Emacs runs on several operating systems regardless of the machine type. The main ones are: GNU, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, macOS, MS Windows and Solaris.

GNU/Linux

Most GNU/Linux distributions provide GNU Emacs in their repositories, which is the recommended way to install Emacs unless you always want to use the latest release.

You can download GNU Emacs releases from a nearby GNU mirror; or if automatic redirection does not work see the list of GNU mirrors, or use the main GNU ftp server.

Since the 24.5 release, tarballs are signed with the GPG key from Nicolas Petton 7C207910, fingerprint 28D3 BED8 51FD F3AB 57FE F93C 2335 87A4 7C20 7910, which can be found in the GNU keyring.

GNU Emacs development is hosted on savannah.gnu.org.

Nonfree systems

The reason for GNU Emacs's existence is to provide a powerful editor for the GNU operating system. Versions of GNU, such as GNU/Linux, are the primary platforms for Emacs development.

However, GNU Emacs includes support for some other systems that volunteers choose to support.

The purpose of the GNU system is to give users the freedom that proprietary software takes away from its users. Proprietary operating systems (like other proprietary programs) are an injustice, and we aim for a world in which they do not exist.

To improve the use of proprietary systems is a misguided goal. Our aim, rather, is to eliminate them. We include support for some proprietary systems in GNU Emacs in the hope that running Emacs on them will give users a taste of freedom and thus lead them to free themselves.

Windows

GNU Emacs for Windows can be downloaded from a nearby GNU mirror; or the main GNU FTP server.
Unzip the zip file preserving the directory structure, and run bin\runemacs.exe. Alternatively, create a desktop shortcut to bin\runemacs.exe, and start Emacs by double-clicking on that shortcut's icon.

MSYS2 users can install Emacs (64bits build) with the following:

pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-emacs
For the 32bits build, evaluate:
pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-emacs

macOS

Emacs can be installed on macOS using Homebrew.

$ brew install emacs --with-cocoa

Using MacPorts:

$ sudo port install emacs-app

The Emacs for OSX website also provides universal binaries.