So what is Emacs anyway?
Emacs is mainly a very powerful real time (meaning that as soon as you make the changes to the text it appears on its window which is the most basic and a must have standard for all modern text editors anyway) text editor.
But basically the reason for it's not installed by default even after it having a "such a history" and powerful features as a text editor is because it's actually aimed at computer programmers (especially the Emacs Lisp programming fork of the original Lisp) and advanced users rather than the "usual users" (like you and me) + according to the official GNU/Emacs page, at its core lies the GNU Emacs Lisp interpretor "engine".
So it's basically a programmer's heaven, in a way :).
|I ain't your "average text editor" mate! :)... (not kidding though)|
*. Editing a pure text file to HTML and source-codes such as Ruby, XML and A lot more (+ even has the ability to read PDF and postscript files!).
*. Change font.
*. Change background and foreground colors.
*. Line wrapping (wrapping long lines, etc).
*. Show/Hide text line numbers.
*. Supports almost all human languages and scripts! ("one love ... one heart... let's get together ..." ;-) )
*. Find and replace text.
*. Open and save in different formats.
*. Check for spellings.
*. Use a new or switch to a different buffer (a temporary location on your RAM where the text file is located before saving into the HDD).
*. Compile using the above mentioned Emacs Lisp interpretor, etc.
*. This might sound a bit confusing but it also has a calender of its own!, a calculator, programmable calculator, and also the ability to send/receive e-mails (using other apps, built in support via add-ons), read news, project planner, etc + even has some built in Games too!.
The reason for this, is because: some programmers spend most of their time "inside" the Emacs app rather than doing any other thing thus Emacs is designed to act as a bit of a separate "environment" of its own + that's also why most of 'em they're single :D.
*. Encrypt and Decrypt (chosen text or an entire region, etc).
*. Version control system integration.
*. Execute shell commands.
*. Debugger ... are just a fraction of its main features to mention!.
So as you can see this is not yours or mine's average text editor because the default GUI and it's filled without options certainly looks a bit complicated for the usual users. So it's certainly more than a text editor. That's why the desktops have created text editors of their own as well :).
Anyhow, you can install this legendary GNU Emacs in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 (including all other Ubuntu versions!) by using the below command in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install emacs
Currently it has like 23MB or more in size... so be patient while it installs. Enjoy! (or you many not this time :D).