27.6 The Init File
When you start Emacs, it normally loads either `.xemacs/init.el' or the
file `.emacs' (whichever comes first) in your home directory. This
file, if it exists, should contain Lisp code. It is called your
initialization file or "init file". Use the command line switch `-q'
to tell Emacs whether to load an init file (Note: Entering Emacs).
Use the command line switch `-user-init-file' (Note: Command
Switches) to tell Emacs to load a different file instead of
When the init file is read, the variable `user-init-file' says which
init file was loaded.
At some sites there is a "default init file", which is the library
named `default.el', found via the standard search path for libraries.
The Emacs distribution contains no such library; your site may create
one for local customizations. If this library exists, it is loaded
whenever you start Emacs. But your init file, if any, is loaded first;
if it sets `inhibit-default-init' non-`nil', then `default' is not
If you have a large amount of code in your init file, you should
byte-compile it to `~/.xemacs/init.elc' or `~/.emacs.elc'.
- Init Syntax
- Syntax of constants in Emacs Lisp.
- Init Examples
- How to do some things with an init file.
- Terminal Init
- Each terminal type can have an init file.
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