Recently, I'd wanted to commit to my git repository from within emacs. Instead of running some git mode commands, I opened up a terminal buffer and run git commit inside. This works fine, except that the commit message editor is, of course, emacs. Out of habit, I tried to save-close the editor after inserting the commit message, but that closed my parent emacs...

Since I run emacs in client/server mode, I can simply reconnect and have all the buffers still open. But how do I close the child emacs (apart from killing it from within another terminal)?

In general, how do I send ctrl/meta to a program running in the terminal buffer?

  • Not sure I understand, but are you looking for C-x # (server-edit) (see manual)?
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 12:38
  • Since you're already running in server mode, you can set your git to use emacsclient as your commit editor. The arrangement you're using sounds unnecessarily convoluted.
    – Tyler
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


If you're in term buffer in char mode, you have to escape C-c. So, if you're running a terminal Emacs instance inside the term buffer, running save-buffers-kill-terminal requires an extra C-c: C-x C-c C-c.

If you're running an Emacs instance in a term buffer in line mode, I don't think there's a direct way to kill the nested Emacs. You have to switch back to char mode first, via C-c C-k. Then you can call C-x C-c C-c as above.

That said, rather than starting an Emacs instance from your term buffer, you should call emacsclient instead. That will open up your file in a regular Emacs buffer in the current Emacs instance, without all the confusing nesting of Emacs-inside-term-inside-Emacs.

  • You are of course right, the whole thing happened out of old habit and wasn't intentional.
    – choeger
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 20:05

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