Problem compiling Emacs (no x development libraries were found)


Answer: 1

35 hours ago

I'm still new to Ubuntu/Linux use

I'm installing Emacs (version 25.1) that I've downloaded source files, uncompressed and extracted the files using tar

It seems I have to use ./configure. Computer works for a while and gives me this result:

checking for X... no
checking for X... true
configure: error: You seem to be running X, but no X development libraries
were found.  You should install the relevant development files for X
and for the toolkit you want, such as Gtk+ or Motif.  Also make
sure you have development files for image handling, i.e.
tiff, gif, jpeg, png and xpm.
If you are sure you want Emacs compiled without X window support, pass
to configure.

I looked in internet about this problem and a reply in a thread says to use:

sudo apt-get build-dep emacs23

and this will install everything needed to compile emac23 package but when I do this I get :

E: Unable to find a source package for emacs25.1

In software and updates screen I've enabled the source code option. I checked in etc/apt/sources.list.d folder and it is empty.

I'm not sure what to do. If everything fails will compiling emacs without x window support cause problems later?

Should I try to manually install x development files, toolkit files,files for image handling. How is how do I do this.


So I installed Emacs using pre-built package. used command :

sudo apt-get install emacs

Edit 2:

In 2019 I'm now using VIM editor, so can't address this question now. But if you have an answer feel free to leave below

Added by: Diana Leannon

Answer: 2

14 hours ago

What version of Ubuntu do you have? I downloaded the tar'd source from the gnu emacs site. I ran :


It told me that I need libXpm and libgif/libungif. I installed libXpm-dev and libgif-dev with :

sudo apt-get install libxpm-dev libgif-dev

After I installed those, I reran configure (./configure), and then I was able to build it.

I now have a binary for emacs in my emacs-25.1/src directory called emacs-25.1.1, and it works.

Added by: Lukas Fay

Answer: 3

32 hours ago

This is the command I'm using to install emacs 26.3 on ubuntu 18.04:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential texinfo-doc-nonfree install-info info libx11-dev libxpm-dev libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libgif-dev libtiff-dev libgtk2.0-dev libncurses5-dev libxpm-dev automake autoconf libgnutls28-dev

For details please see Compile error: checking for libXaw... configure: error: No X toolkit could be found

Please note that I simply had to change libncurses-dev to libncurses5-dev, add texinfo-doc-nonfree install-info info and libgnutls28-dev

Added by: Cassandre Zulauf

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