GNU Emacs snapshot packages


This is an APT repository that provides unofficial snapshot Debian packages for GNU Emacs. These are built from the latest commit in the GNU Emacs repository, so they represent the bleeding edge of Emacs development. As such, these could contain bugs.

Packages are generated weekly by a script and not tested by anybody. Use at your own risk.

These packages are built for the amd64 architecture. Debian/sid is targeted. If you need builds for other releases, you can get the sources (with apt-get source) and rebuild them for whatever release you like. I haven't tested this, so it may fail for some releases. Feel free to try it out. Email me if something breaks.


  • <2021-05-02 Sun>: the packages now use the native-comp branch. Huge thanks to Andrea Corallo for the upstream work and to Tatsuya Kinoshita for contributing the packaging patch
  • <2021-05-12 Wed>: in addition to the native-comp packages, I now ship the classic byte-compiled packages as well: emacs-snapshot-no-native-comp.... The two flavors of packages conflict with each other, and only one may be installed at a time.

    To make the native-compiled packages work, we must ship the emacs-lisp sources. So the emacs packages now Depend on the -el sources package.


Add to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb     [arch=amd64] unstable main
deb-src [arch=amd64] unstable main

To tell APT to trust these packages, do

wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -

Packages are named emacs-snapshot.... Sources are available with apt-get source as usual.


The default emacs-snapshot... packages use the new native compilation support. This results in natively-compiled (i.e. much faster lisp), but will result in a slowdown and warnings when emacs comes up the first time, as everything is compiled. This is also very new and somewhat experimental. For this reason, the a classic byte-compiled flavor of emacs-snapshot is available also: the packages are called emacs-snapshot-no-native-comp.... The two flavors conflict with each other, and only one may be installed at a time.


As stated previously, these packages are not supported by the maintainers of the official Debian emacs packages. If you encounter an issue, please do not report it to the Debian emacs maintainers. Try to reproduce your issue with emacs -Q and with building emacs from source. If the issue is reproducible then, you should report it directly to the GNU Emacs maintainers.

Of course, if there are any problems with the packaging and distribution itself, don't hesitate to contact me.


These packages were maintained by a series of people. The latest was Julien Danjou at The packaging here is mostly stock emacs24 packaging, forward-ported to work with the latest sources.

The tree used to build these packages is at The upstream branch is the GNU Emacs source, and the master branch is the debianization.


The current maintainer is Dima Kogan <dima at secretsauce dot net>.

Author: Dima Kogan

Created: 2021-05-12 Wed 16:46