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I have the following in my init.el:

(setq use-package-always-ensure t)

because I want packages referenced by use-package to be downloaded automatically if I don't have them.

When I enable this setting however, every time Emacs starts I see "Contacting host ..." for each package repository (ELPA, MELPA, etc) before start-up is complete and it takes a very long time. It's as if my package archive contents are always assumed to be stale.

Why is this happening and how can I stop it?

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After a quick skim of the org-package-ensure package’s source code, it should only contact the package server if it is asked to install a package that you don’t have. Are you sure you’re not asking it to install a package that doesn’t exist?

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