I'm sending some commands to my emacs using emacsclient --eval on a timer. The only problem with this is if at the time I happen to be using emacs and press C-g to cancel something, instead of canceling what I intended to cancel it will cancel the commands that emacsclient is sending, printing the message "Quit emacsclient request." I actually want to let the emacsclient code finish, and then have C-g cancel whatever I originally intended to cancel.

I thought I could wrap the commands I'm sending in (let ((inhibit-quit t)) ...). But it turns out if you look at the source for server-execute and server-eval-and-print that they override inhibit-quit, on the reasoning that emacsclient actions are usually instigated by the user and that must be what they want to have quit.

Ideally, I'd have two hotkeys, C-g for quitting my normal interactive stuff, and something else, say C-S-g for quitting emacsclient stuff (in case I accidentally send an infinite loop).

I know I could copy pasta the server-execute function and rip out the quit handling bit, but then I'd be left at the mercy of infinite loops when they do come up. Ideas?

1 Answer 1


After a lot of experimenting with writing wrappers around keyboard-quit (the default binding of C-g), I discovered that C-g has special behavior. If you bind C-S-g to keyboard-quit, it will not interrupt emacsclient requests. Only C-g will. In fact, C-g will do so even if you unbind it with global-unset-key! I don't know why, but in the end this gives me the behavior I want. C-S-g doesn't interrupt emacsclient evals and C-g does.

Edit: Turns out I was wrong. Sometimes it still interrupts, it's just more rare.

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    I think the quit-char explains what you're seeing. This is tersely documented in Input Modes. You may need to dive into the source code if you want to find out the gritty details. I don't know how this works on a terminal type other than tty. Dec 4, 2014 at 0:49

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