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Quick µEMACS build and install

Dependencies and build environment

To build µEMACS, you need to have gcc, GNU make and ncurses development library installed.

Checking environment

gcc and GNU make are often preinstalled with GNU make set as the default make. Use your favorite package manager to check their availability.

% which gcc make
% apt list gcc make
gcc/focal,now 4:9.3.0-1ubuntu2 amd64 [installed]
make/focal,now 4.2.1-1.2 amd64 [installed]

Use your favorite package manager if they need to be installed.

% sudo apt install gcc make

To check that make is actually GNU make:

% make --version
GNU Make 4.2.1
Built for x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
Copyright (C) 1988-2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

ncurses development library usually need to be installed. Query your favorite package manager to check which packages are available for installation:

% apt search libncurses

Use your favorite package manager to install the needed package:

% sudo apt install libncurses-dev

On Ubuntu, apt will select the package that matches your architecture (amd64 or i386).

Getting the sources

µEMACS source code is available on github and mirrored at You can either clone the git repository or download a zip archive.

Move to working directory and clone:

% mkdir ~/Projects
% cd ~/Projects
% git clone


% cd ~/Projects/uemacs
% make

If GNU make is not set as the default make you will have to call it explicitly

% gmake


Start the editor:

% ./ue

To leave the editor type CTL-X CTL-C

Execute a sample script:

% ./ue -x screensize.cmd

Executing script screensize.cmd

© 2020-2021 Renaud Fivet