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Previous: 32.2 Emacs Features: A Laundry List Chapter 32
GNU Emacs
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32.3 Customizations and How to Avoid Them

Emacs customizations are usually stored in a file called .emacs , in your home directory. In article 32.7 , we've given a few customizations that I personally find convenient; if you're like most people, you'll add customizations over time. You'll end up doing this even if you're not a LISP programmer; if you know any other Emacs users, you'll soon be borrowing their shortcuts. The best way to customize Emacs to your taste is to find out what works for others, and then steal it. For that matter, many - if not most - of the customizations in my file were stolen from other users over the years. I hope I've gotten this process off to a good start.

However, you should also be aware of the "dark side" of customization. What happens if you sit down at someone else's terminal, start Emacs, and find out that he's customized it so extensively that it's unrecognizable? Or that a "helpful" administrator has installed some system-wide hacks that are getting in your way? Here's what will help. First, start emacs with the option -q ; that tells Emacs not to load any .emacs initialization file. (If you want to load your initialization file, instead of someone else's, try the option -u yourname ).

That still doesn't solve the problem of system-wide customizations. To keep those from getting in the way, put the following line at the beginning of your .emacs file:

(setq inhibit-default-init t)

This turns off all "global" initializations. (If you're sharing someone else's terminal, you may still need the -u option to force Emacs to read your initialization file.)

- ML , DC, BR

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