I'm running Emacs 24.4.1 on Windows 8, and am unable to get powerline to display the fancy separators (arrows, etc). There are a handful for packages and forks that implement powerline for Emacs, of which I've tried a couple (such as emacs-powerline and powerline).

The root of the problem seems to be with the use of create-image to create XPM images. I haven't debugged in depth but it seems like in my case the create-image calls are always returning nil.

From searching online it seems like there are people running Emacs+Windows for which powerline renders properly, possibly with older versions of Emacs. It seems like xpm support is included so no additional libraries should be required, but I've never dealt with create-image before so perhaps I'm overlooking something.


Well, I've confirmed that on my system XPM support is not working:

(image-type-available-p 'xpm)
==> nil

So I suppose the question is: how do I get XPM support?

  • 1
    The README.W32 file indicates that XPM should work: "Emacs has built in support for XBM and PPM/PGM/PBM images, and the libXpm library is bundled, providing XPM support (required for color toolbar icons and splash screen)."
    – glucas
    Feb 11, 2015 at 18:11
  • Try Haroogan's Builds
    – nanny
    Feb 11, 2015 at 21:29
  • Thanks @nanny -- I should have tried some different distros. I did a quick install and can see that image-type-available-p says XPM is available. Feel free to add an answer and I'll close this out.
    – glucas
    Feb 11, 2015 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


Haroongan produces some nice Emacs builds for Windows, both 32 and 64-bit. His builds tend to have as many features available as possible (XPM being one of them).

For example, his Vim builds for Windows include support for all the most recent versions of Lua, Python 2/3, and Ruby, something that's not easy to find.

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