I installed ibuffer-sidebar (https://github.com/jojojames/ibuffer-sidebar) and added the following to my ~/.emacs.d/init.el:

(use-package "ibuffer-sidebar.el")
(require 'ibuffer-sidebar)
(setq ibuffer-sidebar-use-custom-font t)
(setq ibuffer-sidebar-face `(:family "Helvetica" :height 120))

After doing this, all helm commands fail. E.g. helm-find-files says In Find FIles source: helm-find-fules-get-candidates (void-variable command). Other helm commands just say symbol's value as variable is void: command. I'm a newbie, very excited about emacs.

  • I hope someone checks whether this is a duplicate. There are a few very common (different) causes behind that error message, for which there are already some questions here.
    – Drew
    Mar 26, 2020 at 20:20
  • Why are you using (use-package) with quotes and appending the .el extension? That's not how you usually use-packages. Mar 26, 2020 at 20:57
  • @AlexPetrosyan could you tell me how to do it? I'm a newbie.
    – hyperio
    Mar 26, 2020 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


Normally this is not how people install packages, typically if you want to use use-package, you want to specify everything inside the macro, and what you might be seeing is the spillover into helm, because it's initialised after ibuffer-sidebar.

I would suggest you read up the documentation, and as an example of how to use use-package here's the version of your init.el.

(use-package ibuffer-sidebar
  :ensure t
    '(ibuffer-sidebar-use-custom-font t)
    '(ibuffer-sidebar-face (:family "Helvetica" :height 120)))

This might not fix the error that you're having, but it's definitely the proper way to use-package.

As for the error message you're receiving, it's a sign that the macro is not getting a command as a value (in lisp, functions are values too), so my best guess would be that it fails to initialise ibuffer-sidebar and tries to run one of its provided commands, but fails.

See if this fixes the issue.

  • Actually, you don't need to wrap (use-package... with (...). Aug 19, 2021 at 13:37
  • @ManuelUberti typo. Good catch. Aug 19, 2021 at 15:26

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