Whenever package updates a package in Emacs 24.4, and it asks me if I want to delete the previous version, it fails to do so even when I answer y. It gives me the following message:

Delete package `rich-minority-20140821.2020'? (y or n) y

Is there a way to fix this?

  • I'm using GNU Emacs 24.4.1, on Debian 7.7 and I wasn't able to reproduce. The deletion was effective after the update. Is there something special/interesting in your *Messages* buffer? – Nsukami _ Dec 10 '14 at 1:53
  • 2
    This looks suspiciously like an advice gone rogue. Do you, by any chance, use an advice regarding file deletion? – Malabarba Dec 10 '14 at 2:23
  • 4
    In any case, try to reproduce this with emacs -Q. – Malabarba Dec 10 '14 at 2:24
  • 1
    @NVaughan make it work. Using emacs -Q, evaluate the configuration which adds your package archives (probably melpa). And then you should have some upgrades available. – Malabarba Dec 10 '14 at 23:32
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    C-h f shows you advises on the function. And it's probably that we should see your init files know, because your issue is most probably caused by a mis-configuration or a faulty package in your init file. – user227 Dec 11 '14 at 13:17

Following the advice of Malabarba and lunaryon, I noticed this piece of code that was blocking the delete-directory function:

 (setq delete-by-moving-to-trash t
       trash-directory "~/.Trash/emacs")

I commented it and everything works fine now.


After trying a recommendation from Emacswiki, the following works fine:

 (setq delete-by-moving-to-trash t)
  (defun system-move-file-to-trash (file)
    "Use \"trash\" to move FILE to the system trash.
  When using Homebrew, install it using \"brew install trash\"."
    (call-process (executable-find "trash")
      nil 0 nil
  • I don't think that this should break package-delete. You don't happen to use trash-settings.el, do you? – user227 Dec 11 '14 at 14:09
  • @lunaryorn No, I don't. – NVaughan Dec 11 '14 at 14:45

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