Emacs is a text editor that was initially released in 1976. It is widely used by many who enjoy a programmable, moldable computing environment. A recent addition to Emacs brings improved performance using just-in-time compilation. This feature is referred to as native-compilation, and leverages the GCC compiler. This post will provide instructions for building emacs 28.1 on Ubuntu 20.04. The instructions should be very similar for any Debian-based distribution. For those interested in learning more about emacs and the technical details of the improvements, please refer to the links at the bottom of the post.
Open a shell and follow along with the commands below.
Enable Source Repositories.
# Become root. $ sudo su - $ sed -i '/deb-src/s/^# //' /etc/apt/sources.list && apt update # Exit root. $ exit
$ sudo apt -y install software-properties-common ca-certificates $ sudo apt build-dep -y emacs $ sudo apt install -y gcc-10 $ sudo apt install -y libgccjit0 libgccjit-10-dev libjansson4 libjansson-dev gnutls-bin $ sudo apt install -y autoconf git make $ sudo apt install -y libgtk-3-dev libwebkit2gtk-4.0-dev
Clone the emacs source code
$ git clone https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/emacs.git $ cd emacs $ git checkout emacs-28.1
# Set your compiler. $ export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-10 $ export CXX=/usr/bin/gcc-10 # Prepare the build $ ./autogen.sh $ ./configure --with-cairo --with-xwidgets --with-x-toolkit=gtk3 --with-native-compilation # Build and install. $ make -j$(proc) $ sudo make install
Now you can start the application by running the command
emacs in a terminal.
- A great write-up on Emacs: https://www.fugue.co/blog/2015-11-11-guide-to-emacs.html
- Emacs wiki page on the topics: https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/GccEmacs
- HackerNews discussion on native compilation: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24117853
- Links on libgccjit: https://gcc.gnu.org/wiki/JIT, https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/jit/