Switch to Spacemacs develop branch

Until the release of Spacemacs 0.300 it is highly recommended to use the Spacemacs develop branch. If you have installed the default Spacemacs master branch, follow these steps to switch smoothly to Spacemacs develop branch.

If you have not customized the .spacemacs file then simply delete it and checkout the develop branch in .emacs.d. Starting Emacs will create a new .spacemacs file with the latest updates.

cd ~/.emacs.d
git checkout develop

Updating to develop - keeping .spacemacs changes

If you have changes in the .spacemacs file you wish to keep, there are two approaches. Either update Spacemacs on top of your changes or replace the configuration and use a diff tool to copy your changes back to the .spacemacs file.

Make a backup of your .spacemacs file.

Change into the ~/.emacs.d/ directory and change the Git branch to develop

cd ~/.emacs.d/
git checkout develop

SPC f e D (spacemacs/ediff-dotfile-and-template) to compare the develop version of the .spacemacs.template with your customized .spacemacs configuration.

In the ediff buffer, use j and k to navigate changes, b to copy changes from the spacemacs.template to your custom .spacemacs configuration.

You should accept all changes unless you know that you should keep a specific change (eg. layers, variable settings).

q to quit the ediff session.

SPC f s to save the .spacemacs file.

Delete the ~/emacs.d/elpa/ directory, as packages will downloaded under ~/.emacs.d/elpa/develop/<emacs-version>/.

Delete the ~/.emacs.d directory (backup any changes made in .emacs.d/private if relevant).

Clone Spacemacs specifying the develop branch

git clone -b develop https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs ~/.emacs.d

Move the ~/.spacemacs file or rename it, allowing Spacemacs to create an updated configuration from the develop branch.

Start Emacs

Start Emacs. Select the editing style (vim, emacs) and spacemacs distribution (full, minimal) to use and Spacemacs creates a new .spacemacs configuration.

Spacemacs will download the distribution packages and packages for the default set of layers. This may take a couple of minutes.

Update the Spacemacs configuration

If you have changes from the original Spacemacs install:

SPC D f f to open ediff. Select the ~/.spacemacs file first and then your .spacemacs backup file.

j, k navigates (down/up) between each difference in the file. b copies a change from your custom .spacemacs file to the ~/.spacemacs file now used by Spacemacs.

? to list the diff commands (when the cursor is in window 3)

q to quit the ediff session (when the cursor is in window 3) and SPC f s to save any changes made to the .spacemacs file.

Restart Emacs to load all changes

SPC q r (emacs-restart) to ensure your .spacemacs changes and packages are loaded. This may take a minute if you added layers to the .spacemacs configuration file.

Once Spacemacs restarts you are ready to enjoy Spacemacs develop.

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