Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I try to start emacs in the console on my Snow Leopard machine I get the following:

emacs: Cannot open termcap database file

But if I start screen first, then emacs does start, but I get the following error message:

Error in init file: error: "Unknown keyword :risky"

I installed emacs using homebrew.

share|improve this question

The risky is a keyword for defcustom, which was added in Emacs 23.1 (see NEWS.23.1). So, either upgrade your Mac's Emacs, download a newer version of custom (may not be possible at this point), or remove the starter kit by commenting out (require 'package) in your .init.el.


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.