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I used to have in my emacs .init.el file the following two lines used to inhibit the splash screen and to switch to an anonymous buffer

(setq inhibit-splash-screen t) (switch-to-buffer "**")

Recently I started using emacs --daemon and emacsclient and my initial buffer is set to *scratch*. I don't want Lisp interaction and the annoying scratch message so I wrote the following line in my init.el

(setq initial-buffer-choice "**")

The problem is that the new initial buffer is different from the traditional ** buffer. In fact, when closing emacs, I am prompted to save a file called **, while I don't want this kind of behavior, I just want my traditional ** anonymous buffer.

I know that I can manually set initial-major-mode and initial-scratch-message and continue to use *scratch* but I really would like to use ** instead.

How can I solve this problem?

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From the initial-buffer-choice documentation:

If the value is nil and ‘inhibit-startup-screen’ is nil, show the startup screen. If the value is a string, switch to a buffer visiting the file or directory that the string specifies. If the value is a function, call it with no arguments and switch to the buffer that it returns. If t, open the ‘scratch’ buffer.

You have set the value as a string, so it switches a buffer visiting the file that the string specifies.

You can instead set the value as a function returning the buffer you want selected:

(setq initial-buffer-choice (lambda () (get-buffer-create "**")))

Note that I've used get-buffer-create, because if the buffer doesn't exist then the function passed will return nil, which can cause problems wwhen creating new frames.

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