The initial options specify parameters for the Emacs session. This
section describes the more general initial options; some other options
specifically related to the X Window System appear in the following
Some initial options affect the loading of the initialization file.
The normal actions of Emacs are to first load site-start.el if
it exists, then your own initialization file ~/.emacs if it
exists, and finally default.el if it exists. See Init File.
Certain options prevent loading of some of these files or substitute
other files for them.
Use device as the device for terminal input and output.
‘--terminal’ implies ‘--no-window-system’.
Use the X Window System and use the display named display to open
the initial Emacs frame. See Display X, for more details.
Don't communicate directly with the window system, disregarding the
DISPLAY environment variable even if it is set. This means that
Emacs uses the terminal from which it was launched for all its display
Run Emacs in batch mode. Batch mode is used for running
programs written in Emacs Lisp from shell scripts, makefiles, and so
on. To invoke a Lisp program, use the ‘-batch’ option in
conjunction with one or more of ‘-l’, ‘-f’ or ‘--eval’
(see Action Arguments). See Command Example, for an example.
In batch mode, Emacs does not display the text being edited, and the
standard terminal interrupt characters such as C-z and C-c
have their usual effect. Emacs functions that normally print a
message in the echo area will print to either the standard output
stream (stdout) or the standard error stream (stderr)
instead. (To be precise, functions like prin1, princ
and print print to stdout, while message and
error print to stderr.) Functions that normally read
keyboard input from the minibuffer take their input from the
terminal's standard input stream (stdin) instead.
‘--batch’ implies ‘-q’ (do not load an initialization file),
but site-start.el is loaded nonetheless. It also causes Emacs
to exit after processing all the command options. In addition, it
disables auto-saving except in buffers for which it has been
Run Emacs in batch mode, like ‘--batch’, and then read and
execute the Lisp code in file.
The normal use of this option is in executable script files that run
Emacs. They can start with this text on the first line
which will invoke Emacs with ‘--script’ and supply the name of
the script file as file. Emacs Lisp then treats ‘#!’ as a
Do not load your Emacs initialization file, and do not load the file
default.el either (see Init File). Regardless of this
switch, site-start.el is still loaded. When Emacs is invoked
like this, the Customize facility does not allow options to be saved
(see Easy Customization).
Do not load site-start.el. The options ‘-q’, ‘-u’
and ‘--batch’ have no effect on the loading of this file—this
option and ‘-Q’ are the only options that block it.
Do not display a startup screen. You can also achieve this effect by
setting the variable inhibit-startup-screen to non-nil
in your initialization file (see Entering Emacs).
Start emacs with minimum customizations, similar to using ‘-q’,
‘--no-site-file’, and ‘--no-splash’ together. This also
stops Emacs from processing X resources by setting
inhibit-x-resources to t (see Resources).
Start Emacs as a daemon—after Emacs starts up, it starts the Emacs
server and disconnects from the terminal without opening any frames.
You can then use the emacsclient command to connect to Emacs
for editing. See Emacs Server, for information about using Emacs
as a daemon.
Start emacs in background as a daemon, and use SERVER-NAME as
the server name.