I find running the following is different from just running emacs on mac

/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs -nw

Should I create an alias in zsh/bash for it?

  • 2
    I open the Emacs.app just like any ordinary mac apps via Dock, Launchpad, Spotlight etc. I don't use Emacs inside a terminal. The builtin /usr/bin/emacs is too old. Feel free to create an alias for it.
    – xuchunyang
    Nov 9 '19 at 16:25

Just to expand on @ghoetker's answer:

  1. Install Emacs into your application folder from https://emacsformacosx.com/
  2. Using the terminal, open the file ~/.zshrc in your favorite text editor.
  3. Somewhere near the bottom of the file, add the line: alias emacs='$(/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs "$@")'
  4. Restart the terminal, or type source ~/.zshrc

From now on, typing emacs will open up Emacs in the Finder.


Yes. An alias to the binary within Emacs.app is useful and will allow to call an up-to-date version of emacs from the terminal via “emacs”. I have the following set up

alias emacs='$(/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs "$@")'
  • How do I enable the -nw option when I want to open emacs within the terminal? Apr 23 at 18:42

Applying Dave Kanter's recipe, I still run into trouble: "Emacs" can't be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.

To get it to run, I had to open Settings, Settings, Security & Privacy, General tab and there give Emacs permission to open anyway, at my own risk.

Now I can run Emacs from the command line, albeit without options or arguments (no file name, no -nw option...).

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