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I've been using Emacs forever now but more recently all of my new Linux setups start out with broken c-mode settings that I can't figure out how to fix. Changes in .emacs seem to have no effect, as if they're being overwritten by some other settings elsewhere. I keep reading that Emacs default is tab and 8 characters (I got Emacs 26 on Ubuntu 20.04) yet mine always defaults to 2 spaces instead even when I delete my .emacs file(s).

Googling this issue gets me no relevant results so it obviously must be something really stupid that I'm doing. How do i troubleshoot this?

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