Node:GNU Emacs Installation, Previous:XEmacs Installation, Up:Installation

Installation of ECB for GNU Emacs users

IMPORTANT: If you are a XEmacs-user please read XEmacs Installation before proceeding with the following instructions!

  1. Download and unpack the ECB archive (probably you have already done this :-)
  2. Read the file README in the ECB-directory and install the required semantic-, eieio- and speedbar-version1.

    Please note: ECB maybe requires a newer version of these libraries than shipped with (X)Emacs. You have to install exactly a version ECB requires and also to make sure that the correct version is loaded into (X)Emacs!

    But ECB performs two autom checks:

    So if you are not sure if you have installed the required packages at all or if you have installed the correct versions of these packages then do not worry about this, just go on with the following installation steps: If ECB is missing something it will give you proper feedback and support not later than at load-time or start-time!

  3. Add the new ECB-directory to your load-path variable.

    You MUST add the ECB-install-directory to the load-path either by changing the load-path variable directly in your .emacs or site-lisp/site-start.el or by working with a file subdirs.el2.

    ATTENTION: ECB is NOT properly installed if it's directory is not added to load-path and for example just loaded by

    (load-file "/path/to/ecb/ecb.el")

    Do not do this!

  4. Load ECB by adding code to your .emacs:

    If you want to load the complete ECB at (X)Emacs-loadtime (Advantage: All ECB-options available after loading ECB. Disadvantage: Increasing loadtime3):

    (require 'ecb)

    If you want to load the ECB first after starting it by ecb-activate (Advantage: Fast loading4. Disadvantage: ECB- and semantic-options first available after starting ECB):

    (require 'ecb-autoloads)

    This loads all available autoloads of ECB, e.g. ecb-activate, ecb-minor-mode, ecb-byte-compile and ecb-show-help.

  5. Restart (X)Emacs.

ECB is now ready for use and can be activated by calling M-x ecb-activate or ecb-minor-mode. Now you can either starting using ECB or you can do these optional installation steps:

  1. Reading the online help with ecb-show-help

    Maybe you are interested to read the online-help of ECB before first start.

  2. Bytecompiling ECB with ecb-byte-compile

    This byte compiles ECB. You can safely ignore all messages if there are any. (You can also bytecompile ECB from the command-line either by using the Makefile or by using the batch-file make.bat; just read the comments in that file you choose.)

  3. Installing the Info-help of ECB

    The ECB distribution contains a subdirectory info-help which contains the online-help of ECB in Info-format. You can install this online help so it's available in the Top-directory of Info. There are two ways to do this:

    But it doesn't matter if you do not execute this step (8.) because the online help of ECB is always available though, see ecb-show-help (see Interactive ECB commands).


  1. The speedbar-version shipped with GNU Emacs <= 21.3 does not satisfy the requirements for this feature - download a newer one!

  2. This works at least for Emacs 20.X and Emacs 21.X but XEmacs may have slightly different mechanisms; see the XEmacs documentation

  3. Cause of full loading of ECB itself and also the packages semantic, eieio and speedbar regardless if ECB is started.

  4. ECB, semantic, eieio and speedbar are first loaded after starting ECB or with other words: ECB and semantic are not loaded if you do not use/need them