I made the dreadful mistake of upgrading to Mac OSX Catalina this week, while in the midst of some programming projects, and all of a sudden Emacs stopped working.

From the command line, a which emacs returned no results:

$ which emacs


A quick search turned up some brave souls who have trodden down this upgrade path before me and I could see this wasn’t an isolated problem. There are some other blog posts about this that go into more detail, but in short, I had to

  1. go to System Preferences > Privacy > Full Disk Access > Add Emacs
  2. update my .bash_profile file in my home directory so that my EDITOR now reads:
export EDITOR="/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs -nw"