Yes - you can have tight control over where aoll the Caliber files are located using a combination of Environment Variables and runtime switches. I use the following batch file on Windows:
REM Batch File to start a Calibre configuration on Windows
REM giving explicit control of the location of:
REM - Calibe Program Files
REM - Calibre Library Files
REM - Calibre Config Files
REM - Calibre Metadata database
REM By setting the paths correctly it can be used to run:
REM - A "portable calibre" off a USB stick.
REM - A network installation with local metadata database
REM (for performance) and books stored on a network share
rem SET CALIBRE_LIBRARY_DIRECTORY=%cd%
SET CALIBRE_OVERRIDE_DATABASE_PATH=P:\CalibreLibrary\m etadata.db
START /belownormal Calibre --with-library %CALIBRE_LIBRARY_DIRECTORY%
This setup is running with a network share for the book files (U
and a local (P
metadata.db file. You will note I also specify where the Calibre Config information and Program Files are located as I do not use default locations for either. The other point is starting Calibre at BelowNormal priority as this keeps my system responsive without affecting Calibre performance significantly. You should be able to amend it to suit your particular requirements.
If you are not using Windows it should be easy enough to translate it to the equivalent on your system.