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Build scripts for www.emacsformacosx.com

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Number of watchers on Github 236
Number of open issues 12
Average time to close an issue 3 months
Main language R
Average time to merge a PR about 14 hours
Open pull requests 2+
Closed pull requests 6+
Last commit about 3 years ago
Repo Created almost 9 years ago
Repo Last Updated about 2 years ago
Size 2.15 MB
Homepage http://www.emacsf...
Organization / Authorcaldwell
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Emacs Build Scripts

These are the emacs build scripts that produces the builds at http://emacsformacosx.com/.


Hardware Requirements

The scripts are modular and are designed to be run on multiple build machines (or VMs) and integrate with continuous integration servers (the builds on emacsformacosx.com run from Jenkins now). This means that you can build whatever architectures you have access to.

Note that cross-compiling Emacs is (still) not possible due to the unexec step, which requires the binary that was built to be run. So if you want to build an old architecture (like PowerPC), you need to be running on a system that can actually execute binaries of that architecture.


Recent Emacs pretests are being distributed in .tar.xz format. The fetch-emacs-from-ftp script will convert from .xz to .tar.bz2 so that XZ doesn't need to be installed on every build machine. But you will need the xz program on the machines that runs fetch-emacs-from-ftp. The easiest way to get it is through homebrew: brew install xz


There are 3 scripts that are designed to be run from some sort of Continuous Integration software (the builds on http://emacsformacosx.com run from Jenkins). All three scripts know the --verbose command, and are nice and loud when it is given.


This takes an ftp url (ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/emacs/, for example), and downloads the latest version of the Emacs source code found there. It will also convert the source from a .tar.xz to a .tar.bz2 (so that the main build VMs don't need to have XZ installed).


This is the main build script. It takes a tar file and a kind (pretest, nightly, or release) as input and unpacks the tar, builds it for a single architecture, and tars up the resulting Emacs.app file.

You can tell it to build an architecture other than the default with the --arch option (--arch=powerpc or --arch=i386).

Builds of the main Emacs source repository are expected to be packaged up into tars elsewhere. http://emacsformacosx.com has a Jenkins job that pulls down the latest code and then tars it up like so:

DATE=$(date "+%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S")
SHORT=$(git rev-parse --short HEAD)
git archive --prefix="$DIR/" HEAD | tar x
(cd $DIR && ./autogen.sh)
tar cjf $DIR.tar.bz2 $DIR


This takes multiple tar files as input, unpacks and combines them into a final fat Emacs.app, then creates a final disk image (.dmg). It takes an optional --sign parameter (--sign="my identity") which makes it code sign the Emacs.app.


$ ./fetch-emacs-from-ftp -v ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/emacs
+ curl --continue-at - --silent -O ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/emacs/emacs-25.1.tar.xz
shell(#<Th:0x007febed8a48b0>): /usr/local//brew//bin/xzcat emacs-25.1.tar.xz
shell(#<Th:0x007febed8a48b0>): /usr/bin/bzip2
$ ls *.bz2
$ ./build-emacs-from-tar -v -j 8 emacs-25.1.tar.bz2 release
  ... Lots out output snipped ...
Built Emacs-25.1-10.12-x86_64.tar.bz2, Emacs-25.1-10.12-x86_64-extra-source.tar
$ ./combine-and-package -v Emacs-25.1-10.12-x86_64.tar.bz2
  ... More output snipped ...
created: Emacs-25.1-universal.dmg


Copyright 2004-2016 David Caldwell david@porkrind.org

The scripts and programs contained in this distribution are licensed under the GNU General Public License (v3.0). See the LICENSE file for details.

build-emacs open issues Ask a question     (View All Issues)
  • over 4 years Running under X11 as well as natively?
  • over 4 years nightlies should be fetched over SSH - or are they already?
  • over 5 years Build with SVG support?
  • over 6 years Publish on Mac App Store
  • about 7 years Feature request: Auto-install emacs.sh
  • almost 9 years ImageMagick Support
build-emacs open pull requests (View All Pulls)
  • Overwrite environment variables passed to Emacs
  • It's 2017 now
build-emacs questions on Stackoverflow (View All Questions)
  • Build emacs from source error
  • build emacs with X support
build-emacs list of languages used
More projects by caldwell View all
Other projects in R