How can I set up emacs to automatically git commit every time I save an open file or periodically?

  • 7
    Doesn't that kinda defeat the point of version control?
    – Phoshi
    May 7, 2010 at 15:25
  • 2
    If you are a programmer, probably. But for those of using emacs to write rather then code, I think this is quite useful.
    – Brian Z
    Sep 8, 2013 at 14:36

6 Answers 6


If you wanted to commit upon every save, you'd do:

(add-hook 'after-save-hook 'my-commit-on-save)
(defun my-commit-on-save ()
   "commit the buffer"

Likely you could just use

(defun my-commit-on-save ()
   "commit the buffer"
   (call-interactively 'vc-next-action))

But, you'll want to add some checks to make sure it's a part of the set of files you want to commit, otherwise every buffer you save will be added to a repository.

  • This is exactly what I came here looking for!
    – Ryan Fox
    Sep 15, 2010 at 20:25

I use git-wip for that (see my answer on SO).


Here is a bit of lisp that I found. Does not do commit/push on every save, but schedules it for the near future so if you save a bunch of small edits you don't get a bunch of small commits.


;; Automatically add, commit, and push when files change.

(defvar autocommit-dir-set '()
  "Set of directories for which there is a pending timer job")

(defun autocommit-schedule-commit (dn)
  "Schedule an autocommit (and push) if one is not already scheduled for the given dir."
  (if (null (member dn autocommit-dir-set))
         10 nil
         (lambda (dn)
           (setq autocommit-dir-set (remove dn autocommit-dir-set))
           (message (concat "Committing org files in " dn))
           (shell-command (concat "cd " dn " && git commit -m 'Updated org files.'"))
           (shell-command (concat "cd " dn " && git push & /usr/bin/true")))
        (setq autocommit-dir-set (cons dn autocommit-dir-set)))))

(defun autocommit-after-save-hook ()
  "After-save-hook to 'git add' the modified file and schedule a commit and push in the idle loop."
  (let ((fn (buffer-file-name)))
    (message "git adding %s" fn)
    (shell-command (concat "git add " fn))
    (autocommit-schedule-commit (file-name-directory fn))))

(defun autocommit-setup-save-hook ()
  "Set up the autocommit save hook for the current file."
  (message "Set up autocommit save hook for this buffer.")
  (add-hook 'after-save-hook 'autocommit-after-save-hook nil t))
  • It's better to copy and paste the relevant info from the linked page rather than just linking to it in case the page content changes or moves.
    – Tog
    Jul 23, 2013 at 18:02

You don't need emacs for that at all. You can write a shell script that uses inotify. It could look like this:

while true; do
    inotifywait -e modify FILES...
    git commit ....

inotifywait is part of inoftify-tools.

  • or some other periodic thing: 'cron', 'sched from zsh', whatever
    – akira
    May 7, 2010 at 15:28
  • what i suggested isn't periodic
    – Kim
    May 7, 2010 at 21:08

You can also use my git-monitor utility, if especially if you are a Haskell user.


Try something like this:

(defadvice save-buffer (after commit-buffer-now activate)
  (when buffer-file-name (your commit code goes here)))

This is the emacs way to do it.

  • 1
    You shouldn't be using advice when save-buffer already provides the perfectly good variable after-save-hook. Dec 1, 2010 at 2:43

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