I've been having this trouble for a little while. Whenever I open a new file in spacemacs, it always opens in fundamental mode. I'm on a clean install of spacemacs on windows 10 if that matters.

To see what the content of auto-mode-alist was, I opened the scratch buffer, started an inferior emacs lisp, typed the variable name, and pressed enter. I saw a lot of output, the first of which was the association of *.el files with emacs-lisp-mode. So I tried opening a new .el file, but I still got fundamental mode. I then set auto-mode-alist to contain just the association of *.el files with emacs-lisp-mode. I opened another new file, but I got the same result.

So here is a question: is there a way to disable the auto mode choosing of emacs? Is there a setting that could possible interfere with it that I might have accidentally somehow set (but I'm on a clean spacemacs, so I don't know how it would happen)?

Note, non-spacemacs emacs works fine.

I should also note that when I open a file with windows line endings, I see lovely ^M characters at the end of all the lines. Without spacemacs, emacs picks up on the line endings and acts appropriately by hiding them.

  • 1
    What version of Spacemacs do you use ? master or develop ?
    – syl20bnr
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 19:27
  • @syl20bnr I just cloned the repository using the address at the top of my browser. I'm assuming that's master (sorry, I'm not very good with git). I guess I'll try using the develop branch then?
    – phil
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 19:53
  • 1
    I never saw this issue you should open an issue on GitHub here: github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs/issues
    – syl20bnr
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 20:01
  • 1
    @syl20bnr done.
    – phil
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


Wow, this is embarrassing. I was pressing SPC f l, but apparently that is the problem. SPC f f is the correct keypress to find files. SPC f l is for opening files in fundamental mode to reduce lag caused by syntax highlighting.

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