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I upgraded to Emacs 26.2 on my Mac OSX Sierra instance via "brew".

After the upgrade, the emacs command will not open a new "GUI window", i.e. it runs as if I passed the -nw args or ran it from an ssh session.

I.e. it does not seem to recognize the Mac windowing system:

This behavior has changed since yesterday.

From the docs Using Emacs with X Emacs has been tailored to work well with the X window system. If you run Emacs from under X win- dows, it will create its own X window to display in. You will probably want to start the editor as a background process so that you can continue using your original window.

How can I launch Emacs without it being in terminal (nw) mode?

  • 1
    Are you sure you're using the Homebrew version of Emacs and not the Apple provided version (22.1.1) at /usr/bin/emacs? – nega Apr 15 at 19:58
  • You may also want to look at the Homebrew cask, emacs. This will give you a nicely "brewed" package from emacsformacosx.com. Install it with brew cask install emacs – nega Apr 15 at 20:03
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You want to use the Homebrew cask for Emacs. That will install a "brewed" package of Emacs from https://emacsformacosx.com/.

brew cask install emacs

The "regular" Homebrew package for Emacs is built without GUI support. Via brew edit emacs:

  def install
    args = %W[
      --disable-dependency-tracking
      --disable-silent-rules
      --enable-locallisppath=#{HOMEBREW_PREFIX}/share/emacs/site-lisp
      --infodir=#{info}/emacs
      --prefix=#{prefix}
      --with-gnutls
      --without-x
      --with-xml2
      --without-dbus
      --with-modules
      --without-ns
      --without-imagemagick
    ]

Note the flag --without-ns. This disables the GUI on macOS.

  • Woohoo! back in business! I do wonder "what changed" for me over the last day. Also, I lost my default font settings, but a small price to pay for "ctrl-k to the clipboard" – user331465 Apr 16 at 2:05

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