Getting Started

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First, if you haven't already done so, start Emacs; it is known as emacs, gnuemacs, lemacs, xemacs, or gemacs. Before we continue with the tour, let's see that all the proper software is in place and is configured correctly.

First, you enter M-x load-library RET mh-e RET. Then the message, Loading mh-e...done, should be displayed in the minibuffer. If you get Cannot open load file: mh-e, then your Emacs is very badly configured, you're running a dinosaur of an Emacs, or mh-e has been removed.

I'll be talking about Versions 4 and 5, which are vastly different from Version 3. It is important to know the version of mh-e you have. Enter M-x mh-version RET. The version of mh-e should be displayed. If instead Emacs beeps and says [No match], then you're running an old version of mh-e.

If these tests reveal a non-existent or old version of mh-e, please consider upgrading. It's really quite easy; instructions for getting and installing mh-e are in the Section mh-e. In the meantime, see A Comparison of mh-e Versions (the Table Buffer Mode Names - Comparing Old and New mh-e Versions), which compares the old and new names of commands, functions, variables, and buffers.

Also, older versions of mh-e assumed that you had already set up your MH environment. Newer versions set up a new MH environment for you by running install-mh and notifying you of this fact with the message in a temporary buffer:

I'm going to create the standard MH path for you.
Therefore, if you've never run MH before and you're using an old version of mh-e, you need to run install-mh from the shell before you continue the tour. If you don't, you'll be greeted with the error message: Can't find MH profile.

If, during the tour described in this chapter, you see a message like: Searching for program: no such file or directory, /usr/local/bin/mhpath, it means that the MH programs and files are kept in a nonstandard directory. In this case, simply add the following to ~/.emacs and restart emacs.

(setq mh-progs "/path/to/MH/binary/directory/")
(setq mh-lib "/path/to/MH/library/directory/")
OK, ready?

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(This section was written by Bill Wohler.)
Last change $Date: 1996/07/14 17:35:00 $

This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This file is freely-available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.

Suggestions are welcome: Bill Wohler <>