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

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: How to *properly* set up Emacs on Windows?
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2022 14:19:48 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Joost <> writes:

>> MSYS2 provides many utilities as MinGW packages.
>> For instance, if you installed emacs with:
>> $ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-emacs
> I didn't, I installed Emacs from (installed to C:/Program\
> Files/emacs-27.2-x86_64/). Would there be an advantage in installing Emacs 
> with
> pacman instead?

Convenience and reliability.

> Will that give me a graphical Emacs or just a console one?

A graphical one, of course.

>> you should install those utilities as:
>> $ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-grep
>> $ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-diffutils
>> $ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-ag
> Any point in installing those given that I didn't install Emacs with
> pacman?

Well, AFAIK grep et al. are not included on GNU's package, so if you
want to use those utilities, you must install them from somewhere.

>Can they be used with Emacs from

The standalone tools (grep, diff, ag, etc) yes. The shared libraries
(libgccjit) may be problematic, if the MinGW packages distributed by
MSYS2 drift from what was used to build the GNU Emacs binary package.

>> For communicating with ELPA:
>> $ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-gnupg
> Currently, after modifying the system PATH as described above, I can
> install packages from GNU Elpa again (Melpa was never a problem).

Then I reckon that you have gnupg somewhere on your PATH.

>> For nativecomp support:
>> $ pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-libgccjit
> Is there an Emacs 28 pretest available that will work with this?

No, MSYS2/MinGW tries to distribute released versions. Once Emacs 28 is
released, binary packages will be available from MSYS2 repos after a few

> (The
> Windows binaries that were anounced on emacs-devel the other day
> appear to be MSYS2 binaries?

I don't think so.

> And `pacman -Ss emacs` doesn't return any Emacs 28 packages.)

Only one version of a given package is available on pacman at any give
time, except for cases that don't concern us.

>> MSYS2 does not provide git as a MinGW package, so you have two options:
>> either install the MSYS2 package (pacman -S git) or install "Git for
>> Windows", which provide an almost native port.
> I'm using the latter and added "C:/Program Files/Git/usr/bin" to
> `exec-path`, as mentioned above. Wrong decision?

I'll prefer to set vc-git-program. There are lots of files on that
directory. Now that I think of it, probably you are unknowingly using
gnupg from there. If you remove "C:/Program Files/Git/usr/bin" and GNU
Elpa stops working, install mingw-w64-x86_64-gnupg with pacman.

>> You shouldn't need further modifications to your .emacs or to the
>> environment (*), so ask here before adding something else.
> I've been using Git Bash (alongside eshell) as my shell of choice.
> Would the MinGW-x64 shell provided by MSYS2 be a better choice? Or
> doesn't it really matter?

The shell provided by MSYS2 works on top of the POSIX emulation layer.
If you know the implications and is what suits you, fine. If not, I'll
use Eshell alone, as it makes a decent cross-platform experience.

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