I have both aquamacs and emacs (installed from brew) on my macbookpro. I intend to learn to use aquamacs as my main editor/IDE.

When I use C-h v user-init-file in aquamacs, it reports the value as ~/.emacs.

However when I do a ls -a I cannot find any ~/.emacs in $HOME. Instead I can see there is a .emacs.d directory.

I want to understand how does it work. Does emacs and/or aquamacs requires the presence of ~/.emacs strictly? Can I just drop some .el files in ~/.emacs.d and expect emacs/aquamacs to pick them up automatically?

My goal is to enable projectile in aqauamcs. I have already downloaded it from MELPA via cask in .cask/24.4.1, but I am at loss about how to enable projectile in aqacmacs.

  • Emacs can do everything that Aquamacs can do, except using the native OSX spell checker. You will find more help with the regular version of Emacs as less people use Aquamacs. Aquamacs checks for a .emacs on loading, but the developer of Aquamacs has a personal preference for a file called Preferences.el.
    – lawlist
    Mar 24, 2015 at 5:54
  • My question is very specific about the .emacs file. How will emacs deal with a missing .emacs? Will it just look into ~/.emacs.d ? Mar 24, 2015 at 5:57
  • 2
    Emacs runs just fine without .emacs -- that file is were you store your personal user configurations. People normally store their additional libraries inside a folder such as ~/.emacs.d/lisp, and that additional directory would need to be added to the load-path. You should look at the related threads regarding .emacs and init.el -- start with the official documentation: gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Init-File.html
    – lawlist
    Mar 24, 2015 at 5:58
  • 1
    Thanks for a great pointer. Please make it an answer so I can accept it. Mar 24, 2015 at 6:10
  • 1
    @erikstokes -- if you or another forum participant would like to post an answer, please be my guest. The question deals with a compare and contrast between Emacs and Aquamacs as to .emacs and .emacs.d, yet also deals with the fundamental usage of a .emacs file. Aquamacs also uses Preferences.el and other customizations. The original poster is most interested in how to get Projectile up and running using Cask, and I know nothing about those. In a nutshell, there are several issues and the answers could conceivably become a treatise.
    – lawlist
    Mar 25, 2015 at 0:54


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.