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After upgrading my OS (Ubuntu, from 18.04 to 19.04), my favorite text editor was automatically upgraded from Emacs 25 to Emacs 26. I then encountered a familiar error message at start-up:

File is missing: Cannot open load file, No such file or directory, color-theme

The relevant portion of my configuration file, .emacs, is the following:

(add-to-list 'custom-theme-load-path "~/.emacs.d/themes/")
(add-to-list 'load-path "/path/to/color-theme.el/file")
(require 'color-theme)
(eval-after-load "color-theme"
    '(progn
     (color-theme-initialize)
     (color-theme-subtle-hacker)))

This works fine with emacs 25 or earlier versions, under Ubuntu 18.04. Naturally, the relevant file, color-theme-subtle-hacker.el is located in ~/.emacs.d/themes/.

I imagine that there are at least two possible solutions to this problem:

(i) There is a way to "tell" Emacs 26 where is the relevant color-theme package. The problem could, in fact, be due to the OS upgrade.

(ii) I could also force Ubuntu 19.04 to use Emacs 25. However, I would have to install it manually, since every attempt at installing Emacs currently leads to version 26.

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  • The error message says that Emacs can't find the color-theme "package", not that the color theme package can't find the theme you chose. I.e. it probably errors at (require 'color-theme). – Stefan Jan 18 '20 at 13:23
  • Thanks. Yes, this was indeed what I had understood. The problem is to do with finding the package, 'color-theme'. – Nicomachus Jan 18 '20 at 13:28
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    Put color-theme.el in your load-path, in your init file, before trying to require it. (If you haven't downloaded color-theme.el then that's of course the first step.) – Drew Jan 18 '20 at 16:01
  • The load-path is a list of directories, not absolute path(s) to file(s). The question states that the O.P. is adding an absolute file path of the color-theme file to the load-path, instead of merely ensuring that the directory containing the file is added to the load-path. – lawlist Jan 18 '20 at 17:48
  • In addition, custom-theme-load-path is not used for the color-theme package. – InHarmsWay Jan 21 '20 at 12:02
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Thanks for your help. I have found one solution to this problem. It was sufficient to download the color-theme.el and the color-theme-library.el and to copy them in ~/.emacs.d/themes/. Together with the simplified code in one's .emacs file eliminate all errors at start-up.

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/themes/")
(require 'color-theme)
(eval-after-load "color-theme"
    '(progn
     (color-theme-initialize)
     (color-theme-subtle-hacker)))

Thanks to @Drew, @lawlist, @InHarmsWay and @Stefan for your help. It seems that the files from the emacs-goodies package weren't accessible by my .emacs file, after upgrading to the latest Ubuntu distribution.

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