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SXEmacs 22.1.10 beta running under Linux.
SXEmacs 22.1.10 beta running under Linux.
Original author(s)Steve Youngs
Developer(s)SXEmacs community
Stable release
22.1.16 / May 6, 2016; 3 years ago (2016-05-06)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC, elisp
Operating systemAny Unix-like
Available inEnglish only
TypeText editor, Lisp environment
LicenceGPL v3

SXEmacs is a fork of the XEmacs text editor. It runs on many Unix-like operating systems including OS X.[1] It is notable for features such as FFI support, enhanced number types (similar to bignums in XEmacs 21.5), raw string regexps, and an implementation of Pugh's skip lists.[2]


On December 31, 2004, Steve Youngs (lead developer) announced the creation of SXEmacs on the emacs-devel and xemacs-beta mailing lists.[3]

The software community generally refers to GNU Emacs, XEmacs, SXEmacs (and a number of other similar editors) collectively or individually as emacsen or as Emacs, since they all take their inspiration from the original TECO Emacs.

The reasons he cited for the fork were:

  • A belief that XEmacs was too "broken" and unstable
  • Wanting to make radical changes
  • Wanting a development environment not embroiled in politics
  • Wanting more control over the project
  • Making it easier for developers to contribute and get involved.


  1. ^ "15 useful Mac OS X editors".
  2. ^ Feature list extract taken from SXEmacs Homepage
  3. ^ See the announcement at Merry Xmacs and a... OMG, what did you just say?