Appendix A. How to Get Emacs
As we discussed in the Preface, Emacs is free. This doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t cost you any money, but the Free Software Foundation is committed to making Emacs as easy to obtain as possible. If you get it from FSF, it does charge—but a fraction of the price of other similar software and only to cover their media, shipping, and handling costs. Yet FSF encourages you to get a copy from a friend if doing so is more convenient. If you are in an environment with lots of machines (such as a large company or a university department), and someone else already has Emacs, you are more than welcome to get it from him or her.
Emacs runs on more than 70 flavors of UNIX; it has also been ported to VAX/VMS, NextStep, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows 95 and NT, and even MS-DOS. If it’s necessary that you get Emacs from one of the sources described in this appendix, it’s possible you will have to build it from source code, or programs written in the C and LISP programming languages. Don’t panic; you don’t need to be a programmer to do this. The relevant point is that you will be obtaining a large body of source code, which you may need to configure for your particular combination of operating system and hardware. This process is time-consuming but, in most cases, straightforward.
FTP on the Internet
If you have no handy local source of Emacs, the next easiest way of getting it without cost is from the Internet. If you have Internet access, you can get Emacs ...