Enhancing the Clojure experience

Enhance the clojure layer by adding automatic linting (clj-kondo), refactoring (clj-refactor) and recommended CIDER options. Complement the Clojure layer with general development tools including a git client (Magit), markdown and org-mode support.

practicalli/spacemacs.d provides a documented configuration of the layers for Clojure development and many useful customization's for Spacemacs.

Layer name Description
auto-completion complete names of functions and symbol names, also list snippets.
clojure CIDER, optionally with clj-refactor and clj-kondo linter
git git version control with Magit in full screen, with fringe highlighting of changes in buffers
github GitHub API for remote repositories and gists
lsp language server protocol - static analysis driven editing features
markdown writing project descriptions in README.md and other markdown files
multiple-cursors multiple concurrent edits with more than one cursor g r
org write documentation, organize tasks with org-mode
spell-checking spell check as you type using your Operating System spell checker SPC S s
syntax-checking syntax checking / linting as you type (flycheck with clj-kondo for Clojure)
treemacs visual file system browser (file explorer) SPC p t
version-control general version control features, eg. ediff, fringe highlights

Install clj-kondo binary

clj-kondo automatic linting requires the binary of clj-kondo installed on the operating system path in order to work. Please read the clj-kondo install guide for details.

Edit .spacemacs and add layers

SPC f e d opens the .spacemacs configuration file (M-m f e d holy mode)

Use SPC s s and start typing configuration-layers to search for the dotspacemacs-configuration-layers section. RTN to jump to the highlighted line, C-j to move down the matching lines, C-k to move up.

Either copy the dotspacemacs-configuration-layers from practicalli/spacemacs.d or copy the individual configurations in the rest of this page.

SPC f s to save the file.

SPC q r to restart Spacemacs which will load and configure all the new layers and their Emacs packages.

Reload Configuration or Restart Emacs

SPC q r to restart Emacs with a new configuration is recommended when making a big change or adding layers. For smaller changes you can reload the ~/.spacemacs configuration using SPC f e R.

Practicalli recommends restarting Spacemacs, SPC q r, once more after all the packages have finished installing, ensuring all the Elisp code is loaded correctly.


Enable auto-completion for programming languages. In Clojure this includes functions, namespaces and other symbols.

Yasnippet are included in the auto-completion popup and are sorted with the most frequently used snippets first.

(auto-completion :variables
                 auto-completion-enable-help-tooltip t
                 auto-completion-enable-snippets-in-popup t
                 auto-completion-enable-sort-by-usage t)

To have auto-completion as soon as typing starts, add auto-completion-idle-delay nil to the auto-completion variables


Enable Clojure support but differ the backend to Clojure LSP rather than CIDER. The clojure-lsp binary should be downloaded automatically.

Enable the kaocha-runner to use Kaocha test runner from within the REPL.

(clojure :variables
         cider-repl-display-help-banner nil      ;; disable help banner
         cider-pprint-fn 'fipp                   ;; fast pretty printing
         cider-overlays-use-font-lock t
         cider-repl-buffer-size-limit 100        ;; limit lines shown in REPL buffer to prevent performance issues
         clojure-indent-style 'align-arguments
         clojure-align-forms-automatically t
         clojure-toplevel-inside-comment-form t  ;; evaluate expressions in comment as top level
         clojure-enable-kaocha-runner t)

Add the variable cider-result-overlay-position 'at-point to show results shown right after expression (useful for evaluated a nested expression). Otherwise results from evaluating expressions show at the end of the top-level expression.

Git and GitHub

Enable Magit Git client in Emacs and open Magit Status, SPC g s full screen (q restores previous layout). Show word-granularity differences in current diff hunk.

Enable GitHub features to clone repositories, push commits and create pull requests (Magit Forge) all from within Emacs.

Enable fringe highlight of version control (Git) changes in buffers

(git :variables
     git-magit-status-fullscreen t
     magit-diff-refine-hunk t
     git-enable-magit-todos-plugin t)
(version-control :variables
                 version-control-diff-tool 'diff-hl
                 version-control-global-margin t)

Language Server Protocol (LSP)

Clojure LSP provides common editor features across all Clojure aware editors. A configuration with minimal visual impact.

(lsp :variables
     ;; Formatting and indentation
     lsp-enable-on-type-formatting t
     lsp-enable-indentation t
     lsp-enable-snippet t

     lsp-enable-symbol-highlighting t

     ;; popup documentation
     lsp-ui-doc-enable t               ;; documentation popups
     lsp-ui-doc-show-with-cursor nil   ;; doc popup triggered by cursor
     lsp-ui-doc-show-with-mouse nil    ;; doc popup triggered by mouse
     lsp-ui-doc-delay 1                ;; delay in seconds for popup to display
     lsp-ui-doc-include-signature t    ;; include function signature
     ;; lsp-ui-doc-position 'top       ;; top bottom at-point
     ;; lsp-ui-doc-alignment 'window   ;; frame window

     ;; code actions and diagnostics text as right-hand side of buffer
     lsp-ui-sideline-enable nil
     lsp-ui-sideline-show-code-actions nil
     ;; lsp-ui-sideline-delay 500
     ;; lsp-ui-sideline-show-diagnostics nil

     ;; function reference count and test coverage
     lsp-lens-enable t

     ;; Efficient use of space in treemacs-lsp display
     treemacs-space-between-root-nodes nil

     ;; Optimization for large files
     lsp-file-watch-threshold 10000
     lsp-log-io nil)

Multiple cursors

Edit multiple lines of text concurrently by creating multiple cursors, especially useful for editing the form of lines which have different values.



Enable Spacemacs Org-mode with support for a range of additional features useful for development, including a custom TODO list workflow.

(org :variables
     org-enable-github-support t
     org-enable-bootstrap-support t
     org-enable-reveal-js-support t
     org-want-todo-bindings t
     org-enable-org-journal-support t
     org-journal-dir "~/projects/journal/"
     org-journal-file-format "%Y-%m-%d"
     org-journal-date-prefix "#+TITLE: "
     org-journal-date-format "%A, %B %d %Y"
     org-journal-time-prefix "* "
     org-journal-time-format ""
     org-journal-carryover-items "TODO=\"TODO\"|TODO=\"DOING\"|TODO=\"BLOCKED\"|TODO=\"REVIEW\""

     ;; org-enable-jira-support t
     ;; jiralib-url "https://org-domain.atlassian.net:443"


spacemacs-layouts layer added to set variables, SPC TAB restricted to current layout buffers

Kill buffers when killing layer - SPC l x

(spacemacs-layouts :variables
                   spacemacs-layouts-restrict-spc-tab t
                   persp-autokill-buffer-on-remove 'kill-weak)

Configure Doom modeline

Configuration used by Practicalli for the Doom modeline, based on the configuration: seagle0128/doom-modeline

(spacemacs-modeline :variables
                    doom-modeline-height 12
                    doom-modeline-major-mode-color-icon t
                    doom-modeline-buffer-file-name-style 'relative-to-project
                    doom-modeline-display-default-persp-name t
                    doom-modeline-minor-modes nil
                    doom-modeline-modal-icon nil)

Spell checking

Spell as you type with Flyspell package, which requires external command such as ispell, hunspell, aspell

SPC S s to check the spelling of the current word


Programming Ligatures

Support font ligatures (fancy symbols) in all programming language modes, when using Fira Codes and other fonts that support ligatures.

Including ligatures for text-mode may cause issues with org-mode and magit.

(unicode-fonts :variables
               unicode-fonts-enable-ligatures t
               unicode-fonts-ligature-modes '(prog-mode))

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