: Learning GNU Emacs, 3rd Edition

13.3.2 Where to Put Your .emacs File

13.3.2 Where to Put Your .emacs File

Probably the single biggest Windows consideration is the location of the .emacs file. This file goes in your "home" directory. We use quotes there because the Windows world doesn't have a strictly defined home directory the way some other operating systems like Unix and Mac OS X do. By default, Emacs assumes that the C: folder is your home directory. You can put your .emacs file there, but you can also modify your home directory using the Windows environment variable called HOME. To change this environment variable on Windows XP, select System from the Control Panel. A System Properties window displays. Choose the Advanced tab, then choose Environment Variables. HOME is probably not listed; click on New, then type HOME and the path to your desired home directory. Emacs will now look for the .emacs file in this directory.

Because of naming compatibility issues, older Windows versions of Emacs used the _emacs file rather than the .emacs file for customization and configuration. This file is still a valid option. However, if both _emacs and .emacs are found in the home directory, only .emacs is used.


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