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 26.2.




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:


# Update Centaur Emacs (then restart), including configurations and packages
M-x centaur-update
M-x centaur-update-and-restart

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

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

# Update packages only (then restart)
M-x centaur-update-packages
M-x centaur-update-packages-and-restart

# 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.


Copy custom-template.el to custom.el and change the configurations, 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-package-archives 'emacs-china)   ; Package repo: melpa, melpa-mirror, emacs-china, netease or tuna
(setq centaur-theme classic)                   ; Color theme: default, classic, dark, light or daylight
(setq centaur-dashboard nil)                   ; Use dashboard at startup or not: t or nil
(setq centaur-lsp 'eglot)                      ; Set LSP client: lsp-mode, eglot or nil
(setq centaur-chinese-calendar nil)            ; Use Chinese calendar or not: t or nil
(setq centaur-benchmark t)                     ; Enable initialization benchmark or not: t or nil

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

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








  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. Please refer to all-the-icons.el for details.

  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.

    Before use it you should install language servers. Refer to lsp-mode: supported-languages or eglot: Connecting to a server for 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.