My idea was to set up spacemacs on a machine that has internet, then push the .spacemacs file and the .emacs.d/ directory to the machine without internet. However, when I did this and start emacs on the machine without internet, it says "found 166 new packages to install..." and tries to reach melpa.

Well -- I'm not actually pushing the entire .emacs.d/ directory, because the .gitignore excludes several -- perhaps that's the issue?

The directories I'm currently including are: assets, core, doc, layers, news, tests. Should I be including others?

  • 1
    Install it on a machine with internet and copy everything important over to the machine without interent; e.g., with a USB stick. For purposes of backing up, you may wish to further adjust/configure certain variables with file locations so that everything is in one main folder with multiple subfolders.
    – lawlist
    Feb 4, 2019 at 16:51
  • 1
    I'm adding the elpa directory to see if that fixes it...
    – DavidR
    Feb 4, 2019 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


The first mistake was not including the elpa directory. I was using git to transfer the files, and the spacemacs .gitignore file excludes the elpa directory. Including the elpa directory fixed most issues.

However, emacs was still hanging on startup as it was checking for package updates. I used the hack described in this question to prevent that check. Specifically, globally set configuration-layer--package-archives-refreshed to a non-nil value in the .spacemacs file.

  • Please don't just link to the other question. Please summarize what from that question is relevant to the solution for your question. Or if your question is covered by that other question then please consider deleting your question. Thx.
    – Drew
    Feb 4, 2019 at 18:53
  • This need for an Internet connection seems like a bug in Spacemacs. I suggest you report it.
    – Stefan
    Feb 4, 2019 at 23:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.