When Emacs is started up, it performs the following operations
normal-top-level in startup.el):
load-path, by running the file named
subdirs.el in each directory in the list. Normally, this file
adds the directory’s subdirectories to the list, and those are scanned
in their turn. The files subdirs.el are normally generated
automatically when Emacs is installed.
directories. This file is intended for registering input methods.
The search is only for any personal leim-list.el files that you
may have created; it skips the directories containing the standard Emacs
libraries (these should contain only a single leim-list.el file,
which is compiled into the Emacs executable).
before-init-time to the value of
current-time (see Time of Day). It also sets
nil, which signals to Lisp programs
that Emacs is being initialized.
package-activate-all to activate any
optional Emacs Lisp package that has been installed. See Packaging Basics. However, Emacs doesn’t activate the packages when
nil or when it’s started
with one of the options ‘-q’, ‘-Q’, or ‘--batch’. To
activate the packages in the latter case,
should be called explicitly (e.g., via the ‘--funcall’ option).
initial-window-system specifies (see initial-window-system). The initialization function,
window-system-initialization, is a generic function
(see Generic Functions) whose actual implementation is different
for each supported window system. If the value of
initial-window-system is windowsystem, then the
appropriate implementation of the initialization function is defined
in the file term/windowsystem-win.el. This file should
have been compiled into the Emacs executable when it was built.
(see Initial Frame Parameters) for the graphical frame, by calling the
window-system-initialization function for that window system.
This is not done in batch (noninteractive) or daemon mode.
custom-reevaluate-setting to re-initialize the members
of the list
custom-delayed-init-variables. These are any
pre-loaded user options whose default value depends on the run-time,
rather than build-time, context.
inhibit-default-init is non-
nil, nor if the options
‘-q’, ‘-Q’, or ‘--batch’ were specified.
abbrev-file-name, if that file exists and can be read
(see abbrev-file-name). This is not done if the
option ‘--batch’ was specified.
after-init-time to the value of
current-time. This variable was set to
setting it to the current time signals that the initialization phase
is over, and, together with
before-init-time, provides the
measurement of how long it took.
delayed-warnings-hook. The latter shows any warnings emitted
during previous stages of startup, which are automatically delayed.
tty-setup-hook. This is not done
--batch mode, nor if
--batch was specified.
(substitute-command-keys initial-scratch-message) into that buffer.
initial-buffer-choice is a string, it visits the file (or
directory) with that name. If it is a function, it calls the function
with no arguments and selects the buffer that it returns. If one file
is given as a command line argument, that file is visited and its
buffer displayed alongside
initial-buffer-choice. If more than
one file is given, all of the files are visited and the *Buffer
List* buffer is displayed alongside
frame-notice-user-settings, which modifies the
parameters of the selected frame according to whatever the init files
window-setup-hook. The only difference between this
emacs-startup-hook is that this one runs after the
previously mentioned modifications to the frame parameters.
nil, or if the ‘--no-splash’ or ‘-Q’ command-line
options were specified.
(On POSIX systems, if a background daemon was requested, it then
detaches from the controlling terminal.) See Emacs
Server in The GNU Emacs Manual.
emacs-session-restore passing it as argument the ID of the
previous session. See Session Management.
The following options affect some aspects of the startup sequence.
This variable, if non-
nil, inhibits the startup screen. In
that case, Emacs typically displays the *scratch* buffer; but
Do not set this variable in the init file of a new user, or in a way that affects more than one user, as that would prevent new users from receiving information about copyleft and basic Emacs usage.
aliases for this variable.
nil, this variable is a string that specifies a file or
directory for Emacs to display after starting up, instead of the
If its value is a function, Emacs calls that function which must
return a buffer which is then displayed.
If its value is
t, Emacs displays the *scratch* buffer.
This variable controls the display of the startup echo area message. You can suppress the startup echo area message by adding text with this form to your init file:
(setq inhibit-startup-echo-area-message "your-login-name")
Emacs explicitly checks for an expression as shown above in your init
file; your login name must appear in the expression as a Lisp string
constant. You can also use the Customize interface. Other methods of
inhibit-startup-echo-area-message to the same value do
not inhibit the startup message. This way, you can easily inhibit the
message for yourself if you wish, but thoughtless copying of your init
file will not inhibit the message for someone else.
This variable, if non-
nil, should be a string, which is treated
as documentation to be inserted into the *scratch* buffer when
Emacs starts up or when that buffer is recreated. If it is
nil, the *scratch* buffer is empty.
The following command-line options affect some aspects of the startup sequence. See Initial Options in The GNU Emacs Manual.
Do not display a splash screen.
Run without an interactive terminal. See Batch Mode.
Do not initialize any display; just start a server. (A “background” daemon automatically runs in the background.)
Do not load either the init file, or the default library.
Do not load the site-start library.
Equivalent to ‘-q --no-site-file --no-splash’.
Specify the directory to use when finding the Emacs init files.