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I've downloaded Emacs from Github's Emacs mirror (commit f92c4be63204ed0bd914). Using Mac OS X 10.6.4, I'm now about to compile and install


The nextstep/INSTALLATION doc states nothing about make boostrap. Whereas, at various places on the Internet (following the ./configure --with-ns step but before the make step), I often see that 'boostrap' part included in the installation process.

I'm just wondering what make bootstrap does, and if it's beneficial or even needed?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Per the Makefile, 'make bootstrap' will recompile all Emacs Lisp files using the current source, then rebuild Emacs, as opposed to using the previously compiled .elc files that come with in the source tarball.

Can't really answer the "is this benefical" part of the question, but it seems like something that won't hurt (excepting the extra amount of time it takes in the build).

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I know that this might be not what you want, but has nightly binaries so you don't have to.

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Use Aquamacs.

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I'd rather not prefer Aquamacs as it felt too Mac-geared. Reason being, that when or if I'll have to use something else than a Mac, I'd like to be fairly at home whatever the OS might be. Of course, there's Carbon Emacs, which I've also tested, but frankly I don't see the point of it, as it's almost identical to GNU Emacs ( and I suspect it will be easier to catch up with the latest and greatest updates if staying on the official distribution. – Henrik Jun 22 '10 at 23:24
It is not "too Mac-geared". You'll be using the same interface with Mac shortcuts added to the list of standard Emacs shortcuts. See the about page: – mcandre Jun 23 '10 at 15:02
Please note that Aquamacs has been abandoned for 3 years now. – Slomojo May 10 '15 at 11:05
I'm happy with Homebrew's emacs for now. – mcandre May 17 '15 at 5:05

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