Playing with multi-tty Emacs

GNU logo I’ve installed a new version of [GNU][] [Emacs][] on my [Debian][] system. The cool thing about this version is that is has supprot for multi-tty which means that it can show frames om multiple different kinds of TTYs.

Normally you can start your Emacs in X and use emacsclient to quickly bring up a new frame. This works fine — but in fact it’s a little too much, for you always get a new frame (in the X environment) when using emacsclient. If you are logged in using something like SSH, then what you really want is to have emacsclient show a frame on your terminal.

This is exactly what the Emacs multi-tty support project gives you! Starting emacsclient with the $DISPLAY variable set gives you a new frame in X, as you would expect. But if this variable is unset (as it is in a SSH session without X forwarding) then you get your new frame in the console. You then of course have access to Emacs just as you left it, including all the buffers.

So I can now just leave my Emacs running at my computer, and to check mail I just SSH to my box and connect to the running Emacs process. There I just switch to my [Gnus][] buffer instead of having to kill it first. Very sweet!

Oh, and by the way: the author says that emacsclient starts up faster than vi… In fact, I think I’ll make vi a symlink to emacsclient from now on… ;-)

One Comment

  1. Lester Vecsey:

    Multi-tty is awesome, just as you described it. It recently entered CVS for emacs, in early September 2007.

Leave a comment