Trying to save files I have suddenly started recieving the following error:

Loading charset map: No such file or directory, JISX0208

In *Messages* this is reported as:

find-coding-systems-region: Loading charset map: No such file or directory, JISX0208 Mark set

I'm using GNU Emacs 27.2 (build 1, x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 3.24.20, cairo version 1.16.0) running on Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS.

I can't find obviously similar previous questions and am stuck. Would be great to get any suggestions.

** Update **

When I try to export org mode files using the Org export dispatcher I see the following error:

OpenDocument export failed: Invalid specification of styles.xml file: nil

  • 1
    Did you build Emacs yourself? That file is part of Emacs, perhaps the ubuntu package misses out some files?
    – rpluim
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 16:01
  • 1
    I installed using apt. Removing it and installing emacs 28.1 fixed the problem. I remain curious how tihis would come about though.
    – Matt Nolan
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 17:38
  • 1
    Please update the question to make clear that you fixed your problem and you just want to get an explanation. Make clear what you're asking.
    – Drew
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 17:40
  • I suspect the Ubuntu emacs-27 package was 'optimized' by removing 'unnecessary' files. But I don't have Ubuntu running anywhere to try.
    – rpluim
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 17:45
  • Similar problem: emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/24282/… Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


This problem recently bit me too. What likely happens it that while Emacs is running, Ubuntu has upgraded Emacs. Thus, all files in the directory /usr/share/emacs/Y.X (including etc/charsets/JISX0208.map), where X.Y is the old Emacs version, has been deleted and replaced with files in /usr/share/emacs/Z.W, where Z.W is the new Emacs version. Since Emacs loads most of the files it needs into memory it can take a long time for it to discover that the files it needs have disappeared.


Updating to emacs 28.1 fixed the problem.

I remain curious how the errors would come about though. Answers with explanations would still be useful. Thanks.

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