I reorganized some of the folders on my computer, in an attempt to get rid of old stuff and organize useful stuff. So with the new directory structure, I am getting all of these auto-save errors.

Error (auto-save): Auto-saving file1.org: Opening output file: File name too long, /home/xxx/.emacs.d/.cache/auto-save/site/#!....file1.org#
Error (auto-save): Auto-saving file2.org: Opening output file: File name too long, /home/xxx/.emacs.d/.cache/auto-save/site/#!....file2.org#
Error (auto-save): Auto-saving file3.org: Opening output file: File name too long, /home/xxx/.emacs.d/.cache/auto-save/site/#!....file3.org#

I am not sure of the cause of the errors. On thing I was thinking is that my hard drive is encrypted and this might interfere with the auto-save operation.

Is there a way to fix this, short of just moving the files to a different directory? Is there a setting I can change to increase the filename length? Has anyone else found a good workaround for this error.


As per Stephen's suggestion, Spacemacs sets up the auto-save configuration in its own internal files. There is a single reference to auto-save location in the .spacemacs file. The variable dotspacemacs-auto-save-file-location specifies where a file is saved: the cache, in-place, or no auto-saving. Other than that, there did not appear to be any other configurable settings for auto-save.

1 Answer 1


You might want to show us the part of your ~/.emacs which sets up the autosave machinery to use home/xxx/.emacs.d/.cache/auto-save/site/... (or is it a Spacemacs thing?).

But in any case, you should be able to shorten them as follows:

(advice-add 'make-auto-save-file-name :around
(defun my-shorten-auto-save-file-name (&rest args)
  (let ((buffer-file-name
         (when buffer-file-name (sha1 buffer-file-name))))
    (apply args)))
  • Oh thanks so much for this. All the Emacs error messages just kept capturing the focus from whatever application I was working on :). Good point about the emacs config--this is a Spacemacs thing. Looks like there is only a reference to this in one of the Spacemacs setting variables dotspacemacs-auto-save-file-location. But the only choices are to either save the file in the cache, in-place, or not to auto-save. I can mention this in an edit to the question.
    – krishnab
    Mar 13, 2019 at 16:54

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