I want to use nuspell as my spellchecker for emacs. I have installed dictionary and it works fine when I call the program from terminal. But I got the following msg in emacs:

Error enabling Flyspell mode:
(nuspell exited with code 1)

Here is my setting for flyspell;

(setq ispell-hunspell-dict-paths-alist
      '(("en_US" "/usr/share/hunspell/en_US.aff")))
(setq ispell-local-dictionary "en_US")

nuspell -v is the version information. nuspell -vv isn't an valid argument.

~ ❱ nuspell -v
nuspell 4.2.0
Copyright (C) 2016-2020 Dimitrij Mijoski and Sander van Geloven
License LGPLv3+: GNU LGPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/lgpl.html>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

Written by Dimitrij Mijoski and Sander van Geloven.
~ ❱ aspell -vv
@(#) International Ispell Version 3.1.20 (but really Aspell 0.60.8)

1 Answer 1


A brief look at the code (in Emacs 27.1 and also a recent build of 28) suggests that ispell, aspell, hunspell, and enchant are all supported. There is no mention of nuspell in the code.

Is nuspell compatible with any of the supported programs in how it should be invoked, and the output it produces? I.e. is there a reasonable expectation that this ought to be working?

The detection of the specific program being used is based on all of them accepting a -vv option and identifying themselves as ostensibly ispell, "but really Aspell 0.60.7-20110707" (for example).

What does nuspell -vv display?

Unless it uses that same output to announce itself as one of the supported programs, I suspect it won't work out of the box.

(Whether or not it can be made to work without custom support being added would probably depend on how compatible it is with the other programs.)

  • I think you are right. nuspell probably doesn't work with flyspell out of box. For some reasons I thought it's similar to hunspell. I installed aspell instead and now it works. May 19, 2021 at 5:12
  • Yeah, it sounds like it's supposed to be similar to hunspell. I'm still interested to know what nuspell -vv says (or nuspell -v if it doesn't like -vv). If the actual spell-checking output is compatible, then it's probably not difficult to add support for it by recognising its version string.
    – phils
    May 19, 2021 at 5:27
  • i've updated the output in my post. Doesn't seem very meaning to me. May 19, 2021 at 16:34

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