avatarUsing emacs on macOS (M1) 🍎

312; 12021 H.E.

Emacs is like a drug. You get on it once, feel the bliss, and never look back. This already happened to me many years ago. I don’t even recommend it for new users anymore, it is a huge commitment. I wouldn’t want anyone go through weird machinations to make it work on arm machines and M1’s. Too late for me.

This is a quick post on how to use emacs on newer macs with arm chips and weird errors that you might encounter, which wouldn’t be so intuitive on what is actually going wrong.

In my mind, the first path is the best way: just download an emacs binary from emacsformacosx.com, move it to /Applications, and you’re set! It’s a universal binary, which would make it work wherever. One small caveat is that this emacs might have a really bad time navigating your hard drive, even if you give it Full Disk Access in settings. This is apparently because it’s launched through ruby, so you would need to grant the full disk access to /usr/bin/ruby. Works like a charm. I’m using this version of emacs right now 🤔

OR! Build it yourself. This is what I’ve been doing for about a year since I got my M1 Pro. Undeniably, the jankiest way to use emacs, resulting in 500MB+ application packages and a long time of loading, because Rosetta 2 gotta translate all that sweet sweet x86_64 to your native arm. I really like this project with a nice build script for both x86 and arm (this one is a wildcard to get working because of gcc’s JIT and signatures don’t work, so it dies). I have a personal repo where I upload good emacs builds. Good luck! ◼︎