I am behind a web proxy trying to connect to marmalade. Strangely, elpa works just fine, but marmalade fails. This is the traceback:

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (error "Error during download request: handshakefailed")
  signal(error ("Error during download request: handshakefailed"))
  error("Error during download request:%s" " handshakefailed")
  package--download-one-archive(("marmalade" . "https://marmalade-repo.org/packages/") "archive-contents")
  #[nil "\301\302\"\207" [archive package--download-one-archive "archive-contents"] 3]()
  call-interactively(package-refresh-contents record nil)
  command-execute(package-refresh-contents record)
  execute-extended-command(nil "package-refresh-contents")
  call-interactively(execute-extended-command nil nil)

I've no idea how to debug this. I tried emacs 24.4 and 24.3, and both http and https.

  • Are you using https with elpa?
    – stsquad
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 10:55
  • @stsquad, I'm using whatever the default is. I did not configure elpa through the init.el file.
    – dmvianna
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 11:18
  • 1
    Which web proxy are you using? Handshake failed may be indicative of a refusal by the client to downgrade to sslv3, as a protection against POODLE. Or it could be nothing to do with that
    – Squidly
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 17:22
  • @MrBones An internal web proxy.It would be nice to be able to check which version of SSL marmalade uses. Thanks for the tip!
    – dmvianna
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 2:51

2 Answers 2


Short answer: switch to melpa.org or stable.melpa.org.

Long answer: marmalade goes down a lot, and the maintainers don't acknowledge it in the news section of the site. So it might simply have been the case that the site was down. I advise you not to use it.


Recently a similar issue was submitted to marmalade-repo on github. I'm not certain if your issue is related but Nic Ferrier provided an alternate url as temporary fix.

Try setting your repository url to http://marmalade.ferrier.me.uk/

Hope that Helped!


  • @dmvianna did this answer help?
    – Melioratus
    Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 7:24
  • 1
    I'm not sure if I want to accept any answer anymore. It took me a while to figure out marmalade was actually down. And it goes down a lot, and the maintainers don't even feel like it is necessary to acknowledge it in the news section. In short, this is a very poorly maintained site. I'd rather use melpa.org and stable.melpa.org.
    – dmvianna
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 9:22
  • @dmvianna - Thanks for follow up. MELPA is a great site! If you decide not to accept any answers from others, please post an answer then accept it or delete your question to prevent clutter on this site and the search results. Thanks!
    – Melioratus
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 16:24

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