When I type C-h r I get error:

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (error "Info file emacs does not exist") signal(error ("Info file emacs does not exist")) error("Info file %s does not exist" "emacs") Info-find-file("emacs")
Info-find-node("emacs" "Top") Info-goto-node("(emacs)")
info-setup("emacs" #) info("emacs")
info-emacs-manual() call-interactively(info-emacs-manual nil nil)

I am using Emacs 24.3 on Ubuntu 14.04. (I have installed package emacs24-common-non-dfsg.. )


That error is because the full documentation is not installed by default.

Solve it by installing emacs25-common-non-dfsg

# aptitude install emacs25-common-non-dfsg

Test it by trying,

C-h i h

It should now work.

| improve this answer | |
  • It is interesting to know that GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) is at odds with Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). This is the reason why it is not included in the first place. – Lei Zhao Jul 26 at 23:30

You have to set the correct path to the Emacs info files in the INFOPATH environment variable:

export INFOPATH=$INFOPATH:/usr/share/info/emacs-24
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Just setting INFOPATH didn't solve it for me.

I'm running Debian 9.4 derived Bunsen Helium. Somehow, I didn't get info, or the Emacs info files installed. So:
Set INFOPATH in .bashrc:

export INFOPATH=/usr/share/info
export INFOPATH=$INFOPATH:/usr/share/info/emacs

Then installed info:

$ sudo apt-get install info

Then downloaded these gnu info files and installed them in directory /usr/share/info/emacs
(did it as root)

Finally, upgraded my emacs version (got me up to Emacs 25.2.2):

$ sudo apt-get install emacs  

Not sure if all this was the 'right' way to do it, but I'm tired of fooling with it...

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  • 2
    Did you install the emacs25-common-non-dfsg package? – phils Sep 24 '18 at 10:37
  • Just tried it. Way easier than what I was doing. Seems to put the info files in: /usr/share/info/emacs-25. Still need – AAAfarmclub Sep 25 '18 at 0:36
  • 2
    It's really unfortunate, but Debian sees certain usage of the GNU Free Documentation License as non-free by their own definitions, and consequently installs Emacs (and doubtless other packages) without the documentation (which of course is really a crucial component of the application). Which explains why it's in a separate package (and the non-dfsg suffix). Refer to linux.com/news/debian-decides-gnu-free-documentation-license – phils Sep 25 '18 at 0:47
  • Tried to edit my comment, but some stupid 5 minute limit just tossed it... – AAAfarmclub Sep 25 '18 at 0:56

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