How to use Emacs

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There is an amazing amount of Emacs documentation on the net, too much, in fact, for me to find the summary of the commands I tend to forget. To solve this problem, I am adding more Emacs documentation on the net.


When editing a driver in the Linux kernel, I find it helpful to use Emacs tags to navigate around the source code.

Start by making a TAGS file in the top level kernel directory

etags `find . -name "*.c" -o -name "*.cpp" -o -name "*.h"`

Then load the tags into emacs by running the Emacs visit-tag-table function.

M-x visit-tag-table [location of the TAGS file]

where M-x is <ESC>x on most machines.

Once the tags have been loaded, you can find the definition of a function, variable, or definition by highlighting it and run the Emacs find-tag command. Here is the list of key bindings for the tag related Emacs functions.

key binding
Human readable
key binding
Function name Meaning
M-. tag <RET> <ALT>. find-tag Find where tag is defined
C-u M-. <CNTL>u<ALT>. Find next place the tag is defined
M-* <SHIFT><ALT>* pop-tag-mark Go back to location before find-tag was last run