It is annoying to see the compilation window appear when it is successful. How to remove that automatically?

I want to see it though if it is not successful.

4 Answers 4


years ago on the #emacs IRC channel I got this bit of code I've been using forever. The value "2 sec" sets the amount of time the successful compilation window stays visible.

; from enberg on #emacs
(add-hook 'compilation-finish-functions
  (lambda (buf str)
    (if (null (string-match ".*exited abnormally.*" str))
        ;;no errors, make the compilation window go away in a few seconds
           "2 sec" nil 'delete-windows-on
           (get-buffer-create "*compilation*"))
          (message "No Compilation Errors!")))))

Looking quickly at the code (in library compile.el), you should be able to just kill or hide the displayed buffer by using a function on hook compilation-finish-functions. To do that, use something like this:

 (add-hook 'compilation-finish-functions (lambda (buf strg) (kill-buffer buf))

If you don't want to kill the buffer, then use something like this:

 (add-hook 'compilation-finish-functions
           (lambda (buf strg)
             (let ((win  (get-buffer-window buf 'visible)))
               (when win (delete-window win)))))

In general, you can imagine that for something like this there is probably a hook already provided, so you can easily attach code at such a significant place in the processing. A little browsing of the code or using M-x apropos will typically quickly let you know. The names of hooks typically end in -hook or -functions.


This thread is also relevant, in case some one is interested:


The credit goes to the original author jpkotta. Here is his answer:

I use the following for compilation. It keeps the compilation buffer if there are warnings or errors, and buries it otherwise (after 1 second).

(defun bury-compile-buffer-if-successful (buffer string)
  "Bury a compilation buffer if succeeded without warnings "
  (if (and
       (string-match "compilation" (buffer-name buffer))
       (string-match "finished" string)
        (with-current-buffer buffer
          (search-forward "warning" nil t))))
      (run-with-timer 1 nil
                      (lambda (buf)
                        (bury-buffer buf)
                        (switch-to-prev-buffer (get-buffer-window buf) 'kill))
(add-hook 'compilation-finish-functions 'bury-compile-buffer-if-successful)

I have this snippet in my .emacs.d:

    (defcustom compilation-auto-quit-window-delay 1
      "Time in seconds before auto closing the window."
      :group 'compilation
      :type 'number)  

    (defun compilation-auto-quit-window-finish-function (buffer status)
      "Quit the *compilation* window if it went well."
      (let ((window (get-buffer-window buffer)))
        (when (and (equal status "finished\n")
              (or compilation-auto-quit-window-delay 0) nil
            (lambda nil
              (when (and (window-live-p window)
                         (eq (window-buffer window)
                         (not (eq (selected-window)
                  (quit-window nil window))))))))

    (define-minor-mode compilation-auto-quit-window
      "Automatically close the *compilation* window if it went well."
      :global t
      (cond (compilation-auto-quit-window
             (add-hook 'compilation-finish-functions
             (remove-hook 'compilation-finish-functions

    (defun compilation-went-super-p (&optional buffer)
      "Return t, if no gotoable output appeared."
      (with-current-buffer (or buffer (current-buffer))
          (goto-char (point-min))
          (let (;; (compilation-skip-threshold 1)
            (not (ignore-errors
                   (compilation-next-error 1)

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