I'm running emacs through my terminal on OSX and was trying to get my line numbers on here. Ran the command M-x linum-mode with a [No match] result. Tried global-linum-mode, same result.

emacs --version shows GNU Emacs 22.1.1.

Is this just not a supported feature for 22.1.1 or is there something I don't know about when running emacs via OSX terminal?

  • 1
    Please update to at least Emacs version 24.5: emacsformacosx.com The path to the executable is/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs if you place the Emacs.app in the /Applications folder. Then adjust your alias so you can easily call it from the terminal. Or, just use the GUI version of Emacs by launching it regularly. It usually makes no sense to spin wheels trying to get something outdated to work, when there have been major improvements that are easily obtained. And, remember that OSX comes with an old version of Emacs in /usr/bin -- so don't use that.
    – lawlist
    Sep 16, 2016 at 14:39
  • Please complain to the company who provided you with such an antiquated piece of software.
    – Stefan
    Sep 16, 2016 at 15:41
  • @Stefan I bought the computer in 2008. I don't think it's Apple's fault, here.
    – Jaken
    Sep 16, 2016 at 15:55
  • Maybe John W. (who uses OSX) or Eli Z. could send Tim Cook a feature request for future versions of OSX. Occasionally, Tim Cook even responds personally to his emails. I used to send Steve Jobs a Christmas wish-list each year, but did not renew the practice with Tim Cook.
    – lawlist
    Sep 16, 2016 at 16:32
  • @JakenHerman: The versionof Emacs shouldn't depend on your computer's age but on your OS's age. Emacs-23 was released in 2009, so if you have upgraded your OS since then, you have reasons to complain. AFAIK the latest OSX still uses Emacs-22.
    – Stefan
    Sep 18, 2016 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


linum-mode was added in Emacs 23.1. See the related NEWS file, or if you have 23.1+ version of Emacs, you can find this information via C-u C-h n 23.1 then C-s linum.

I know it's 23.1 because I searched linum across all NEWS files.

  • +1. Users owe it to themselves to find out what Emacs versions a library is for. And 3rd-party library authors owe it to their users to state, preferably in the file header (at least) what Emacs versions the code works with. That's the purpose of the Compatibility Lisp file-header field.
    – Drew
    Sep 16, 2016 at 15:06

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