I have my org files kept synchronized via rsync with various devices. These buffers are usually open in any running emacs instances due to agenda and capture. I want emacs to re-read these files from disk when something arrives via rsync. I know that auto-revert-mode handles this, but I want to enable it solely for files under my org directory.

How can I do this?

1 Answer 1


Funny: it looks like you choose a tag that directly answers your question ("directory-local-variables")

The best way to accomplish this is by placing a .dir-locals.el file in your org directory and using it to enable auto-revert-mode. Specifically, the file should look contain this:

((nil . ((eval . (auto-revert-mode 1)))))

If you want only org files to auto-revert, change nil to org-mode.

From the manual:

Sometimes, you may wish to define the same set of local variables to all the files in a certain directory and its subdirectories, such as the directory tree of a large software project. This can be accomplished with directory-local variables.

The usual way to define directory-local variables is to put a file named .dir-locals.el in a directory. Whenever Emacs visits any file in that directory or any of its subdirectories, it will apply the directory-local variables specified in .dir-locals.el, as though they had been defined as file-local variables for that file

Please see the manual page for more information.

  • That's because I knew what to look for, but I couldn't find a variable to set. Of course, what I was missing was eval. Thanks!
    – mkaito
    Jul 14, 2015 at 22:00

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