In the Windows Binary release, if you look at the bin folder, you can see a binary file Emacs.exe and another one Emacs25.1.exe, these 2 files are exactly the same. And it seems that deleting Emacs25.1.exe doesn't affect it in anyway if you use runemacs.exe. why are there 2 identical files?

  • The same thing happens when I build Emacs master branch for Windows from source: emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/16971/… I.e., one executable with the version in its name, and one executable with just emacs.exe. Of course, the runemacs.exe is designed to hide/close the CMD terminal window.
    – lawlist
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


It's completely normal for both to be generated, but in non-Windows environments, emacs would be either a hard link or a symbolic link to the version-specific executable emacs-25.1

Most likely they are created as duplicate executables under the Windows build process because hard links and symlinks never used to exist in Windows (or not in the same trivial fashion, at minimum), and creating distinct executables was just simpler.

As for why you'd want them both in the first place, it means that if you install multiple versions of Emacs such that each installation clobbers the emacs executable, you can still run each installed version by its other name.


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