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About E8

E8 is an Emacs-like text editor created by Bill Silver for the PDP-8 family of minicomputers. It runs under OS/8 and communicates with the user via character I/O on a console terminal that supports a few basic ANSI escape sequences.

With no graphics engine and five orders of magnitude less memory, E8 is not a modern programmer's text editor. It provides competent WYSIWYG editing with an Emacs-style interface for OS/8. The design tradeoffs make high-value use of limited core and execution time.

Contrast other popular text editors for the PDP-8:


You may download the E8 source code in two different Zip forms:

The E8 project is hosted in a Fossil repository, so another way to get E8 is to clone that repository:

$ apt install fossil
$ mkdir -p ~/museum ~/src/e8/trunk
$ fossil clone https://tangentsoft.com/e8 ~/museum/e8.fossil
$ cd ~/src/e8/trunk
$ fossil open ~/museum/e8.fossil

Having done this, you now have a complete copy of the E8 project, including all historical versions, its wiki, its forum, its ticket tracker contents, etc. Say fossil up in the directory you "opened" the repository into to update your local clone. See the Fossil Quick Start Guide for more info.


The user manual is available in two forms: online in HTML form or in PDF form (~151 kB).