I administrate a couple of servers and do automation with both python and ruby at times.

I've seen some awesome Youtube videos of users with multiple open windows, logged in background chats, and deep code completion, all done with emacs. I'm currently using vi and would like to learn emacs.

Altogether doing away with any and all forms of GUI (suggestions for text browsing in emacs welcome) would be perfect in my current environment, especially for decluttering and focus.

Content similar to http://platypope.org/yada/emacs-demo/tutorial.swf would be perfect.

  • 1
    Not really a tutorial, but I'd consider installing Emacs Starter Kit--I find it really useful.
    – alex
    Commented Jan 20, 2011 at 11:54
  • 1
    The emacs manual? :-) Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 17:48

5 Answers 5


See the questions in stack overflow:

Other resources to check out when you get stuck:

  • FAQ: C-h C-f
  • info pages: C-h i
  • Emacs Wiki
  • M-x apropos-documentation (search Emacs variable/function documentation)

There is emacs built-in tutorial, available by typing Ctrl+h, thent. It can be considered as the vimtutor equivalent.

  • Great. Will try this first. Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 11:27
  • I really think that this is the best way to start learning Emacs from scratch--it makes no assumptions about your previous knowledge, so is perfect exactly for the utter beginner. Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 2:26

I started with Learning GNU Emacs


My strategy was to go through the tutorial, and after that just google all the time. Now it seems time to go through the elisp manual; problems I have these days do seem to require knowing more about that.

(let me sneak in a recommendation for org-mode at http://orgmode.org)

  • Unable to determine IP address from host name org-mode.org. Is that correct? Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 11:27
  • Sorry about that, should be orgmode.org. I'll correct the answer.
    – kasterma
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 14:58

A really good video to watch is: http://peepcode.com/products/meet-emacs

Does an excellent job of covering all the basics, but it'll cost some money to get.

I asked a similar question on StackOverflow and rather then me copying everything over check out:


  • Thanks. Got myself the video. Also following the inline tutorials. Commented Feb 22, 2011 at 6:54

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