I've just started using emacs a week ago and I've been unsuccessful in installing color-theme using GNU Emacs 23.2 on OS X. With Ubuntu the whole process took maybe a few minutes with the package manager, but I'm completely at a loss with OS X, what the heck is a "tarball"? I don't have any experience compiling source code. I know Carbon Emacs comes with color-theme packaged, what would i lose by reverting to Emacs 22? I'd prefer staying with GNU Emacs 23 across both systems. Any input is greatly appreciated!!

edit for clarity: i'm still very new to Emacs. Essentially, once i've downloaded the file "color-theme.el" from the site how do I create a directory for Emacs to see it, and then add it to my .emacs file?

edit 2: got it. I wasn't entering the full pathway to the directory... rookie mistake.


The basic method for installing third-party emacs libraries is:

  1. download and save to a directory (e.g. /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/color-theme)
  2. add the directory to the load-path variable in your .emacs file (instructions)
  3. run some initialization command

There are instructions specifically for color-theme on the Emacs wiki page about color theme.

  • sorry i wasn't clearer. Creating a directory and adding it to the load-path is exactly what i'm struggling with. thank you for the clear and concise instructions.
    – idclark
    Jan 6 '11 at 2:36

You probably need to be more specific in order to get a useful response. I have color-theme up and running on OS X, actually I use the same exact emacs configurations under Ubuntu OS X and windows so If you'll edit your post such that it will be in a form of a question I'd be able to help you out.

If you have MacPorts installed (and you should, unless you want to try the newer HomeBrew) then color-theme comes as a package there.

  • i downloaded the package successfully. When i run Emacs and click "open home directory" I can see the folder "themes" and the file "color-them.el" among the list of files and folders. When I add (require 'color-theme) to .emacs it gives me an error that it can't find color theme. How do you add it to the load path?
    – idclark
    Jan 6 '11 at 2:41
  • thanks for the heads up on MacPorts. I will definitely spend some time looking into that. I just started getting into open-source/Linux a month ago.
    – idclark
    Jan 6 '11 at 3:59

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