When I double-click on a file and open it with emacs-23, emacs ignores its first input. It comes up with a blank white screen window being the empty "*scratch*" buffer, instead of the expected file to edit. And it says "File exists: /home/myusername/.emacs.d/" in the message bar.

It also does this if I invoke

emacs existing_filename

from the terminal.

Doesn't seem to be a permissions problem, these are all my files, with -rw-r--r-- on them. It's not even loading the file as a Buffer in the background. However, Open File then works on the file, so there's nothing fundamentally blocking it.

How do I configure emacs so it comes up with its first argument file for editing?

New install, emacs 45.0 metapackage, emacs23 .4+1-4ubuntu2, 32-bit Ubuntu 13.10.


I just fixed this by deleting ~/.emacs.d. Apparently if the first time you use emacs on a new machine you are running with sudo, the initialization folder gets created with root permissions so it can't be opened by your non-root user account, and that throws off things like opening the file you asked for.

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