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How to Backup Your jEdit Configuration

This page is newly written and under review. After review, this message will be removed. Information may be incomplete or inaccurate at this point--Patrick

This page deals with planning a backup strategy for your jEdit configuration, in order to restore after a crash or a re-install.

If you have additional notes about your own backup strategy, please consider it adding it to this page--in-place or in comments at the end of the page.

The Two jEdit Directories

There are two directory structures for a jEdit installation on a given machine. The first is the jEdit installation directory; the second is the jEdit settings directory.

The jEdit installation directory has the jEdit program, the documentation files, and default macros (if installed). You choose the location of this directory when you install jEdit. This directory is not changed by jEdit after installation. Nothing in this directory needs to be backed up, because everything in it comes from the install file. You need to keep track of any files you add to this directory, for example, startup scripts and macros. Those will need to be added to your backup list.

The jEdit settings directory stores the current configuration for your jEdit installation, log files, plugin jars and their settings, etc. This is where you will need to backup files from. This directory is called .jedit (yes, it begins with a period) and is installed under your home directory. To find out where this is, look at the activity log, using Utilities>Troubleshooting>Activity Log. There is more information on this in the jEdit User's Guide. For jEdit 4.2, see Chapter 7, "Customizing jEdit" in the section "The jEdit Settings Directory". Online, this is posted here

General Notes

Here are some general tips on making backups for jEdit

Creating and Restoring a Complete Backup

To create a complete backup, create a copy of your entire .jedit settings directory (see above). This will include not just jEdit properties/configuration, but also the activity log, recent files list, plugin jars and settings, and so on.

The jEdit program directory does not need to be backed up, unless you have added macros or startup scripts. If you have not, the program directory can be re-installed from an installation package; see Installing jEdit for details about (re)installing jEdit.

When you want to restore jEdit from a complete backup

You should not restore backed up settings while jEdit is running.

Creating and Restoring a Partial Backup

The complete backup has the slight disadvantage that it backs up plugins and plugin source code and external configuration. This may make your backup take a little longer and take a little more space.

You will need to backup any macros and startup scripts you added to the jEdit program directory in any case.

There are a couple of options for a partial backup of jEdit settings:

Restoring is then a matter of extracting the files you backed up to the jEdit settings directory after the reinstall. If you do not backup the plugin jars, you'll need to use the Plugin Manager to reinstall the plugins. Plugin settings are stored with the jEdit properties file, so plugins will still be configured after a backup.

Caveats

A partial backup will save a small amount of space and time in your backup process. It is probably OK to backup everything but the jars in the jEdit settings directory, as you can reinstall plugins pretty easily from the Plugin Manager--assuming you have a good Internet connection during the reinstall.

Picking and choosing individual jEdit files to backup is probably not a good idea. In a recent discussion (October 2004) on the jEdit developer's mailing list, nobody recommended this approach.

Also, note that a backup should work properly if you reinstall to the same, or very similar operating system and version of Java. If you try to backup on Windows and reinstall on Linux, you may need to fix file and directory names in the jEdit settings.

A mailing list discussion brought up a couple of other points (from Alberto Romero)

-- Patrick Wright - 01 Nov 2004

Topic HowToBackUpJEdit . { Edit | Attach | Ref-By | Printable | Diffs | r1.2 | > | r1.1 | More }
Revision r1.2 - 01 Nov 2004 - 18:21 GMT - Patrick Wright
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