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Spacemacs is a sophisticated and polished Emacs set-up focused on ergonomics, mnemonics and consistency.


Spacemacs is basically a distribution for Emacs packages - it configures and combines them for a great out-of-box experience.

The installation is done by cloning the Spacemacs configuration files git repository to ~/.emacs.d/

First, install GNU Emacs with the correct USE flags:

USE flags

Ensure Emacs is built with the xft USE flag[1][2]:

FILE /etc/portage/package.use
app-editors/emacs xft

Emerge Emacs

Install Emacs, or reinstall if USE flags have been changed:

root #emerge --ask app-editors/emacs

Download and install Spacemacs

Spacemacs is installed by cloning a git repository containing Emacs configuration.

First, backup or delete any old configuration files ~/.emacs.d and ~/.emacs, if they already exist:

user $mv ~/.emacs.d ~/.emacs.d.bak-$(date +%FT%T)
user $mv ~/.emacs ~/.emacs.bak-$(date +%FT%T)

Now that old configs are out of the way, clone the Spacemacs git repository into ~/.emacs.d:

user $git clone ~/.emacs.d

To finish installing Spacemacs, start Emacs (via menu, a launcher or terminal) and follow the install prompt at the bottom of the screen:

user $emacs
Once installation has finished, there may be quite a bit of information from the install logs still showing. The simplest thing, when starting off, may be to close Spacemacs and relaunch by following the next section.

Configuration file

Custom configuration and features can be set in the file ~/.spacemacs, written in Elisp.

To directly open this file in Spacemacs, press the keys ESC -> SPACE f e d.

As Emacs (and Spacemacs) is self-documenting, learn about possible configuration options by pressing SPC h SPC.



Because Spacemacs replaces the main Emacs configuration, by default, simply launch Emacs to open Spacemacs:

user $emacs

See also


  1. Konstantinos Tsardounis. Unable to use Source Code Pro fonts?, Spacemacs GutHub, January 16th, 2018. Retrieved on March 19th, 2019.
  2. Wiki authors. Xft support for GNU Emacs, Gentoo Wiki, July 11th, 2013. Retrieved on March 19th, 2019.