I load modus-themes (among other packages) in my Emacs configuration using:

(setq package-archives '(("gnu" . "https://elpa.gnu.org/packages/")
             ("melpa" . "https://melpa.org/packages/")))
(unless (package-installed-p 'use-package)
  (package-install 'use-package))
(eval-when-compile (require 'use-package))
(require 'use-package-ensure)
(setq use-package-always-ensure t)

(use-package modus-themes
  ;; Add all your customizations prior to loading the themes
  (setq modus-themes-slanted-constructs t
    modus-themes-bold-constructs t
    modus-themes-mode-line nil
    modus-themes-region '(bg-only no-extend))
  ;; Load the theme files before enabling a theme (else you get an error).
  ;; Load the theme of your choice:

I upgrade all my packages occasionally by running list-packages then hitting U and x. When I start Emacs next I find that the modus-themes-load-vivendi theme is note active and *Messages* contains:

Error (use-package): modus-themes/:init: Symbol’s function definition is void: modus-themes--standard-completions
Error (use-package): modus-themes/:config: Symbol’s function definition is void: modus-themes--standard-completions
Error (use-package): theme-changer/:config: Symbol’s function definition is void: modus-themes--standard-completions

(although I have historically had other errors too.) The only way I've found to fix these errors is to delete the elpa/modus-themes-* directory so that use-package downloads it again.

I believe that I've seen similar problems with magit, but I no longer have the error messages to prove it.

I've not found anyone else reporting similar problems, so I can only assume that what I'm seeing must be due to something in my configuration, but I don't know where to start looking. The only clue I have is that the .el files for the latest version of modus-themes no longer contains modus-themes--standard-completions yet the byte-compiled .elc files do contain mentions of it despite the timestamps being the same:

europa:~/config/emacs.d/elpa/modus-themes-20220313.1121> ls -l
total 1396
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac    683 Mar 13 15:38 dir
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac  25108 Mar 13 15:38 doclicense.info
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac   2722 Mar 13 15:38 modus-operandi-theme.el
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac 190614 Mar 13 15:38 modus-operandi-theme.elc
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac   2849 Mar 13 15:38 modus-themes-autoloads.el
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac 388919 Mar 13 15:38 modus-themes.el
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac 326345 Mar 13 15:38 modus-themes.elc
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac 277662 Mar 13 15:38 modus-themes.info
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac    457 Mar 13 15:38 modus-themes-pkg.el
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac   2716 Mar 13 15:38 modus-vivendi-theme.el
-rw-r--r-- 1 mac mac 190611 Mar 13 15:38 modus-vivendi-theme.elc
europa:~/config/emacs.d/elpa/modus-themes-20220313.1121> grep -l modus-themes--standard-completion *

Any ideas gratefully appreciated.


1 Answer 1


This is a known modus-theme issue reported in its bug list. https://gitlab.com/protesilaos/modus-themes/-/issues/287 and previously in https://gitlab.com/protesilaos/modus-themes/-/issues/272#note_827378377

As noted in the issue a manual fix is

  1. Install modus-themes by elpa
  2. Delete the .elc files in modus-themes directory
  3. Optionally manually compile the modus-themes files
  4. Restart emacs
  • Thanks for the quick reply. It appears that my previous searching was inadequate, although I did do most of it before that bug report was raised. It's not clear from reading the current state of the report that the problem really is in modus-themes itself though. Thanks for the workaround.
    – Mike Crowe
    Mar 13, 2022 at 18:20
  • The current status is that the modus themes author thinks there is an issue but has no real idea what is causing it
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 13, 2022 at 21:00
  • The version 20220322 seems to be OK
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 23, 2022 at 12:29

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