This function makes a backup of the file visited by the current
buffer, if appropriate. It is called by
saving the buffer the first time.
If a backup was made by renaming, the return value is a cons cell of
the form (modes extra-alist backupname), where
modes are the mode bits of the original file, as returned by
file-modes (see Testing Accessibility), extra-alist
is an alist describing the original file’s extended attributes, as
file-extended-attributes (see Extended Attributes), and backupname is the name of the backup.
In all other cases (i.e., if a backup was made by copying or if no
backup was made), this function returns
This buffer-local variable says whether this buffer’s file has
been backed up on account of this buffer. If it is non-
the backup file has been written. Otherwise, the file should be backed
up when it is next saved (if backups are enabled). This is a
kill-all-local-variables does not alter it.
This variable determines whether or not to make backup files. If it
nil, then Emacs creates a backup of each file when it is
saved for the first time—provided that
nil (see below).
The following example shows how to change the
variable only in the Rmail buffers and not elsewhere. Setting it
nil stops Emacs from making backups of these files, which may
save disk space. (You would put this code in your init file.)
(add-hook 'rmail-mode-hook (lambda () (setq-local make-backup-files nil)))
This variable’s value is a function to be called on certain occasions to
decide whether a file should have backup files. The function receives
one argument, an absolute file name to consider. If the function returns
nil, backups are disabled for that file. Otherwise, the other
variables in this section say whether and how to make backups.
The default value is
normal-backup-enable-predicate, which checks
for files in
If this variable is non-
nil, backups are inhibited. It records
the result of testing
backup-enable-predicate on the visited file
name. It can also coherently be used by other mechanisms that inhibit
backups based on which file is visited. For example, VC sets this
nil to prevent making backups for files managed
with a version control system.
This is a permanent local, so that changing the major mode does not lose
its value. Major modes should not set this variable—they should set
This variable’s value is an alist of filename patterns and backup directory names. Each element looks like
(regexp . directory)
Backups of files with names matching regexp will be made in directory. directory may be relative or absolute. If it is absolute, so that all matching files are backed up into the same directory, the file names in this directory will be the full name of the file backed up with all directory separators changed to ‘!’ to prevent clashes. This will not work correctly if your filesystem truncates the resulting name.
For the common case of all backups going into one directory, the alist should contain a single element pairing ‘"."’ with the appropriate directory name.
If this variable is
nil (the default), or it fails to match a
filename, the backup is made in the original file’s directory.
On MS-DOS filesystems without long names this variable is always ignored.
This variable’s value is a function to use for making backup file names.
make-backup-file-name calls it.
See Naming Backup Files.
This could be buffer-local to do something special for specific
files. If you change it, you may need to change