Installing emacs on buster

so many ways to get software

Published March 5, 2021 #emacs, #debian, #flatpak

I've already written about installing emacs-snapshot on debian buster, here are two additional ways. The first is to use flatpak, and the other is to build from source.


sudo apt-get install flatpak
sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub


sudo flatpak install flathub org.gnu.emacs

And running it:

flatpak run org.gnu.emacs

You can then pin it in your dock and you are good to go.

From Source

For buster debian, make sure you have the deb-src lines in your /etc/apt/sources.list

deb buster main contrib non-free
deb-src buster main contrib non-free

deb buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src buster/updates main contrib non-free

deb buster-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src buster-updates main contrib non-free

Then lets add the dependancies and pull down the emacs source code:

  sudo apt update

  # Make sure you have the builddeps

  sudo apt build-dep emacs25

  # Also install native json parsing

  sudo apt-get install libjansson4 libjansson-dev libmagickcore-dev

  # Download the monster
  git clone --depth 1 --branch emacs-27

Now we can run ./ and ./configure:

  cd emacs

You can test this out by running:


Or just install it:

  sudo make install

.desktop file:

This is what I have in my ~/.local/share/applications/emacs.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Emacs 27
GenericName=Text Editor
Comment=View and edit files
Exec=/usr/local/bin/emacs %F

Native json support test

The whole point of this for me was to see if we have native json support. We can test this with:

(if (functionp 'json-serialize)
  (message "Native JSON is available")
(message "Native JSON is *not* available"))
Native JSON is available






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