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I'm using a rather stock Prelude emacs version with super-save disabled, but still whenever I change buffers using C-x o, whatever buffer I currently have focused writes to disk. I still want the auto-save to happen, but not the full write that triggers a bunch of rsync stuff.

Where do I find the command that writes the file to disk so I can throw a debugger in there to find the stacktrace?

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    Have a look at buffer-list-update-hook. (That's one possible place.) – Tobias May 20 at 19:26
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    M-x debug-on-entry basic-save-buffer, to see what function chain calls for the saving. But first put (cancel-debug-on-entry) in a buffer such as *scratch* and be ready to use C-x C-e after it, to quickly cancel such debugging once you get your answer. – Drew May 20 at 20:39

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