I'm using Spacemacs, and I'm adding things to my dotspacemacs-configuration-layers. I can see its adding tons of packages to package-selected-packages.

If I comment out 1 or 2 layers (that I tested and don't want), when I reboot Emacs, I see it's "uninstalling packages," but for some reason they're still listed in package-selected-packages. How come it doesn't auto-remove them from here? I have so many packages for layers I was experimenting with that I don't want in there.


  • Do the packages also stay in package-selected-packages if you M-x package-delete them? If not, then maybe it's simply a bug in Spacemacs and you should report it to them? – Stefan Dec 29 '17 at 2:13
  • Well, I don't use package-delete because I never installed the package to begin with, I installed the layer only. So if I add one single layer it might add 20 packages, and when they're all mixed together I have no idea what package goes with what... and theres also way too many of them to attempt to do it one by one (theres hundreds) – Tallboy Dec 29 '17 at 5:01
  • But to answer my question you just have to try it once with one of them. – Stefan Dec 29 '17 at 14:11

You can try to put this into your configuration file of spacemacs:

(defun package--save-selected-packages (&rest opt) nil)

I don't know if this works since I don't use spacemacs.

  • 3
    This sounds like a bad idea, which would prevent package.el from adding things to package-selected-packages at all. e.g. Manually installing a package would no longer add it to the list. – phils Dec 28 '17 at 4:22
  • 1
    @phils Yes, it will disable the package-selected-packages list, this list feature was introduced into Emacs since 25 (25.1??, I don't remember exactly), I was annoyed back then since every time I installed and removed a package (specifically from package manager, but I always delete the package directory to uninstall it), it will change my init.el file automatically (you can move this into another file, but it still gets modified automatically). So I use the above snippet to avoid it, and I don't need the list. Anyway, I don't use Spacemacs, not sure whether this is what the poster wants. – CodyChan Jan 2 '18 at 2:57

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