I installed magit, and it appears to have come with documentation I can access in info-mode:

> cd ~/emacs.d/elpa
> ls -1 magit-2.8.0/{dir,*.info*}

But when I run info in emacs, I don't see any entry for Magit in the directory. I've also tried running info-apropos to search for magit, and found nothing. What do I need to do to get it to show up?

I'm using use-package, if that's significant:

(use-package magit
  :load-path ("elpa/magit-2.8.0"
  (setq vc-handled-backends (delq 'Git vc-handled-backends)))

I'm also using the newest version of Emacs I could find, GNU Emacs 25.1.1

However, I've intentionally avoided calling package-initialize in my init.el except as needed (e.g. when installing new packages), which is why I'm specifying a load-path in the use-package declaration above. Maybe that's related; I'm pretty sure package-initialize populates the load-path so packages can be found -- does it also populate Info-directory-list?

  • I don't know enough to answer, but I seem to recall often having this problem in the distant past, while with modern emacsen, new packages automagically get an entry in the top level Info node. I am not sure by what mechanism … but anyway, is your emacs an old one? Aug 27, 2016 at 16:06
  • Yes, let us know what Emacs version you have, as the package system has changed quite a bit over time.
    – Drew
    Aug 27, 2016 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Add the directory containing the *.info files to Info-directory-list, using add-to-list.

If it provides an Info manual, the package should have taken care of this for you. Node Multi-File Packages of the Elisp manual says this:

If the content directory contains a file named dir, this is assumed to be an Info directory file made with install-info. *Note Invoking install-info: (texinfo)Invoking install-info. The relevant Info files should also be present in the content directory. In this case, Emacs will automatically add the content directory to Info-directory-list when the package is activated.

  • This worked. I ended up adding this to the :config section of my use-package declaration: (eval-after-load 'info '(add-to-list 'Info-additional-directory-list "~/.emacs.d/elpa/magit-2.8.0/"))
    – ivan
    Aug 27, 2016 at 21:27
  • 2
    @ivan: note that this should not be necessary since package.el should do that for you when package-initialize is called. Of course, if you use use-package, maybe you're preventing package.el from doing its job, in which case you're s.o.l.
    – Stefan
    Aug 28, 2016 at 15:59
  • Are there examples of any ELPA/MELPA packages that do this properly? (Preferably MELPA, to be perfectly honest.) Mar 6, 2018 at 3:54

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