I have been using MSYS2 to run Emacs. I would like to read the info documentation on E-LISP on my computer but the root node doesn't have any Emacs section. The menu command says there is [No match] for Emacs.

I haven't found a package on Emacs for the info files, nor has pacman been fruitful. Is there a package I'm forgetting? Do I simply need to accept that I have to read online documentation?

I have msys/info 6.6-1 (base) [installed]. I have GNU Emacs 26.2 (build 1, x86_64-w64-mingw32) of 2019-06-03.

2 Answers 2


You can download the elisp reference manual from https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/info/elisp.info.gz - or at least you would be able to if the GNU web site were up.1

Then look at the variable Info-directory-list. It shows the directories where Emacs is looking for Info files. Put the file into one of those directories, and it should show up.

(If you already have an *info* buffer open, you need to kill it and open it again for Emacs to notice the new manual.)

This is a very generic answer - I'm sure there's a way to get MSYS2 to install the manual, but I don't know it.

1 According to https://quitter.im/fsfstatus:

Most of the FSF sites are now going down for a migration to a new colocation facility. We hope to be back in a few hours. Thanks for your patience! : )
4:26 pm - 1 July 2019

  • I see that one of the values is "C:\\msys64\\usr\\share\\info". I added elisp.info.gz and emacs.info.gz. I also tried the .info versions of the files. After restarting Emacs from the MSYS2 terminal info still doesn't display the Emacs or a *lisp menu. Any idea what I did wrong or how a configuration value could show the downloaded files?
    – haleonj
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 18:13
  • 1
    No idea, I'm afraid. One thing you can do is starting Info with a prefix command: C-u C-h i. That lets you choose the info file you want to view.
    – legoscia
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 9:03

The problem is that MSYS overrides the INFOPATH environment variable, and doesn't properly translate trailing colons in its value (see https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/help-gnu-emacs/2019-05/msg00000.html and followups).

Add this to your init file to work around it:

(with-eval-after-load 'info
  (info-initialize) ; Consult INFOPATH.
  ;; Always add the default value, regardless of what INFOPATH says.
  (dolist (info-dir (Info-default-dirs))
    (add-to-list 'Info-directory-list info-dir)))
  • That looked so promising, but it doesn't work. I put the code into my .emacs file with all the other code, ran C-x C-e and that didn't nor did a restart reveal any different results in the root info page.
    – haleonj
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 12:41
  • I'm not getting any help finding info-dir using C-h C-v. Are lists not discoverable as variables?
    – haleonj
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 12:42
  • I think you meant to capitalize it and give a different variable: Info-directory-list.
    – haleonj
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 12:43
  • 2
    @haleonj hmm, works for me (and yes, I tested from MSYS2). info-dir is a local variable of the dolist (so you won't find any docs for it), Info-directory-list is passed to add-to-list within the loop. "any different results in the root info page" - did you try scrolling down a bit? The Emacs mauals don't get put at the top. Or just try C-h r to jump to Emacs' manual directly.
    – npostavs
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 13:03
  • C-h r works! I found a link to Emacs Lisp, and that works too! I think it's strange that neither are menu items in the root menu, but I'll take the win.
    – haleonj
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 13:22

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