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May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
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Create a backup of file being edited while using vi

Terminal - Create a backup of file being edited while using vi
:!cp % %-
2009-03-17 00:34:24
User: mpb
Create a backup of file being edited while using vi

At the start of a vi session and *before* saving any changes use ":!cp % %-" to make a backup of the current file being edited.

example: vi /data/some/long/path/file

:!cp% %-

creates /data/some/long/path/file-


There are 3 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

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What others think

You do realize that vim can be set to backup files, right? Aside from that, you should check out the -b option for cp.

Comment by jmcantrell 375 weeks and 1 day ago

@jmcantrell command-line fu is about commands not config files.

In any case, I have been using "!cp % %-" since 1990 (when vim did not exist) and I prefer to name the backup file to my own convention. For me, "file" and "file-" is sufficient. However, this technique could also be used to make snapshots of the file as the edit progresses: "!cp % %-1! "!cp % %-2! "!cp % $-with-function-y" etc etc

Comment by mpb 375 weeks and 1 day ago

:w! >> file

Comment by voyeg3r 375 weeks ago

This may actually be a good way to create live patches of ascii files. Thanks for the idea.

Comment by denzuko 368 weeks ago

Your point of view

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