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Emacs denominates a class of powerful, extensible, self-documenting text editors. The original implementation still updated today is GNU Emacs, a derivative is XEmacs, which was forked from GNU Emacs in the early 1990s. The latter is not the X version of Emacs but a complete separate program.

Available software

Apart from the two big contenders, many lightweight implementations exist, many of which are available in Gentoo:

Editor name Gentoo package
e3 app-editors/e3
Edwin dev-scheme/mit-scheme-c
EmACT app-editors/emact
Ersatz Emacs app-editors/ersatz-emacs
fe app-editors/fe
GNU Emacs app-editors/emacs (releases) or app-editors/emacs-vcs (live version)
Hemlock dev-lisp/cmucl
Jasspa's MicroEmacs app-editors/jasspa-microemacs
JED app-editors/jed
JEmacs dev-scheme/kawa
JOE app-editors/joe
Jove app-editors/jove
µEmacs/PK app-editors/uemacs-pk
mg app-editors/mg
Ng app-editors/ng
QEmacs app-editors/qemacs
XEmacs app-editors/xemacs
Zile app-editors/zile


The Emacs project runs an overlay for GNU Emacs and XEmacs (see Project:Emacs/Overlay) which contains a number of packages including many VCS builds. To add the overlay:

root #layman -a emacs

Many more emacs-related packages should now be available for installation.