A small hack to View Large Files in Emacs. From the Commentary:

 ;; After reading the Nth post on Gnu Emacs Help about Viewing Large
 ;; Files in Emacs, it itched so much that I decided to make a try.  It
 ;; helped quite a lot when Kevin Rodgers posted a snippet on how to
 ;; use `insert-file-contents' to extract part of a file.  At first I
 ;; made a try using head and tail and that worked too, but using
 ;; internal Emacs commands is nicer.  Here is the code to extract data
 ;; using head and tail in case someone wanna try that out in the
 ;; future:
 ;; ...

More info on ELPA.


In the screenshot above you can see VLF happily (albeit slowly) surfing a 3GB+ large file (a Ubuntu VMWare thing in this case) at position 500010000, in 10000 byte chunks.

In improved mode called vlfi (View Large Files Improved) supporting indexing, unicode, regexp search, chunk editing is available here: https://github.com/m00natic/vlfi

vlfi is now merged to GNU ELPA’s vlf – Andrey Kotlarski

Strange. Does it really work? I thought the EmacsFileSizeLimit was imposed because ‘point’ has to be a number in Elisp. But in your code, the variables ‘vlf-current-start-pos’ and all computations made with it will suffer from the same limit… I thought a different representation of really big numbers (such as using a cons-list) was needed… – AlexSchroeder

It depends on what you mean with “work”…. 😊 It works up to the same limit you have mentioned above. This means that the usefulness lies mostly in that you do not need to load those 256 MB (on a 32 bit system) into Emacs. I have to say I was a bit disappointed when I found that out. 😟 Oh well… – MaDa

Update: if you use the alternate method to extract the file content, which uses head and tail, it seems to work, but it is much slower. I would not trust the content very much however… 😊 – MaDa