Emacs Prelude

Prelude is an Emacs distribution that aims to enhance the default Emacs experience. Prelude alters a lot of the default settings, bundles a plethora of additional packages and adds its own core library to the mix. The final product offers an easy to use Emacs configuration for Emacs newcomers and lots of additional power for Emacs power users.


Prelude is compatible ONLY with GNU Emacs 25.1+. In general you're advised to always run Prelude with the latest Emacs - currently 26.3.

You can support the development of Prelude via GitHub Sponsors, PayPal and Patreon.


  • Improved UX, that's still in line with Emacs traditions
  • Sane defaults of baseline Emacs functionality
  • Automatic installation of many major programming modes on demand
  • A curated set of 3rd party packages to enhance the base functionality
  • Simple modular architecture
  • Easy customization


Prelude's philosophy is quite simple:

  • simple
  • easy to understand and extend
  • stable
  • a foundation for you to build upon, as opposed to some end-user product

This means that it intentionally doesn't pack all the bells and whistles that it could. Prelude aims to enhance the classic Emacs experience without deviating a lot from it - e.g. it would never enable something like evil-mode (vim keybindings) by default and so on.

All the third-party packages that it bundles are carefully vetted and are known to be of good quality and to have reliable maintainers. That generally means that Prelude's unlikely to immediate adopt some shiny new package, that has established tried and true alternatives.