14

How can I set up Emacs so that all backups are placed into one backup folder? e.g. /MyEmacsBackups

  • Be aware that this could have the unintended side effect of leaving sensitive information lingering around on your machine, even after the originals are moved/deleted. It would be advisable to purge this backup folder occasionally. These backup files may also have different permissions than the originals. – nispio Sep 23 '14 at 22:00
16

Check out backup-directory-alist, which allows you to set backup locations by file regexp. To have everything go to one directory, try something like:

(setq backup-directory-alist '(("." . "~/MyEmacsBackups")))

For the truly paranoid (like myself), there's also backup-each-save, which (as the name suggests) backs up your files each time they're saved in a convenient location. This gives an extra layer of protection over traditional version control, for instance for those cases when you accidentally clear your working directory without checking something in.

10

The following is a quick code from my .emacs. It does not only put backups into a specific directory, but also auto-saves, and does the same for tramp files so those are not put onto the remote system.

;; Put backup files neatly away                                                 
(let ((backup-dir "~/tmp/emacs/backups")
      (auto-saves-dir "~/tmp/emacs/auto-saves/"))
  (dolist (dir (list backup-dir auto-saves-dir))
    (when (not (file-directory-p dir))
      (make-directory dir t)))
  (setq backup-directory-alist `(("." . ,backup-dir))
        auto-save-file-name-transforms `((".*" ,auto-saves-dir t))
        auto-save-list-file-prefix (concat auto-saves-dir ".saves-")
        tramp-backup-directory-alist `((".*" . ,backup-dir))
        tramp-auto-save-directory auto-saves-dir))

(setq backup-by-copying t    ; Don't delink hardlinks                           
      delete-old-versions t  ; Clean up the backups                             
      version-control t      ; Use version numbers on backups,                  
      kept-new-versions 5    ; keep some new versions                           
      kept-old-versions 2)   ; and some old ones, too                           
1
;; put all backup files into ~/MyEmacsBackups
(setq backup-directory-alist '(("." . "~/MyEmacsBackups")))
(setq backup-by-copying t)
0

Put this in your init file. Change the path to your chosen backup directory.

;;backup directory
(setq backup-directory-alist '(("" . "~/.emacs.d/emacs_backup")))

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