How I setup my emacs config

21 Dec 2014

Last Edited 04 Feb 2015

First some background. I used vim for about 2 years. It was my first real editor back when I was a first year CompSci student. It was a hard road in the beginning, learning modal editing, the quirks of vim’s configuration and various useful plugins using Tim Pope’s pathogen.

After a few years of vim usage, you could wonder why I switched, especially since I go out of my way to set up emacs to replicate how I was using vim. Extensibility is the main reason. In emacs, the ease of extending the capabilities of your editor to suit your needs makes my switch worthwhile. I haven’t given a real try to elisp yet (that’s on my todo list) but binding a function to a keymap is much easier to do and extending the functionality of your editor through it’s API is a breeze.

One of the well known sayings about emacs is : “a great operating system, lacking only a decent editor”. So although the default editor that comes with emacs is not great, you can make it your best editor. The following packages are what makes emacs a better editor for me.


The most important piece of my emacs config is evil-mode. Evil brings modal editing to emacs and replicates many of vim’s features. All the keybindings I was used to in vim are there. I don’t claim to be the most advanced vim user out there. There are many who use vim’s advanced features in such a way that would prevent them from switching, but if your main reason to stay with vim is modal editing, I urge you to give evil a try.


Another reason why I prefer emacs is that since emacs24, package.el comes on the default installation. This means that I can bootstrap my emacs from it’s config file and have my customized environment in a matter of seconds.

Evil Leader

Although not as essential as it’s namesake mode, evil-leader is useful to prevent rsi and map many of emacs obscure keybindings to a simple 2 keypress. For example I map my leader to the , key and kill-buffer is mapped to k, so to kill the current buffer I do ,-k

My config is linked here: .emacs