Emacs.app Emacs.app

NeXT/OpenStep Emacs for GNUstep and OS X

This is a port of the latest GNU Emacs source to the OpenStep (or NeXTstep) APIs, as implemented by Cocoa on OS X as well as the GNUstep open source project. It runs on OS X 10.4 ("Tiger") and above (and possibly Panther), as well as GNUstep on Linux, FreeBSD, and NetBSD (use 9.0rc2 release). It probably needs more work to run on Solaris and Windows. On OS X, 10.1 and 10.2 are not supported due to the absence of certain APIs supporting explicit character layout in text rendering. (Use Emacs on Aqua for those platforms as well as 10.3.)

Current Status

NOTE: This project is obsolete. It was merged into GNU Emacs.

Older news

Version 9.0-rc3

See below for release notes, here for ChangeLog.

This release is close to 9.0 final. Please use the built-in emacs bug reporter to report bugs. The SourceForge tracker here is being closed.


A "universal" binary application for OS X is available as part of the rc3 release.

For GNUstep, you want the rc2 release, the tar.bz2 large source tarball.

A Debian package (take both .debs) is available, and

a FreeBSD port is also available, both thanks to the efforts of Gürkan Sengün.

Who is the maintainer?

Adrian Robert. However for issues and bug reports it is better to use the built-in emacs bug-reporting functionality or one of the mailing lists.

Assistance fixing bugs is welcome. Please contact the maintainer, or better yet, the mailing list.

Therefore, for major contributions, copyright assignments to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) will be required, as for all FSF/GNU projects. This is a painless process, and ensures that lawyers can have fun without bothering you in the future. Small patches, of less than 15 lines, do not require copyright assignment.


Emacs.app depends on the earlier efforts of many people in creating the port now known as "Emacs on Aqua" -- and of course on GNU Emacs itself. See the credits page for more information.

Release History

(GNU CVS merge)2008/07/15 Multi-TTY integration completed, code cleaned up, some NS-specific features removed or hidden under "ns-extended-platform-support-mode".
9.0-rc32007/11/20 Integrated the multi-TTY functionality from emacs core (however, mixed TTY and GUI sessions are not working yet). Support 10.5. Give site-lisp load precedence over lisp and add a compile option to prefer an additional directory, use miniaturized miniwindow images in some cases, rename cursor types for consistency w/other emacs terms, improved font selection for symbol scripts. Bug fixes: fringe and bitmap, frame deletion, resizing, cursor blink, workspace open-file, image backgrounds, toolbar item enablement, context menu positioning.
9.0-rc2a2007/09/20 Interim release. New features: composed character display, colored fringe bitmaps, colored relief drawing, dynamic resizing, Bug fixes: popup menu position and selection, font width calculation, face color adaptation to background, submenu keyboard navigation. NOT TESTED ON GNUSTEP.
9.0-rc22007/09/10 Improve menubar, popup menu, and scrollbar behavior, let accented char entry work in isearch, follow system keymap for shortcut keys, fix border and box drawing, remove glitches in modeline drawing, support overstrike for unavailable bold fonts, fix XPM related crasher bugs. Incremental font metrics caching and other performance improvements. Numerous minor fixes. Shared-lisp builds now possible.
9.0-rc12006/12/24 Reworked font handling and text rendering to use Kenichi Handa's new font back-end system. (Start up with '--disable-font-backend' to use old system; this will be removed in a future release.) Font sets are now supported and automatically created when a font is selected. Added recent X11 colors to Emacs.clr (remove ~/Library/Colors/Emacs.clr to pick up). Added ns-option-modifier, ns-control-modifier, ns-function-modifier customization variables. Updated menus to Emacs 21+ conventions. Right mouse button now generates mouse-3 events. Various bug fixes and rendering improvements.
9.0-pre32006/06/08 Major upgrade to keyboard handling: system-selected compositional input methods should now work, as well as more keys / keyboards. XPM, toolbar, and tooltip support. Some improvements to scrollbars, zooming, italic rendering, pasting, Color panel. Added function ns-set-background-alpha to work around inability to customize with numeric colors.
9.0-pre22005/11/11 Fix crashes for deiconifying and loading certain images. Improve vertical font metrics (fixes inaccurate page up/down, window size, and partial lines). Support better remapping of Alt/Opt and remapping of Command. More insistent defaulting of scrollbar to right. Modest improvements to build process.
9.0-pre12005/11/05 Initial release based on emacs CVS "unicode-2" codebase.

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