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Re: How to *properly* set up Emacs on Windows?

From: Arash Esbati
Subject: Re: How to *properly* set up Emacs on Windows?
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2022 13:28:31 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50

Joost <> writes:

> To be honest, though, I'm not entirely sure how I got myself into that
> situation. I don't even have a good understanding of MSYS2 and MinGW
> and the differences between them.

Others gave more elaborate answers, but for me as a not versed user, it
always worked to ignore MSYS2 when I was looking for binaries to use and
just searched for their MinGW versions.

> I *think* it happened when I tried to use some external utilities from
> within Emacs, mainly git and diff, for which I modified my PATH
> variable.
> So, does anyone have any advice on how to get out of this situation
> and get a better Emacs setup on Windows? Any and all hints very much
> appreciated!

Here is the way I set it up:

- Don't touch Windows $PATH and make any additions to it
- Only set $HOME (or %HOME% to be in Windows parlance) as a system-wide
  variable to a directory of your choice
- Install the portable version of Msys2, here the latest version[1]
- In the install directory, double click 'msys2_shell.cmd', let is run
  its opening ceremony, and do 'pacman -Syu'
- In your $HOME, touch .bash_profile and put things you want to have in
  it.  For example, I use Ghostscript installed on my C drive, and this
  is what I have:
    export PATH=$PATH:/c/Program\ Files/gs/gs9.55.0/bin
    export PATH=$PATH:/c/Program\ Files/gs/gs9.55.0/lib
- Install Emacs from a source of your choice (or even compile it
  yourself) and add an entry to $PATH like above
- In your Msys2 install directory, double click 'mingw64.exe' and then
  'emacs &' to see if it all works
- If you're happy, then start dropping wintty and use another terminal;
  I'm currently using Windows Terminal and I'm quite happy with it

N.B. I was never fond of setting environment variables within Emacs, so
I set everything in the shell and then start Emacs from it.  So I have
no "Shortcut to Emacs" on the desktop.

Reg. Git: I use git provided by Msys2.  It works for my workflow, but I
don't use Magit, so I can't tell how it goes.

HTH.  Best, Arash


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