I am currently trying to install spacemacs on my Arch Linux. I am following the standard installation instructions that have been put up here.

Now, I am at the part where I need to launch emacs (Instruction no.3 of the Default Installation bit). This is the one after the one below:

git clone https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs ~/.emacs.d

But I get the error below when emacs comes up. What's wrong with the installation?

Warning (initialization): An error occurred while loading
‘/home/sharand/.emacs.d/init.el’Warning (initialization): An error
occurred while loading ‘/home/sharand/.emacs.d/init.el’

What should I do?


I ran it with --debug-init

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (file-error "Creating directory" "Permission denied" "/home/sharand/.emacs.d/.cache/")
  (if (file-exists-p spacemacs-cache-directory) nil (make-directory spacemacs-cache-directory))
  eval-buffer(#<buffer  *load*-432897> nil "/home/sharand/.emacs.d/core/core-load-paths.el" nil t)  ; Reading at buffer position 2713
  load-with-code-conversion("/home/sharand/.emacs.d/core/core-load-paths.el" "/home/sharand/.emacs.d/core/core-load-paths.el" nil nil)
  load("/home/sharand/.emacs.d/core/core-load-paths.el" nil nil t)
  (if (not (version<= spacemacs-emacs-min-version emacs-version)) (message (concat "Your version of Emacs (%s) is too old. " "Spacemacs requires Emacs version %s or above.") emacs-version spacemacs-emacs-min-version) (load-file (concat (file-name-directory load-file-name) "core/core-load-paths.el")) (require (quote core-spacemacs)) (spacemacs/init) (spacemacs/maybe-install-dotfile) (configuration-layer/sync) (spacemacs-buffer/display-info-box) (spacemacs/setup-startup-hook) (require (quote server)) (if (server-running-p) nil (server-start)))
  eval-buffer(#<buffer  *load*> nil "/home/sharand/.emacs.d/init.el" nil t)  ; Reading at buffer position 1302
  load-with-code-conversion("/home/sharand/.emacs.d/init.el" "/home/sharand/.emacs.d/init.el" t t)
  load("/home/sharand/.emacs.d/init" t t)
  #[0 "\205\266 \306=\203\307\310Q\202? \311=\204\307\312Q\202?\313\307\314\315#\203*\316\202?\313\307\314\317#\203>\320\321\322!D\nB\323\202?\316\324\325\324\211#\210\324=\203e\326\327\330\307\331Q!\"\325\324\211#\210\324=\203d\210\203\247\332!\333\232\203\247\334!\211\335P\336!\203\201\211\202\214\336!\203\213\202\214\314\262\203\245\337\"\203\243\340\341#\210\342\343!\210\266\f?\205\264\314\325\344\324\211#)\262\207" [init-file-user system-type delayed-warnings-list user-init-file inhibit-default-init inhibit-startup-screen ms-dos "~" "/_emacs" windows-nt "/.emacs" directory-files nil "^\\.emacs\\(\\.elc?\\)?$" "~/.emacs" "^_emacs\\(\\.elc?\\)?$" initialization format-message "`_emacs' init file is deprecated, please use `.emacs'" "~/_emacs" t load expand-file-name "init" file-name-as-directory "/.emacs.d" file-name-extension "elc" file-name-sans-extension ".el" file-exists-p file-newer-than-file-p message "Warning: %s is newer than %s" sit-for 1 "default"] 7]()
  • Please consider deleting the Stack Overflow version of this question.
    – Dan
    Feb 15, 2017 at 19:51
  • @Dan I had one person suggest something, which I am going to try, after which I shall delete the SO counterpart.
    – SDG
    Feb 15, 2017 at 20:06
  • @SharanDuggirala can you post the output of e.g. ls -la /home/sharand/.emacs.d/.cache/ ? thanks.
    – uuu
    Feb 16, 2017 at 14:30
  • @toogley I go all the way into /home/sharand/.emacs.d/, but there doesn't seem to be a .cache in the folder.
    – SDG
    Feb 17, 2017 at 11:34
  • 1
    @toogley That is definitely the solution to this problem. If you put that down as an answer, I should be able to accept that answer.
    – SDG
    Feb 20, 2017 at 4:37

1 Answer 1


If writing permission is all you want, just run "chmod -R +w ~/.emacs.d", maybe sudo is needed. But I think the best solution is to reinstall spacemacs without sudo or su previlege.

  • I chmod'ed .emacs.d but I still get the same errors. What do you mean by reinstalling spacemacs? I've already reinstalled emacs a few times and have also worked git clone'ed the spacemacs .emacs.d directory, a few times.
    – SDG
    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:07
  • 1
    before reinstalling, try the following: sudo chown -R sharan.users .emacs.d; chmod -R u+rw .emacs.d. This should remove all issues concerning wrong ownership and wrong access permissions.
    – user17303
    Oct 23, 2017 at 7:45

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