I would like to run Emacs on my Android phone. Has anyone done this? If so, how can I?

I've looked, and I haven't been able to find either an executable or instructions to compile emacs for Android.

I know CyanogenMod has some Unix commands, but I haven't found a list or whether it includes Emacs. I don't want to flash my phone without knowing.

I've seen many pages on running Emacs on "Android" via installing Ubuntu. I don't mean running Emacs on "Android" hardware, I mean running Emacs on the Android operating system.

I'm also aware I can use an app to SSH to a Unix box, and that there are online Emacs emulators. Again, not what I'm looking for.

I'm looking for the standard command-line GNU Emacs, and I'm aware I'll need to use a terminal emulator app to run it, as well as a Bluetooth keyboard to do anything useful. I'm not looking for a GUI app, though that would be better than nothing.

I'll accept either a link to a binary or instructions to compile it.

  • 1
    I don't think anyone has made a native port for Android. Feb 16, 2012 at 14:54
  • Do you need emacs, or would an editor with emacs-style key bindings suffice? Don't know of either, but you may have better luck with the latter.
    – Chance
    Feb 16, 2012 at 15:21
  • @Chance Need is a strong word. I would very much like emacs. My goal is to be able to develop on an Android device. Emacs is much more desirable for such than a simple editor with bindings (though again, that would be better than nothing I suppose).
    – rob05c
    Feb 16, 2012 at 15:44

4 Answers 4


I have ported Emacs to Android. (Github)

It doesn't draw UI like the Linux X11 version, but uses a modified Android Terminal Emulator.

  • I'm so glad to see this! (On my Asus tablet it seg-faults on start. I saw your note about changing the font size being a work-around, but that didn't help me. Looking forward to an update!) Sep 23, 2012 at 18:45
  • I get 'emacs.zielm.com forbidden -- press enter to continue'.
    – Adobe
    Feb 26, 2013 at 8:43

If you have Lollipop or above, Termux is a terminal emulator and Linux environment where you can install Emacs via apt update; apt install emacs. Or check out Running Emacs on Android on how to do get it running.

I have Emacs running on my CyanogenMod tablet using this method.


From what I understand, it is not possible (at the time of writing this), since almost all the dependencies that are required for Emacs to run do not exist on the Android system. Then, even if you got all the dependencies to compile for ARM and Android kernel, it would take longer to start up Emacs than it would to SSH into another machine that has Emacs available.

If you want to try, you can look at this site which explains what you need to do to compile Linux binaries for Android devices. And here is how you build Emacs.

  • 2
    "it would take longer to start up emacs then it would to ssh" - I will probably ssh to a box when I can, regardless. But I would like to be able to develop without internet. I am often without a connection while travelling.
    – rob05c
    Feb 16, 2012 at 15:47

There is now an official release on F-Droid. Binaries can also be downloaded directly from the project page on SourceForge.

The official wiki page is also available.

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