I have Cygwin working with Emacs 24.3.1 on windows 8.1 with Emacs downloaded from the Cygwin installation, however I can't use Emacs and the Cygwin shell at the same time or open up multiple Emacs windows. I want to be able to compile and run, use make etc using the shell but it appears I can only use either shell or the text editor. I want Emacs to open up just like in Linux using the command shell like this:

emacs file.c &

and be able to interact with both the shell and the file. How do I do this?

  • Use a terminal multiplexer like screen, which is included in cygwin. – dawud Apr 26 '14 at 12:04
  • Why not open a shell window in Emacs. That's what I always do when working in a terminal environment. You can also open as many shells as you like by renaming the buffers. – Marcus Rickert Apr 26 '14 at 12:30

My understanding of the situation is that the Emacs that comes with Cygwin's emacs package runs inside the terminal, and to have Emacs be separate from the terminal, or to have multiple Emacs frames, you need to install the emacs-w32 package. After you do that, everything should just work. You'll also get image and PDF support for Emacs.

There's also the emacs-X11 package, which uses the X window manager. I have no experience with it or with X, so I can't say more than that it exists.


I'd strongly recommend tmux, which is (sort of) the successor to screen and is also available in Cygwin

$ tmux -V
tmux 1.9a

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