I have started seeing some strange X related behaviour in emacs. I have not been able to pin it down. It goes away when I run emacs -Q, but is still present when running emacs -q --no-init-file --nosplash.

The man page says:

-Q, --quick
Similar to "-q --no-site-file --no-splash". Also, avoid processing X resources.

What is the difference?

What does avoid processing X resources mean?

What does that tell me about my problem?

1 Answer 1


Q also uses --no-site-lisp. See the Emacs manual, node Initial Options.

For information about X resources, see node Resources.

Learn to ask Emacs: C-h r, then i and type some text to match an index entry, then TAB to see the matches, and choose one.

You can find i and other manual-browsing keys by doing C-h m in the manual. C-h m in any mode gives you information about that mode.

  • 1
    So the man page is incorrect, but it warns about that: This man page is updated only when someone volunteers to do so.
    – JeanPierre
    Feb 4, 2016 at 9:15
  • 1
    C-h r is a good one, thanks! also +1 on "Learn to ask Emacs" tip.
    – nymo
    Mar 24, 2023 at 18:46

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