’m looking to keep my $HOME tidy, if possible.

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