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In recent weeks, (require 'package) takes minutes. This only happens on Windows, not on macOS or GNU/Linux. What is going on? emacs-version is GNU Emacs 25.1.1 (x86_64-w64-mingw32) of 2016-11-15.

Resolution (see below): It turned out not to be a problem with Emacs at all.

  • That's not a great question for this site, though you might luck out and get a helpful answer. Do you see the problem also when you start Emacs using emacs -Q (no init file)? If not, recursively bisect your init file to find the culprit. If yes, consider filing an Emacs bug: M-x report-emacs-bug. – Drew Mar 31 '17 at 13:34
  • @Drew If I start without .emacs the startup is instantaneous. So I went through the .emacs sexp-by-sexp. It was (require 'package) very close to the top of the file that was taking a lot of time, and it never used to. I didn't make any recent changes that would be a natural first thing to undo. I've been a happy Emacs user for 30+ years on many platforms, but suddenly startup time on Windows got ridiculous. – gknauth Mar 31 '17 at 13:40
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    So it sounds like your recipe to repro this is to (1) start Emacs with emacs -Q and then (2) do M-: (require 'package). Is that right? If so, please consider reporting that recipe to Emacs: M-x report-emacs-bug. – Drew Mar 31 '17 at 13:41
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    Try M-x toggle-debug-on-quit and hitting C-g while it's evaluating. Include the resulting backtrace in your report. – npostavs Mar 31 '17 at 14:22
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    Okay, so it looks like it's something to do with gpg, can you edit the backtrace into your question and/or add it to the bug report so we can read it properly? – npostavs Mar 31 '17 at 15:06
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I followed @npostavs's guidance and it turned out, in the stack trace, that MinGHC (a Haskell environment) had a gpg.exe that was on the PATH that was causing problems. @npostavs noticed that the MinGHC project is dead, and along with the notice of MinGHC project death was a suggestion to use Stack. (I actually have Stack on the Windows computer involved as well.) I removed MinGHC from the Windows computer and the problem I reported went away completely. So this was not an Emacs problem at all, but a problem with something on the PATH that got in the way as (require 'package) was trying to do its job.

Thank you Emacs community for your help and suggestions.

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