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EDIT: I have accepted the answer below because it answers my question but I wasn't aware that if one uses the x11 emacs, it is butt ugly and so I have resorted to just putting start-server in my init file and that way every time I start (by clicking on it) I can then use the terminal to open more emacsclients both using -c and -t. The only drawback here is that the main emacs window has to remain open but that's the closest thing I have found to what I was actually looking for. I'd still appreciate it if someone could correct me on my approach.

I apologize in advance if this question has already been asked and answered but I have been looking for a solution to this since this morning on both StackExchange and Google.

First off, I am a noob at both Emacs and scripting.

Alright, I have the latest installed from and I used MacPorts to install the latest build for Emacs that runs in the Terminal. Both of these run fine but my problem is that whenever I run emacs --daemon from Terminal, and then try to do emacsclient -c, it throws the following error:

Waiting for Emacs...
*ERROR*: Don't know how to create a frame on window system x

Could someone please help me understand what's going on and how I can use both emacsclient -c and emacsclient -t without a problem?

PS: I have read this answer but it hasn't helped since the -c option spits out the error that I described above and emacsclient won't open if I don't give it an argument.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The Emacs that you're running from the terminal as emacs --daemon isn't compiled with X Windows support. That's what the error message means, Emacs does not know how to create an X-based frame because the code is not compiled in. Install an Emacs with X support compiled in, run it with --daemon, and then you'll be able to run emacsclient under X or in a Terminal window.

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thanks for the answer. How do I do that? MacPorts? Do I need to delete or is this going to be something completely different? – Nicolás Carlo Jan 17 '13 at 21:13
Nvm, I installed emacs with x11 using MacPorts. And it does the job. Do you know how I could instead use the to start with emacsclient -c or is that not possible? – Nicolás Carlo Jan 17 '13 at 21:52

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