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Chapter 10. The Emacs Editor

The Emacs editor is found on many Unix systems, including Linux, because it is a popular alternative to vi. Many versions are available. This book documents GNU Emacs, which is available from the Free Software Foundation in Cambridge, MA. For more information, see the O'Reilly book Learning GNU Emacs.

Emacs is much more than "just an editor"—in fact, it provides a fully integrated user environment. From within Emacs you can issue individual shell commands, or open a window where you can work in the shell, read and send mail, read news, access the Internet, write and test programs, and maintain a calendar. To fully describe Emacs would require more space than we have available. In this chapter, therefore, we focus on the editing capabilities of Emacs.

To start an Emacs editing session, type:


You can also specify one or more files for Emacs to open when it starts:

emacs files

10.1. Emacs Concepts

This section describes some Emacs terminology that may be unfamiliar if you haven't used Emacs before.

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