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# Emacs starter for Emacs mac port
# Thanks to Aquamacs Project and David Reitter
my $args = "";
my $tmpfiles = "";
for my $f (@ARGV) {
$args .= '"'.$f.'" ';
$tmpfiles .= '"'.$f.'" ' if (! -e $f);
system("touch $args") if ($tmpfiles);
system("open -a /Applications/ $args");
# delay deletion because AE drag&drop doesn't work with non-existing documents
system("(sleep 3; rm $tmpfiles) &") if ($tmpfiles);

ptb commented May 19, 2015

I rewrote this as a shell script and added the capability to accommodate filenames with spaces:


if [ -e '/Applications/' ]; then

  if [ ${#@} -ne 0 ]; then
    while IFS= read -r file; do
      [ ! -f "$file" ] && t+=("$file") && /usr/bin/touch "$file"
      file=$(echo $(cd $(dirname "$file") && pwd -P)/$(basename "$file"))
      $(/usr/bin/osascript <<-END
        if application "" is running then
          tell application id (id of application "") to open POSIX file "$file"
          tell application ((path to applications folder as text) & "")
            open POSIX file "$file"
          end tell
        end if
      ) &  # Note: END on the previous line may be indented with tabs but not spaces
    done <<<"$(printf '%s\n' "$@")"

  if [ ! -z "$t" ]; then
    $(/bin/sleep 10; for file in "${t[@]}"; do
      [ ! -s "$file" ] && /bin/rm "$file";
    done) &
  vim -No "$@"

Since I switched from vi, I can't help but to type vi filename every time, so I saved this script as /usr/local/bin/vi. In the off chance I haven't yet installed, it uses the built in system vim instead.


railwaycat commented May 30, 2015

Thanks @ptb :)

lmartins commented Jun 8, 2015

Sorry to ask guys, how can I install this?

@lmartins Paste into a file named emacs (or whatever you want the command to be) in a directory in your path (ahead of the location of the existing emacs command). Then chmod +x /path/to/emacs.

jasonm23 commented Oct 1, 2016

It'd be better to use emacsclient (and kick off as the alternate editor if it's not running already.)

tasmo commented Oct 25, 2016

The command open with the argument -a does not need the full application path. It's not useless but if you have installed Emacs in a different location I would consider just to use

system("open -a Emacs $args");

mwolson commented Nov 24, 2016

Here's a variation that ensures is launched, waits for it to be ready, and then uses emacsclient to open the file in a GUI frame and wait for edits to be completed.



$(/usr/bin/osascript <<-END
  tell application ((path to applications folder as text) & "")
  end tell

while ! "$CLIENT" -e '"pass"' 2>&1 | grep '"pass"' > /dev/null; do
    sleep 0.3

if test "$#" -gt 0; then
    exec "$CLIENT" -c $@

railwaycat commented Nov 30, 2016

Hi @mwolson, thanks for the update. I believe your starter script works for Nextstep port (although I haven't verify that by myself), but it not works for Mac port. Because Emacs Mac port lacks multi-tty support, which means, emacsclient from mac port can only able to create tty frames but not GUI frames.

ivanbrennan commented Jan 26, 2017

@ptb Just curious, why do you use a sub-shell to initialize t in your script? Any reason not to use t="" instead?

Edit: After some digging, I see I was misinterpreting the parentheses and mistaking an array assignment for a sub-shell.

achikin commented May 12, 2017

Do I need to start server in emacs config before running this? because emacsclient gives me the following error

emacsclient -c nginx.conf
emacsclient: can't find socket; have you started the server?
To start the server in Emacs, type "M-x server-start".

ivanbrennan commented Jun 5, 2017

I made some small modifications to the script @ptb provided. This variation is callable with or without file args, and will make emacs visible even if it was previously hidden.

The if [ $# -gt 0] block that handles file args is run in the background (see the closing fi &), but its contents run synchronously with respect to each other. That prevents deleting the tempfiles before they've been visited, with no need for sleep.



if [ ! -x $emacs_app ]; then
  echo " not found" >&2
  exit 1

/usr/bin/osascript -e "tell application \"$emacs_app\" to activate" &

if [ $# -gt 0 ]; then

  while IFS= read -r filename; do
    if [ ! -f "$filename" ]; then
      /usr/bin/touch "$filename"

    file=$(echo $(cd $(dirname "$filename") && pwd -P)/$(basename "$filename"))
    /usr/bin/osascript -e "tell application \"$emacs_app\" to open POSIX file \"$file\""
  done <<< "$(printf '%s\n' "$@")"

  for tempfile in "${tempfiles[@]}"; do
    [ ! -s "$tempfile" ] && /bin/rm "$tempfile"
fi &

This will create buffers of any number of existing or non-existing files with or without spaces in their names in a new instance of emacs_starter file1 file2 file3 ...

#! /usr/bin/env perl
local $" = qq{" "};
my (@have, @havenot);
for (@ARGV) {-e && {push @have, $_} || push @havenot, $_}
system qq{open -a "@have" --args "@havenot"};

If you have an emacs server running, then typing emacsclient file1 file2 file3 ... will use the server.

worace commented Aug 24, 2017

Anyone know if it's possible to use emacsclient with emacs-mac in a way that opens a new cocoa frame with the -c flag? I've started emacs server using a system plist and am able to connect with /usr/local/opt/emacs-mac/bin/emacsclient, but only in a terminal session.

Interestingly it looks like some people seem to have a bin directory inside of /usr/local/opt/emacs-mac/ but I do not.

ls -la /usr/local/opt/emacs-mac/
total 24912
drwxr-xr-x  4 horace  admin       136 Aug 23 12:38 .
drwxr-xr-x  6 horace  admin       204 Aug 23 12:33 ..
-rwxr-xr-x  1 horace  admin  12747496 Aug 23 12:38 Emacs
-rwxr-xr-x  1 horace  admin      1650 Jul 26 21:44

If it's useful to anyone here's the plist I'm using to start the emacs daemon automatically on login:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">
    <string>Gnu Emacs Daemon</string>

Then I have a couple utility functions for restarting it or stopping it as needed:

function emrestart {
    if pgrep "emacs.*daemon" > /dev/null
        echo "killing emacs daemon process"
        $EMACS_BIN_DIR/emacsclient -e "(kill-emacs)"
  launchctl unload "$HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/emacsserver.plist" &&
  launchctl load "$HOME/Library/LaunchAgents/emacsserver.plist"

function emstop {
    if pgrep "emacs.*daemon" > /dev/null
        echo "killing emacs daemon process"
        $EMACS_BIN_DIR/emacsclient -e "(kill-emacs)"

Would love to know if anyone has figured out the emacsclient thing though. That's the only thing I seem to be able to do with the default homebrew emacs setup that I haven't figured out with emacs-mac.

@worace If you start the server in a running GUI Emacs instance, emacsclient will connect to it.
It would be ideal to be able to start Emacs as a daemon process, and have GUI Emacs connect to it, but unfortunately I haven't gotten that to work.

@tonylotts do you know if it's possible to have the GUI emacs client connect to an already existing emacs daemon instance?

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