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Create `backup' layer to enable auto backup behavior in spacemacs #11903

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igor-kupczynski commented Jan 27, 2019

Create backup layer to enable auto backup behavior in spacemacs

Related to #8947

Note: my first PR against spacemacs, happy to learn why this change sucks and how I can it

This layer adds support for automatic backups.

Emacs default behavior is to backup a file first time it is saved. This behavior results in a lot of #file_name.ext# files being automatically created. Many people find this annoying and spacemacs turns the auto backup off.

This layer re-enables and extends the automatic backups.


per-session backups

Similar to emacs default behavior, make a backup first time it is saved from emacs session.

per-save backups

Make a backup every time file is saved.

better defaults

Do not clutter working directories with the backups:

  • Store per-session backup in ~/.emacs.d/.cache/backups/per-session (customize variable backup-per-session-directory to override).
  • Store per-save backup in ~/.emacs.d/.cache/backups/per-save (customize variable backup-per-save-directory to override).

Sane defaults for the backup files:

  • Backup files under version control.
  • Keep the last 10 per-save backups and last 3 per-session backups.
  • Backup by copying.


To use this configuration layer, add it to your ~/.spacemacs. You will need to add backup to the existing dotspacemacs-configuration-layers list in this file.


Inner workings of this layer is based on description by @GregorySchwartz in #8947. Which is in turn inspired by a StackOverflow discussion on the subject.

@igor-kupczynski igor-kupczynski referenced this pull request Jan 27, 2019


Backups #8947

@igor-kupczynski igor-kupczynski force-pushed the igor-kupczynski:backup-layer branch from eccaff0 to e981551 Jan 27, 2019


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igor-kupczynski commented Feb 6, 2019

Hey, anything I can do to get this accepted? I think it makes sense to have the backup as its own layer. It doesn't add any packages, but layers are described more as a set of features than package groups. I think this offers a new feature (backup per each write, not only per the first write of a file during a session). Judging by the linked issue (and stack overflow discussion), I think this is useful for more than just me.

@igor-kupczynski igor-kupczynski force-pushed the igor-kupczynski:backup-layer branch from e981551 to 6a089a0 Feb 9, 2019

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