(xemacs.info)Entering Emacs

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Enter node , (file) or (file)node

3 Entering and Exiting Emacs

The usual way to invoke XEmacs is to type `xemacs <RET>' at the shell.
XEmacs clears the screen and then displays an initial advisory message
and copyright notice.  You can begin typing XEmacs commands immediately

   Some operating systems insist on discarding all type-ahead when
XEmacs starts up; they give XEmacs no way to prevent this.  Therefore,
it is advisable to wait until XEmacs clears the screen before typing
your first editing command.

   If you run XEmacs from a shell window under the X Window System, run
it in the background with `xemacs&'.  This way, XEmacs does not tie up
the shell window, so you can use that to run other shell commands while
XEmacs operates its own X windows.  You can begin typing XEmacs commands
as soon as you direct your keyboard input to the XEmacs frame.

   Before Emacs reads the first command, you have not had a chance to
give a command to specify a file to edit.  Since Emacs must always have
a current buffer for editing, it presents a buffer, by default, a buffer
named `*scratch*'.  The buffer is in Lisp Interaction mode; you can use
it to type Lisp expressions and evaluate them, or you can ignore that
capability and simply doodle.  (You can specify a different major mode
for this buffer by setting the variable `initial-major-mode' in your
init file.  Note: Init File.)

   It is possible to specify files to be visited, Lisp files to be
loaded, and functions to be called, by giving Emacs arguments in the
shell command line.  Note: Command Switches.  But we don't recommend
doing this.  The feature exists mainly for compatibility with other

   Many other editors are designed to be started afresh each time you
want to edit.  You edit one file and then exit the editor.  The next
time you want to edit either another file or the same one, you must run
the editor again.  With these editors, it makes sense to use a
command-line argument to say which file to edit.

   But starting a new Emacs each time you want to edit a different file
does not make sense.  For one thing, this would be annoyingly slow.  For
another, this would fail to take advantage of Emacs's ability to visit
more than one file in a single editing session.  And it would lose the
other accumulated context, such as registers, undo history, and the mark

   The recommended way to use XEmacs is to start it only once, just
after you log in, and do all your editing in the same Emacs session.
Each time you want to edit a different file, you visit it with the
existing Emacs, which eventually comes to have many files in it ready
for editing.  Usually you do not kill the Emacs until you are about to
log out.  Note: Files, for more information on visiting more than one

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