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X or Console?

This is a question for Unix/Linux users, and you probably already know the answer because it's a matter of personal preference, but it's worth looking into. Emacs was a console application for years, but developed an optional graphical interface (GUI) because users demanded one, and now you can use whichever you like best, or both.

If the graphical emacs has been installed, emacs will run with clickable menus and lots of mouse support; in the console version you will access the menus through keystrokes, not by clicking, but all the same functionality will be there. If you are working in a virtual terminal and want to specify the emacs you launch to be the console version, launch it with emacs -nw. This is actually my favorite way, as I can run emacs in a transparent terminal with a cool background, and I don't want or like the mouse support much anyway.

Randall Wood 2011-03-31