I recently downloaded Emacs 27.2 from one of the mirrors linked from the homepage of Emacs at gnu.org. After extracting the files and running runemacs.exe, Windows warned me that this was an unrecognized app and that running the file could put my computer at risk. Thinking not too much of it, I ran the file anyway. No, I did not verify the signature.

What tipped me off that there might be a problem was the title of the window Emacs ran in: it said "emacs@DESKTOP-2LURKID". 2LURKID is not a name I recognize, and has a rather sinister sound to it (lurking?). As an experiment I downloaded Emacs 27.1 and ran that. Windows did not warn me about running that exe (although the title of the window was still "emacs@DESKTOP-2LURKID"), which makes me think there was something in the 27.2 build.

I've shut off my computer for now until I can figure out if there's a virus or not. Is my concern valid? What is the title of the Emacs window normally? What are some further steps I can take to determine if this was a virus?


You’re fine. Believe it or not, DESKTOP-2LURKID is actually your computer’s host name. Windows chooses that host name in a pretty odd way that results in unique names but not very usable ones. Since most people don’t know what a host name is for or why they might need one, this keeps them from encountering problems due to duplicate names.

Search elsewhere for information about changing that host name. You can just set it to whatever you want, and it’ll probably never effect you one way or the other. Emacs puts the host name in the window title because on Linux it is very common to log into a remote computer, and in that case you would want to know which computer each Emacs window represents.

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