I'm using spacemacs for the convenience of largely not having to maintain my own emacs configuration, after 25 years of emacs use. For graphical frames and high-color unicode terminals, the fancy mode-line is fine.

However, I'm sometimes using a monochrome terminal, and the spacemacs mode-line is a lot worse on it than the traditional (emacs -Q) mode-line.

Is there a relatively simple way to toggle off the spacemacs mode-line for certain terminals?

  • Variable window-system is nil for a "character based terminal". To distinguish amongst terminal type, have a look at section 29.25 "Display feature testing" of the manual. I don't know the details of mode line handling for spacemacs but I guess you could change the value of mode-line-format based on the found terminal characteristics..
    – JeanPierre
    Nov 1, 2019 at 15:13
  • Yes, this is the part I know how to do. The part I don't know how to do is to actually turn spaceline on and off. I suspect it is not enough to save and restore the values of mode-line-format.
    – JFM
    Nov 4, 2019 at 19:11


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