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47.1 The Package Menu Buffer

The command M-x list-packages brings up the package menu. This is a buffer listing all the packages that Emacs knows about, one on each line, with the following information:

The list-packages command accesses the network, to retrieve the list of available packages from the package archive server. If the network is unavailable, it falls back on the most recently retrieved list.

The following commands are available in the package menu:

h
Print a short message summarizing how to use the package menu (package-menu-quick-help).
?
<RET>
Display a help buffer for the package on the current line (package-menu-describe-package), similar to the help window displayed by the C-h P command (see Packages).
i
Mark the package on the current line for installation (package-menu-mark-install). If the package status is ‘available’, this adds an ‘I’ character to the start of the line; typing x (see below) will download and install the package.
d
Mark the package on the current line for deletion (package-menu-mark-delete). If the package status is ‘installed’, this adds a ‘D’ character to the start of the line; typing x (see below) will delete the package. See Package Files, for information about what package deletion entails.
u
Remove any installation or deletion mark previously added to the current line by an i or d command.
U
Mark all package with a newer available version for “upgrading” (package-menu-mark-upgrades). This places an installation mark on the new available versions, and a deletion mark on the old installed versions.
x
Download and install all packages marked with i, and their dependencies; also, delete all packages marked with d (package-menu-execute). This also removes the marks.
r
Refresh the package list (package-menu-refresh). This fetches the list of available packages from the package archive again, and recomputes the package list.

For example, you can install a package by typing i on the line listing that package, followed by x.