March 13, 2016

Spacemacs - Share Buffers via Github Gists

spacemacs logo - post topic

The Spacemacs github layer has been deprecated and gist.el is longer a reliable tool to work with GitHub gists unfortunately

Github Gists proved a simple way to share a piece of code, configuration or documentation without setting up a full version control project. Rather than use copy & paste, a Gist can be created from any Spacemacs buffer or region with a single command.

Add the github layer to the ~/.spacemacs configuration file and reload your configuration, SPC f e R, or restart Spacemacs SPC q r. Lets see just how easy it is to use Gists with Spacemacs.

You can also use gist.el with your own Emacs configuration

Configure GitHub Access

Spacemacs will use the GitHub account name and an access token added to your Git configuration to avoid the need to provide username, password and 2Factor code each time Spacemacs interacts with GitHub.

Add your GitHub account name by editing ~/.gitconfig or using the following command

git config --global github.user practicalli

Visit your Github profile page and view the personal acccess tokens section. Create a token with the gist and repo access permissions and copy the long token string. Add the token to your ~/.gitconfig file using the command:

 git config --global github.oauth-token therealtokenvalueshouldbepastedhere

The ~/.gitconfig configuration file should contain a [github] section with user and oauth-token key/value pairs

    user = practicalli
    oauth-token = thisishweretherealtokenshouldbepasted

Practicalli Spacemacs contains Git and GitHub configurations and

GitHub Gist Menu keybindings

Spacemacs GitHub Gist menu

  • SPC g g b : create a public gist from the current Spacemacs buffer
  • SPC g g B : create a private gist from the current Spacemacs buffer
  • SPC g g r : create a public gist from the highlighted region
  • SPC g g R : create a private gist from the highlighted region
  • SPC g g l : list all gists on your github account

Replace SPC with M-m if using Spacemacs Holy (Emacs) mode

Create a Gist from Spacemacs

SPC g g b (gist-buffer) creates a GitHub Gist from the current buffer and copies the URL of that Gist into the kill ring.

Gist - create a Gist from the current buffer

SPC g g r (gist-region) creates a gist from the selected region of the buffer. Select a region using v or C-SPC and vim navigation keys or arrow keys.

Updating a Gist

A Gist created from a buffer has no direct link between your buffer and the Gist. So if you make changes to your buffer you want to share, you can generate a new gist using M-x gist-buffer & delete the original one (see listing & managing gists below).

Alternatively, once you have created a Gist, you can open that Gist in a buffer and make changes. When you save your changes in the Gist buffer, C-x C-s, the gist on is updated.

Listing & managing Gists

Use the command M-x gist-list or keybinding M-m g g l to show a list of your current Gists.

Spacemacs - Gist list

In the buffer containing the list of your gists, you can use the following commands

  • RETURN : opens the gist in a new buffer
  • g : reload the gist list from server
  • e : edit the gist description, so you know what this gist is about
  • k : delete current gist
  • b : opens the gist in the current web browser
  • y : show current gist url & copies it into the clipboard
  • * : star gist (stars do not show in gist list, only when browsing them on github)
  • ^ : unstar gist
  • f : fork gist - create a copy of your gist on
  • + : add a file to the current gist, creating an additional snippet on the gist
  • - : remove a file from the current gist

Creating Gists from files

If you open a dired buffer you can make gists from marked files, m, by pressing @. This will make a public gist out of marked files (or if you use with a prefix, it will make private gists)

Gist - create a gist from the marked files in dired


Its really easy to share code and configuration with Github Gists. Its even easier when you use Spacemacs to create and manages gists for you. Have fun sharing your code & configurations with others via gists.

Thank you. @jr0cket

Tags: github emacs spacemacs