1.2 Installation

Org is included in distributions of GNU Emacs, you probably do not need to install it. Most users will simply activate Org and begin exploring its features.

If, for one reason or another, you want to install Org on top of this pre-packaged version, you can use the Emacs package system or clone Org’s git repository. We strongly recommend sticking to a single installation method.

When installing Org on top of the pre-packaged version, please note that Org stable versions are meant to be fully compatible with the last three stable versions of Emacs but not with older Emacsen.

Using Emacs packaging system

Recent Emacs distributions include a packaging system which lets you install Elisp libraries. You can install Org from the “package menu”, with M-x list-packages. See Package Menu.

Important: You need to do this in a session where no ‘.org’ file has been visited, i.e., where no Org built-in function have been loaded. Otherwise autoload Org functions will mess up the installation.

Using Org’s git repository

You can clone Org’s repository and install Org like this:

$ cd ~/src/
$ git clone https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/emacs/org-mode.git
$ cd org-mode/
$ make autoloads

Note that in this case, ‘make autoloads’ is mandatory: it defines Org’s version in ‘org-version.el’ and Org’s autoloads in ‘org-loaddefs.el’.

Make sure you set the load path correctly in your Emacs init file:

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/src/org-mode/lisp")

You can also compile with ‘make’, generate the documentation with ‘make doc’, create a local configuration with ‘make config’ and install Org with ‘make install’. Please run ‘make help’ to get the list of compilation/installation options.

For more detailed explanations on Org’s build system, please check the Org Build System page on Worg.

Installing Org’s contributed packages

Org’s repository used to contain ‘contrib/’ directory for add-ons contributed by others. As of Org 9.5, the directory has been moved to the dedicated org-contrib repository, which you can install separately as a package from NonGNU ELPA.

There are enough valuable packages maintained outside of the Org repository. Worg has a list of org-contrib and external packages, certainly it is not exhaustive.