Fix the autosve! I BEG YOU!

I’ve just lost an hour of my work mixing, and programming drums with DrumGizmo - becasue (from what I can tell) Ardour 5.12 doesn’t autosave unless you record or edit audio.


I’ve already file a mantis bug a year or more ago.

If I had a switch saying “Autosave every minute no matter what” I would have it on all the time. I don’t care about xruns or other problems it might cause - not having to redo my work is more important to me at the moment.

  • unfa

Ardour does never auto-save.
There is an option to make periodic backups that write to a separate file if (and only if) the session is modified, unless you are recording (so that session-save does not interfere with disk i/o).

There should be a *.pending file in your session-folder. Also the most recent successful save should be available as *.ardour.bak file in your session folder.

Perhaps load (save to ~/.config/ardour5/scripts/, it should work in Ardour 5.12, although in A5 the action hooks are session-specific: Menu> Edit > Lua Scripts > Script Manager > Action Hooks). Once loaded Ardour will save a snapshots every 15 mins. The script can be easily changed to save at different intervals or just perform a normal save instead of a new snapshot.



I nearly had the same thing happen again a moment ago. I had another crash but somehow nothing seems to be lost, though there was no “Crash Recover” dialog and I don’t remember saving the session manually.

I’ve started making a bash script that’d do this for me actually.
I’ll inspect that Lua script - thank you.

I guess the word “autosave” that I used is a bit misleading. What I meant is saving current session status to disk in order to make it possible to recover from a crash. For some reason Ardour’s automatic backups seem to often not save anything unless I touch audio regions (record, edit etc.) - if I work only with MIDI regions, plug-in settings or automation (which often is majority of the time) the backups seem to be almost never created (so cannot be recovered from). I also don

I saw these .pending files a few times - what can I do with them? Does Ardour automatically show a “Crash Recovery” dialog if such a file is present when opening a session?

And what about the .bak files? Is it possible there is a backup copy that Ardour didn’t use when re-opening a session after a crash? I’ll start watching these files when I have another crash happening.

That is worrying, really. Ardour 5.12 should be rather robust in general.

Is the session marked as dirty (“modidied”), indicated by an asterisk (*) in the window-title?
If not that may explain why you don’t see those pending-recovery files.

To clarify the various state-files (this information should be migrated to

  • .pending files are those periodic saves. Those files are removed on a successful save, or when a session is closed (without crashing). When Ardour loads a session and a *.pending file exists in the session-folder, Ardour asks whether to recover from that pending state.

  • .bak – when you save a session, the existing state is first renamed to <name>.bak (replacing any *.bak file that may already be present). This allows one to have access to a previous state in case the current state gets corrupted. Ardour does not automatically use those files. They are left for a user to recover, if needed.

And for completeness:

  • .tmp ardour first saves to a .tmp and then renames the file to .ardour, this is to prevent edge-cases like disk-full or similar medium write/permission issues. If the .tmp file cannot be written correctly, at least the previous .ardour file will remain and not be corrupted in the process.