In my mode line, to the left of where it describes the current modes e.g. (Org company), there is text that looks like [#] or sometimes [i,#], where the i and # signs are highlighted. I don't think this is a stock Emacs feature as I can't find what it means in the documentation. What does that mean?

To the left of the above, the mode line mentions Git:master. I have not installed any Git-related packages. Further, when I look at the currently running modes, I do not see anything that mentions Git or version control. I also do not see in the manual anything that mentions out-of-the-box Git integration. I'm wondering what I might have done to enable this.

  • The git integration is out of the box - see vc for more info - gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/…
    – Squidly
    Oct 9, 2014 at 14:37
  • 1
    You might have more luck if you can tell us what packages you have in your .emacs
    – Squidly
    Oct 9, 2014 at 14:37
  • Generally speaking, ask separate questions separately. Here it works because the questions are very closely related, but in general, don't combine unrelated questions. You might get answers that only address one of them, and future visitors might thus not find the answers that they should expect given the question. On a related not, do give your questions meaningful titles, not “question about …”. Titles must uniquely identify the question (there can't be two different questions with the same title). Oct 9, 2014 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


They're both stock Emacs.

1) The part that looks like [#] is erc's mode-line indicator. It tells you the status of the IRC room you've joined.

2) The Git:master is vc-mode. It tells you the status of the current version controlled directory (in your case that's a git repo). You can turn it off with (vc-mode -1).


Use C-h v mode-line-format to get access to the string that defines the mode line.

That'll tell you what's in your mode line.

You can also yank it into a scratch buffer, quote it and surround it with a (setq-default), and eval your modifications repeatedly to try and figure out what to remove to make this go away.

For example here's part of mine.

;; snip
   (vc-mode vc-mode)

Git:master is probably dealt with by code like (vc-mode vc-mode). C-h f vc-mode gives documentation indicating this autoactivates in certain scenarios:

This minor mode is automatically activated whenever you visit a file under control of one of the revision control systems in `vc-handled-backends'.

As for [#] and [i,#], might that be rcirc-mode's modeline addition? Do you have rcirc-track-minor-mode on? (This lets you know when irc channels you're in have been active in the background, and/or when someone private messages you.) You can test this by M-x rcirc-track-minor-mode.

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