I am using GNU Emacs for Windows alongside of cygwin, and I want to set my EDITOR shell variable to be emacsclient -a=. My problem is that when certain programs try to use EDITOR to launch an editor with some pre-populated text, like git commit, fc, or edit-and-execute-command from bash, the emacs client frame opens with an empty buffer. How do I get it to show the contents of the file that the program is trying to open?

1 Answer 1


The editor shows a blank buffer because it it trying to open a file with a cygwin styled path. e.g. /tmp/bash-fc.abcdef which in turn tries to open C:\tmp\bash-fc.abcdef which doesn't exist, so it opens a new file. The solution is to define a function which takes a path and uses cygpath to convert it to a windows path, and opens it with emacsclient. I have put this in my .bashrc and it seems to work.

function emacsclientWindowsPath() { emacsclient -a= -- $(cygpath -w $1); }
export EDITOR='emacsclientWindowsPath'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.