Emacs is available as an AppImage which means "one app = one file", which you can download and run on your Linux system while you don't need a package manager and nothing gets changed in your system. Awesome!
AppImages are single-file applications that run on most Linux distributions. Download an application, make it executable, and run! No need to install. No system libraries or system preferences are altered. Most AppImages run on recent versions of Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and other common desktop distributions.
Running Emacs on Linux without installationUnlike other applications, AppImages do not need to be installed before they can be used. However, they need to be marked as executable before they can be run. This is a Linux security feature.
Behold! AppImages are usually not verified by others. Follow these instructions only if you trust the developer of the software. Use at your own risk!
Download the Emacs AppImage and make it executable using your file manager or by entering the following commands in a terminal:
chmod +x ./*.AppImage
Then double-click the AppImage in the file manager to open it.
If you want to restrict what Emacs can do on your system, you can run the AppImage in a sandbox like Firejail. This is entirely optional and currently needs to be configured by the user.
If you would like to update to a new version, simply download the new Emacs AppImage.
Integrating AppImages into the system
If you would like to have the executable bit set automatically, and would like to see Emacs and other AppImages integrated into the system (menus, icons, file type associations, etc.), then you may want to check the optional appimaged daemon.
Note for application authors
Thanks for distributing Emacs in the AppImage format for all common Linux distributions. Great! Here are some ideas on how to make it even better.
Pro Tips for further enhancing the Emacs AppImage
Please consider to add update information to the Emacs AppImage and ship a
.zsync file so that it can be updated using AppImageUpdate. Tools like appimagetool and linuxdeployqt can do this for you easily.
The screenshot for Emacs has been automatically taken during a fully automated test. You can specify the URL to a nicer one by shipping an AppStream metainfo file.
If you would like to see a donation link for the application here, please include one in the AppStream data.