When you first download SXEmacs, you will usually first grab the core distribution, a file called sxemacs-22.x.x.tar.gz. (Replace the 22.x.x by the current version number.) The core distribution contains the sources of SXEmacs and a minimal set of Emacs Lisp files, which are in the subdirectory named lisp.
The Available Packages can currently be found at the XEmacs FTP site, or any of its mirrors. Look in the subdirectory packages. Package file names follow the naming convention <package-name>-<version>-pkg.tar.gz.
If you have EFS (EFS), packages can be installed over the network. Alternatively, if you have copies of the packages locally, you can install packages from a local disk or CDROM.
The file etc/PACKAGES in the core distribution contains a list of the Available Packages at the time of the SXEmacs release.
You can also get a list of available packages, and whether or not they are installed, using the visual package browser and installer. You can access it via the menus:
Tools -> Packages -> List and Install
Or, you can get to it via the keyboard:
Hint to system administrators of multi-user systems: it might be a good idea to install all packages and not interfere with the wishes of your users.
If you can’t find which package provides the feature you require, try
package-get-package-provider function. Eg., if you know
that you need
M-x package-get-package-provider RET thingatpt
which will return something like ‘(fsf-compat "1.08")’. You can the use one of the methods above for installing the package you want.
There are three main ways to install packages:
|• Automatically:||Using the package tools from SXEmacs.|
|• Manually:||Using individual package tarballs.|
|• Sumo:||All at once, using the ’Sumo Tarball’.|
|• Which Packages:||Which packages to install.|
|• Removing Packages:||Removing packages.|
But regardless of the method you use to install packages, they can only be used by SXEmacs after a restart unless the package in question has not been previously installed.