4

So far, I've tried this, but it doesn't see to be working - new buffers still start in normal mode. I'd prefer to default to evils emacs mode, and be able to switch into evil with C-z when I'm ready

(setq evil-emacs-state-modes (append evil-normal-state-modes evil-motion-state-modes))
(setq evil-normal-state-modes nil)
(setq evil-motion-state-modes nil)
7

You can set evil-default-state to emacs. The docstring reads:

Documentation:

The default state.

This is the state a mode comes up in when it is not listed in evil-emacs-state-modes, evil-insert-state-modes or evil-motion-state-modes. The value may be one of normal, insert, visual, replace, operator, motion and emacs.

Hence: (setq evil-default-state 'emacs) should do it.

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