M-x version gives:

GNU Emacs 26.3 (build 1, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.22.30) of 2019-12-02

Quitting the minibuffer in general, or (e.g.,) pressing M-x -> C-g in particular opens a *Backtrace* buffer with this in it:

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (quit)
  read-from-minibuffer("M-x " nil (keymap (7 . minibuffer-keyboard-quit) (10 . minibuffer-complete-and-exit) (13 . minibuffer-complete-and-exit) keymap (7 . minibuffer-keyboard-quit) (menu-bar keymap (minibuf "Minibuf" keymap (tab menu-item "Complete" minibuffer-complete :help "Complete as far as possible") (space menu-item "Complete Word" minibuffer-complete-word :help "Complete at most one word") (63 menu-item "List Completions" minibuffer-completion-help :help "Display all possible completions") "Minibuf")) (27 keymap (118 . switch-to-completions)) (prior . switch-to-completions) (63 . minibuffer-completion-help) (32 . minibuffer-complete-word) (9 . minibuffer-complete) keymap (menu-bar keymap (minibuf "Minibuf" keymap (previous menu-item "Previous History Item" previous-history-element :help "Put previous minibuffer history element in the minibuffer") (next menu-item "Next History Item" next-history-element :help "Put next minibuffer history element in the minibuffer") (isearch-backward menu-item "Isearch History Backward" isearch-backward :help "Incrementally search minibuffer history backward") (isearch-forward menu-item "Isearch History Forward" isearch-forward :help "Incrementally search minibuffer history forward") (return menu-item "Enter" exit-minibuffer :key-sequence "\015" :help "Terminate input and exit minibuffer") (quit menu-item "Quit" abort-recursive-edit :help "Abort input and exit minibuffer") "Minibuf")) (10 . exit-minibuffer) (13 . exit-minibuffer) (7 . minibuffer-keyboard-quit) (C-tab . file-cache-minibuffer-complete) (9 . self-insert-command) (XF86Back . previous-history-element) (up . previous-line-or-history-element) (prior . previous-history-element) (XF86Forward . next-history-element) (down . next-line-or-history-element) (next . next-history-element) (27 keymap (114 . previous-matching-history-element) (115 . next-matching-history-element) (112 . previous-history-element) (110 . next-history-element))) nil extended-command-history nil nil)
  completing-read-default("M-x " #f(compiled-function (string pred action) #<bytecode 0x2859eb>) commandp t nil extended-command-history nil nil)
  completing-read("M-x " #f(compiled-function (string pred action) #<bytecode 0x2859eb>) commandp t nil extended-command-history)
  byte-code("\302\030\011\303 \010E)\207" [execute-extended-command--last-typed current-prefix-arg nil read-extended-command] 3)
  call-interactively(execute-extended-command nil nil)

I've google'd a bit, and not found anything similar. I suspect something like out of date packages on my install, but any hints would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


To reproduce exactly the same behavior in emacs -Q:

  1. M-x toggle-debug-on-quit
  2. M-x C-g

Looks like you have the debug-on-quit variable set to non-nil. Either directly or by toggle-debug-on-quit command or my menu Options->Enter Debugger on Quit.

  • Wow! Thank you! That was 100% it. Two follow up questions: a) How did you know that? b) Any idea how that may have gotten set to t? (debug-on-quit doesn't appear in any of my elisp code, hm.)
    – Harold
    Jan 31, 2020 at 22:33
  • 1
    a) By (quit) as error. Used debug-on-quit to actually debug so the output looks familiar. b) No idea. Is it set to t on Emacs start?
    – muffinmad
    Jan 31, 2020 at 22:57
  • a) Makes sense, very grateful for your experience. b) It was (!), but I did M-x toggle-debug-on-quit and now new emacs processes have it as nil. So, I'm cured, but I don't know how I got infected. (: --- thanks again for your help; the debugger popping up so much was definitely chafing.
    – Harold
    Jan 31, 2020 at 23:49

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