HowTo: Build GNU Emacs from CVS

Why would you want to do this? Well, considering all the neat new things that have been added lately it should be tempting for any old Emacs fan.

The Emacs Wiki has all the info you need, but here is a quick run-down of the bare necessities. Start by checking out your working copy:

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.savannah.gnu.org:/cvsroot/emacs co emacs
cd emacs/
./configure
make bootstrap

Start with ./src/emacs or symlink the binary to your ~/bin/ directory. I.e. you don’t have to run make install to use it. Users of emacsclient should symlink that to their ~/bin as well.

Assumptions made:

  1. you have the appropriate -dev packages installed in Debian/Ubuntu, and
  2. your .bashrc does indeed add ~/bin to your search $PATH environment variable