I have installed Prelude Emacs by using wget --no-check-certificate https://github.com/bbatsov/prelude/raw/master/utils/installer.sh -O - | sh. I am using Debian and new to Emacs. Now whenever I run emacs in terminal, it opens Prelude Emacs. I wonder it is possible to two versions of Emacs; one for system emacs (installed by apt-get install emacs ) and the other installed by the above command. I don't want to uninstall Prelude Emacs. But just having two different emacs. (This question could be asked for a different version emacs such as spacemacs which uses .emacs.d directory). So it will overwrite my configuration files inside ~/.emacs.d/ as Prelude did it for my system-wide Emacs.

2 Answers 2


I'm not familiar with Prelude Emacs but you can launch emacs without any configuration file using emacs -q or with a special init file emacs -q -l ~/.emacs.d/special-init.el.

Maybe you want to create an alias e.g. alias RawEmacs = 'emacs -q'.

  • If I use new init.el file rather than defined one, this will load new packages from Melpa or will it borrow packages from .emacs.d\elpa directory?
    – ofenerci
    Aug 26, 2017 at 17:04

If you want to test different setups in Emacs try using Chemacs 2 is an Emacs profile switcher, it makes it easy to run multiple Emacs configurations side by side.

Move the configuration that you want to keep as your default to ~/.emacs.default/init.el

  • Ive upvoted. And I use chemacs. But changeover is not entirely trivial. All paths like ~/.emacs.d/... need to be changed to use expand-file-name
    – Rusi
    Mar 8, 2022 at 7:13

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