I am trying to compile emacs on Ubuntu 12.04. This is because I want to use Emacs 24.2.

However, I am getting the following error. How can I fix it?

checking for long file names... yes
checking for X... no
checking for X... true
configure: error: You seem to be running X, but no X development libraries
were found.  You should install the relevant development files for X
and for the toolkit you want, such as Gtk+, Lesstif or Motif.  Also make
sure you have development files for image handling, i.e.
tiff, gif, jpeg, png and xpm.
If you are sure you want Emacs compiled without X window support, pass
to configure.

I used to do it this way:

sudo apt-get install build-essential texinfo libx11-dev libxpm-dev libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libgif-dev libtiff-dev libgtk-3-dev libncurses-dev libgnutls28-dev
# for gtk2 build replace libgtk-3-dev with libgtk2.0-dev

git clone --depth=1 git://git.savannah.gnu.org/emacs.git
cd emacs
./autogen.sh # not needed when installing from tarball
make bootstrap
sudo make install

To build docs:

make docs
# or build just the format you want:
make info
make dvi
make html
make pdf

But now I just use the package

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ubuntu-elisp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install emacs-snapshot
  • Will it be installing emacs v28.1? or whatever the latest one is?
    – alper
    Feb 21 at 11:35
  • 1
    @alper if you mean via apt-get, then yes emacs-snapshot means latest "trunk" version. I'm still installing emacs that way, and my current emacs says GNU Emacs 28.0.50 of 2021-02-12.
    – Adobe
    Feb 21 at 11:48

If you run

sudo apt-get build-dep emacs23

that installs everything that is needed to compile the emacs23 package. Quite likely that's enough to compile Emacs 24.2, too.

  • 5
    Or, in Ubuntu 14: sudo apt-get build-dep emacs24
    – nnyby
    Oct 22 '14 at 15:23
  • 3
    If you are running >=16.04 and get E: You must put some 'source' URIs in your sources.list, see this question
    – dinosaur
    Sep 26 '16 at 23:48
  • very helpful, can be adapted for installation of emacs 26.1 on Ubuntu 18.04 or Linux Mint 19 "Tara": sudo apt-get build-dep emacs25
    – sebisnow
    Nov 20 '18 at 9:45

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