I configured git so that it uses emacsclient when editing commit messages. The only problem is that these messages are edited in fundamental-mode. Which hook should I use to have these commit messages buffer in markdown-mode?

  • 2
    You could use auto-mode-alist to designate .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG as a file which should be opened with markdown-mode. – DoMiNeLa10 Apr 18 '18 at 9:58
  • Thanks. Adding (add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("COMMIT_EDITMSG" . markdown-mode)) solved my problem. – Damian Nadales Apr 18 '18 at 21:06

Git uses .git/COMMIT_EDITMSG as the temporary file for the commit message. Since Emacs will be prompted to edit it by git, you can associate that file with markdown-mode by adding something like

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("COMMIT_EDITMSG" . markdown-mode))

to your init file.


I believe this will do what your after, but i have not tested personally

(setq git-commit-major-mode 'markdown-mode)

Looking at the code in the link below its set with defcustom to allow you to override to any mode you like.


  • Doesn't git-commit-major-mode require the use of magit? (which I don't use...) – Damian Nadales Apr 18 '18 at 12:44
  • 1
    yes it does, did not realize magit was not available in which case @DoMiNeLa10 solution maybe what you need. – Oly Apr 18 '18 at 13:05

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