Running MacOSX GUI emacs installed via homebrew.

Whenever I open a regular text file that contains non-ASCII characters, Emacs immediately crashes. These files have no header lines specifying encoding or other settings.

Works fine in terminal-mode emacs.

I'd like to understand the cause of the crash, not just make it go away. Emacs leaves no core file or other debris.

  • It might be helpful to start by minimizing the size of the file that causes the crash. If you delete the second half, does Emacs still crash? This can help figure out what's going on (e.g., "oh, it's only when Emacs has bidirectional characters next to an non-breaking space"). You can also see if this is related to a specific mode -- for example, if the file is whatever.org, try renaming it to whatever.txt and seeing if it's org-mode that's crashing. You can then run M-x report-emacs-bug to tell the developers about it.
    – zck
    Sep 8, 2015 at 20:27
  • Is the result the same if the file is opened in fundamental-mode?
    – lawlist
    Sep 8, 2015 at 21:33
  • Technically, you could run it in gdb. Even without debug symbols it's typically enough info to make a good guess as to what might have happened. Also, what if Homebrew actually has debug info for Emacs binaries?
    – wvxvw
    Sep 8, 2015 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you might be bumping into Emacs bug #21428: 24.5; Crash of emacs on OS X, installed via homebrew cask.

It's still being investigated. If you follow the bug thread perhaps you can contribute to helping understand it.

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