User's Initialization File

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User's Initialization File or dotemacs or init file is a file to store your configurations/customizations for Emacs written in Emacs Lisp, located at either ${HOME}/.emacs.d/init.el or (archaically) at ${HOME}/.emacs or at %HOME%\_emacs on MS Windows.

The most reliable way to find our the place of the initialization file on your system is to check the value of the user-init-file variable.

Configuration Example

For a good example of an init file check out some of the starter kits, like Prelude.

Debugging the Init file

$ emacs --debug-init

Running the above command will enable the Emacs Lisp debugger for errors in the init file.

See Also

  • Prelude, a much more powerful and productive set of initial configuration than the one you get out of the box.
  • Emacs Starter Kit
  • package.el, the built-in package manager in Emacs 24.

External links