Centaur Emacs

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Centaur Emacs

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This is an Emacs distribution that aims to enhance the default Emacs experience. It alters a lot of the default settings, bundles a plethora of additional packages and adds its own core library to the mix. The final product offers an easy to use Emacs configuration for Emacs newcomers and lots of additional power for Emacs power users.

It’s able to run on Windows, GNU Linux and macOS. It is compatible ONLY with GNU Emacs 25.1 and above. In general you’re advised to always run with the latest stable release - currently 26.3.




GNU Emacs

Please refer to Installing Emacs.


Recommend to use Centaur Dotfiles.

Quick Start


mv ~/.emacs.d ~/.emacs.d.bak
git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/seagle0128/.emacs.d.git ~/.emacs.d

or download the zip package directly and extract to ~/.emacs.d.

Then start Emacs. Wait for a while to install packages at the first startup. Enjoy! :smile:

NOTE: Start Emacs with the minimal configuration for fast startup and troubleshooting.

emacs -Q --l ~/.emacs.d/init-mini.el


# Update Centaur Emacs, including configurations and packages
M-x centaur-update

# Update Emacs configurations only
M-x centaur-update-config

# Update ~/.dotfiles if it exists
M-x centaur-update-dotfiles

# Update packages only
M-x centaur-update-packages

# Update all including configurations, packages and dotfiles
M-x centaur-update-all


cd ~/.emacs.d/Dockerfile
docker build -t centaur/emacs .
docker run -it centaur/emacs bash


Customize Group

M-x customize-group and select centaur. Set and save the configurations, then restart Emacs.


Add or change the configurations in custom.el, then restart Emacs.

For Example:

(setq centaur-logo nil)                        ; Logo file or nil (official logo)
(setq centaur-full-name "user name")           ; User full name
(setq centaur-mail-address "user@email.com")   ; Email address
(setq centaur-proxy "")          ; Network proxy
(setq centaur-server nil)                      ; Enable `server-mode' or not: t or nil
(setq centaur-icon nil)                        ; Display icons or not: t or nil
(setq centaur-package-archives 'emacs-china)   ; Package repo: melpa, emacs-china, netease or tuna
(setq centaur-theme 'light)                    ; Color theme: auto, random, default, classic, colorful, dark, light, day or night
(setq centaur-dashboard nil)                   ; Use dashboard at startup or not: t or nil
(setq centaur-restore-frame-geometry nil)      ; Restore the frame's geometry at startup: t or nil
(setq centaur-lsp 'eglot)                      ; Set LSP client: lsp-mode, eglot or nil
(setq centaur-lsp-format-on-save-ignore-modes '(c-mode c++-mode)) ; Ignore format on save for some languages
(setq centaur-chinese-calendar t)              ; Use Chinese calendar or not: t or nil
(setq centaur-prettify-symbols-alist nil)      ; Alist of symbol prettifications. Nil to use font supports ligatures.
(setq centaur-prettify-org-symbols-alist nil)  ; Alist of symbol prettifications for `org-mode'
(setq centaur-benchmark-init t)                ; Enable initialization benchmark or not: t or nil

The default package archives is melpa. You can change it in custom.el, or set manually via M-x set-package-archives anytime.

For the personal configurations, you could put to ~/.emacs.d/custom-post.org or~/.emacs.d/custom-post.el.


Name Scope Keybinding Description
toggles-hydra global <f6> Global option toggles
window-hydra global C-c w/C-x o w Window management
doom-modeline-hydra doom-modeline-mode C-<f6> Mode-line options and actions
hydra-ivy minibuffer, ivy-mode C-o Additional key bindings for Ivy
ivy-hydra-read-action minibuffer, ivy-mode M-o Actions forivy-dispatching-done
hydra-dired-qick-sort dired S Options for dired-quick-sort
org-hydra org-mode < Org template
dashboard-hydra dashboard-mode h/? Actions for the dashboard
dumb-jump-hydra global C-M-j Jump to definition
youdao-dictionay-hydra youdao-dictionay-mode h/? Actions for youdao-dictionary
ztreediff-hydra zreediff-mode C-<f5> Actions for text mode directory tree
git-messenger-hydra global C-x v p Actions for git-messenger
smerge-mode-hydra smerge-mode C-c m Actions for smerge-mode
rect-hydra text-mode, prog-mode C-<return> Actions for Rectangle
rect-hydra org-mode S-<return> Actions for Rectangle
lsp-ui-hydra lsp-ui-mode M-<f6> Actions for lsp-ui
dap-hydra dap-mode M-<f5> Actions for dap-debug
elfeed-hydra elfeed ? Actions for RSS reader elfeed
xwidget-hydra xwidget-webkit-mode ? Actions for embedded webkit browser








  1. How to display icons correctly in Centaur Emacs?

    all-the-icons are necessary. Run M-x all-the-icons-install-fonts to install the resource fonts. On Windows, the fonts should be installed manually. all-the-icons only support GUI. If you don’t like color icons, (setq all-the-icons-color-icons nil) to disable it. Please refer to all-the-icons.el for details.

    If the icons are not displayed correctly although all-the-icons fonts are installed correctly, please install the non-free font Symbola. This issue usually occurs on Windows. Refer to #121 for more details.

    If you are using cnfonts, it will conflict with all-the-icons. The workaround is here.

    For better experience, I don’t recommend to use GUI with emacsclient in daemon mode. See #154.

  2. The packages cannot be installed, what should I do?

    Generally it’s due to connection issue. Please refer to #98.

    • M-x package-refresh-contents and try again.
    • (setq gnutls-algorithm-priority "NORMAL:-VERS-TLS1.3").
    • Use other mirror of ELPA.
    • Change another network to retry.
  3. How to search Chinese via pinyin?

    In Emacs, C-s !. If you just want to search !, use C-s \!.

  4. How to use the Centaur Dashboard?

    If centaur-dashboard is non-nil the Centaur Dashboard will be opened at startup automatically. After startup, you could use F2 to reopen it anytime. In the dashboard, please press ? or h to get the help. You can easily jump to the sections or buttons with keybindings, e.g. Homepage(H), Session(R, L), Settings(S), Update(U), Recent Files (r), Bookmarks(m) and Projects(p).

  5. Does Centaur Emacs support Language Server Protocol (LSP)?

    The LSP feature is supported and enabled by default in Centaur Emacs. lsp-mode is the default client, and eglot is another choice. Use (setq centaur-lsp nil) to disable LSP if you don’t like it.

    To use LSP you should install the language servers. Refer to lsp-mode: supported-languages or eglot: Connecting to a server for the details.

  6. How to enable plantuml in org-mode?

    Put (setq org-plantuml-jar-path "<path of plantumx.x.x.jar>") in custom.el.

  7. Why the Emacs environment variables and exec-path are different between GUI and terminal?

    Please refer to #33. You should instead set environment variables in startup files like .profile, .bash_profile or .zshenv, then Centaur Emacs is able to recognize and import the environment variables.

  8. How to use zoom-window in Centaur Emacs?

    See #169.

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