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27.6 The Init File

When you start SXEmacs, it normally loads init.el in your user-init-directory (see Init File in SXEmacs Lisp Reference Manual). This file, if it exists, should contain Lisp code. It is called your initialization file or init file. Use the command line switch ‘-q’ to tell SXEmacs whether to load an init file (see Entering Emacs). Use the command line switch ‘-user-init-file’ (see Command Switches) to tell Emacs to load a different file instead.

When the init file is read, the variable user-init-file says which init file was loaded.

At some sites there is a default init file, which is the library named default.el, found via the standard search path for libraries. The Emacs distribution contains no such library; your site may create one for local customizations. If this library exists, it is loaded whenever you start Emacs. But your init file, if any, is loaded first; if it sets inhibit-default-init non-nil, then default is not loaded.

If you have a large amount of code in your init file, you should byte-compile it to init.elc.