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Running Emacs on Android (endlessparentheses.com)
79 points by greenonion on Apr 8, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

I just installed "Termux" and "Hacker’s keyboard," ran `apt upgrade`, `apt install emacs`, and ran `emacs` — everything worked flawlessly.

Unlike the OP though, I barely touched the on screen keyboard for all of this — I just used android voice input, even for the terminal commands and `enter` command.

I literally said "apt install emacs enter" out loud and it just worked! Voice recognition has come a long way.

Yes, after I published that post Fredrick patch the Emacs package on Termux so it wouldn't need those workarounds. I've updated the post accordingly.

Sadly (maybe it's my pronunciation), but voice typing isn't that perfect for me. It works alright for regular sentences, but it refuses to understands things that are not plain english (like apt).

Am I glad I didn't miss this post! I've been looking for a usable emacs setup on Android for a long time. Termux just worked out of the box.

I love `Termux`, but I never thought of using voice commands. I'll have to try that...

Now we need a gesture keyboard so we can type, or twitch, instead of using an onscreen keyboard.

Finger IO: http://fingerio.cs.washington.edu

Google's Soli: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QNiZfSsPc0

Perhaps a modified game controller: http://www.amazon.com/iGrip-Ergonomic-Keyboard-by-AlphaGrip/...

I've seen people being proficient under complex GUIs (final fantasy) with game pads. I'd love to lisp on a paddle.

Termux is powerful. I installed nodejs, ran qici engine out of the box and played with it for a while just to see how far I could get. It worked but the touchscreen is unbearable. It was fun to see it working, though. I also did a little bit of coding with a physical keyboard and an USB-OTG cable for a Lumines clone in Go. It was playable but my phone got stolen and I lost all the source code. By the way, I did all of that on an ancient Moto G 2014.

Emacs is my main editor, but it seems to me vim is far better suited to the limited interface of a phone.

There is always evil mode I suppose.

Would spacemacs work on Android?

In the Termux google group somebody reported an issue with it. I run spacemacs on android with Linux Deploy, Debian and a good ssh client.

That's a small step for man, giant step for emacs kind!!! Never really like any other editor and was waiting for that day to come since years!!!

It is fine to install emacs on an android device, but I can't imagine doing any "keyboard" intensive work on a tiny screen. I've, in past, installed Vim-touch, just for the sake of it. But I almost NEVER used it (beyond first few minutes to make sure "it works")

External bluetooth keyboard makes it bearable.

Keyboards vary to the extent that they are emacs friendly (how many Super-Meta-Alt keys do they have?) but I find this Logitech one just about usable for programming:


(In case it's not clear, the keyboard is huge, as large as a laptop keyboard, so once you start down this road you lose portability).

Once you lose portability, why not just use "real" computer ;) (I mean laptop) Entering text of smallish screen is only meant for small amount of text (a tiny note etc.)

I'm not going to disagree with you :-) However I do also have a sort of compromise, which is my Nexus 9 with the folio keyboard. It folds up into something similar to the size and weight of a paperback book. It's not-so-bad for ssh (I wouldn't really want to program with it), one thing missing would be good key mappings to deal with my odd choice of 'screen' settings.

Photo here: https://rwmj.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/nexus-9-ssh-on-the-go/...

This is absolutely perfect for my use case though (running Remix OS¹ on a Remix Mini²).


¹ — http://www.jide.com/remixos

² — http://www.jide.com/mini

Hi Arm, that's a great combination. You might also want to check Linux Deploy to mount a full linux distro (and ssh or vnc into) running with the Android kernel.

Very cool, I am going to try this when I get home! (I am in Asia on business and I don't want to risk bricking my phone while on the road.)

With the Java IDE for Android, a remote keyboard and external display would make for a full on computer.

Ahh, This I can understand (using Android remotely with "full sized" keyboard/display) (See my previous comment about entering text of smallish screen)

In conclusion, use Vim instead. ;)

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