I just cloned the source and try to build Emacs under my debian Jessie, but has some problems:

[23:31:04 coeus]$ ./autogen.sh all
Checking whether you have the necessary tools...
(Read INSTALL.REPO for more details on building Emacs)
Checking for autoconf (need at least version 2.65)...
Checking for automake (need at least version 1.11)...
Your system has the required tools.
Running 'autoreconf -fi -I m4' ...
Configuring local git repository...
cp: cannot stat ‘--git-common-dir/config’: No such file or directory

May I know what I have missed? I didn't do this for a while, but I did successfully build emacs from master branch in past. any help will be appreciated.


  • Must be this line: github.com/emacs-mirror/emacs/blob/… but I don't know how can it produce a result like this. You could probably just comment it out and set git_common_dir=.git.
    – wvxvw
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 15:58
  • Oh, right. I comment both line 280 & 281, then "export git_common_die=.git/", it now works. But I still confused why git is needed when execute "autogen"... Thanks wvxvw. :)
    – Coeus Wang
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 16:17
  • I could be wrong, but I think that autogen.sh can update the repository. I noticed that too the last time I built it, but I cannot remember what it was exactly.
    – wvxvw
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


Since there is no answer yet - I post my solution here as I mentioned in above comments - am I the only one who encounter this question?

Go to the Emacs source folder, and run the following command:

 $export git_common_dir=.git/

Now edit autogen.sh file, and comment both 280 & 281. Then use:

 $./autogen.sh all

It should work now.

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