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Old 12-30-2010, 10:00 AM   #1
Clytie
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New install won't load Calibre library

G'day

Last week, I had several thousand books in my Calibre library, and all was peachy. Unfortunately, after that my Mac uncharacteristically developed a serious problem and I had to do a clean install (zero the disk and reinstall from scratch). I then manually copied over key apps (e.g. Calibre), directories (e.g. my Calibre library) and files (e.g. my Calibre prefs).

One of the benefits of this clean install was that I could finally have my home folder as my username. When I moved to this computer from a previous one, this had somehow become messed up, and my home folder had the name of the old computer, not my actual username. So: Calibre previously used the library /Users/old_computer_name/Documents/Calibre Library, and now that folder is /Users/my_username/Documents/Calibre Library.

I didn't anticipate this being a problem, but perhaps I should have. When I opened Calibre in the newly-installed-and-updated-system, it said it couldn't find its library (quoting the previous path), and asked me where to put a library. I chose the new path. This resulted in an empty display.

Can I simply edit the .plist and change the path? I'm really hoping I don't have to re-import all those books, because I spent weeks inputting the metadata.

I do have old backups of my previous system, in case they're needed. I couldn't find this topic in the Help, Manual or this forum.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:13 AM   #2
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It is very possible to move a calibre library. In theory, what you did is sufficient.

My guess is that when you copied the calibre stuff, you copied all the folders but did not copy the database file metadata.db. If the database file is not there, then calibre creates a new one. Alternatively there are permission problems and calibre cannot open the db.

Start with checking these two things. 1) is there a file metadata.db in the calibre library, and is it the same length as the one in your backup? 2) are all the files in the calibre library (and preferences for that matter) read/write by your new user ID?

Finally, the next time you start calibre, do so from a terminal window using the command 'calibre-debug -g'. That way you will see any information that calibre might toss out.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:04 AM   #3
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Thanks for your suggestions, Chaley.

I checked
  • the metadata database file is 3.7MB, so I doubt if it's a new file containing metadata for only the one book I added yesterday
  • all the book files are in my Calibre Library
  • the metadata file had read and write permissions (not execute) for my username
  • ~/Library/Preferences is all read/write/execute for my username, and I can't find any Calibre preferences in /Library or in either of the Application Support locations

So I set the metadata file to read/write/execute for my username, then reopened Calibre, but I still got a list of only one book.

Code:
calibre-debug -g
-bash: calibre-debug: command not found
Oops.

It looks like copying things over might not have worked entirely. Or does Calibre need a different $PATH?
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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calibre-debug doesn't exist on an OS X system unless you install the commadn line tools. Instead click the arrow next to preferences and restart calibre in debug mode.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip, Kovid.

Code:
e$ calibre-debug -g
Starting up...
Started up in 1.95742702484
Then the cursor just sits there, most probably because nothing else has happened at that point. There don't seem to be any problems with starting up (although the first two startups took quite a while), but Calibre isn't recognizing the data it already has.

As I said in the original post, my username changed between installs. Is this likely to mess up Calibre?

Apart from that, after the clean install and updates, I copied over (from backup) the application, the Calibre Library, ~/Library/Preferences and most of both Application Support folders (I didn't find any Calibre items in them). Obviously I missed the command-line tools, but it's trivial to reinstall them. Have I missed something else? The permissions look OK now: they're RWX for my username.

Hmm, the debugger has just added:

Code:
DNSQuestion: Not a local name 3.c.c.0.9.4.e.f.f.f.0.0.5.2.2.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.8.e.f.ip6.arpa.
I'm on a WiFi LAN at home.

Is any of this info useful?
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:04 AM   #6
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I would suggest using a clean calibre install (without the old preferences) then use a clean copy of your old library (one one which calibre hasn't been run on your new computer). Then start calibre as

calibre --with-library /path/to/clean/library/copy
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:24 AM   #7
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OK, I've done that. I removed the .plist and the "calibre" directory in ~/Library/Application Support, downloaded a fresh copy of Calibre and copied over a fresh copy of my pre-switch Calibre Library to ~/Documents. I deleted the old Calibre app., and moved the newer Calibre Library and the prefs to my Desktop. I put ".old" on the end of the .plist, just in case.

Calibre started up and asked me what language I wanted to use, and where my new or previous library was. It had already located ~/Documents/Calibre Library (the fresh copy of my pre-switch library), but the Continue and Go Back buttons were greyed out. When I chose another folder on the Desktop, the buttons became active, but of course that isn't what I want. I explicitly chose ~/Documents/Calibre Library, but the buttons became greyed out again.

I checked the library's permissions, and it said "No User", so I explictly gave my current username RWX permissions and applied that to all the enclosed items. I chose that library again, but the buttons stayed greyed out.

I don't think Calibre is seeing my pre-switch library as an existing library belonging to me, because the username has changed. Would that matter, once the permissions are assigned to my username? I wonder if it has the buttons greyed out because that directory is not empty. What do you think?
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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choose an empty folder in the welcome wizard and then once calibre has started, click the library icon on the tool bar and select your old library.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:28 AM   #9
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Drat, this forum keeps losing my post text, "the token has expired". I don't have enough capacity to keep reposting, so the summary is: Calibre is now using my existing library and everything is fine. Thankyou for your help.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
I would suggest using a clean calibre install (without the old preferences) then use a clean copy of your old library (one one which calibre hasn't been run on your new computer). Then start calibre as

calibre --with-library /path/to/clean/library/copy
I am new to Calibre and have a similar problem, but with NO CLUE as to what the above means, much less where to type it. I had my new HD partitioned to add a D drive specifically for ebooks & related materials. But I now have so many books/items that I've filled the 30 gigs on that drive. I decided to attempt to either enlarge the drive or delete it and use just the C (IF I can understand the tech site's directions). I was removing files from D to prevent losing them but did it the "wrong" but easy way.. by copying folders from D to either C or flash drive (flash for books, music...). I moved Calibre from D to C also. Now the program can't find my library even tho it's there in 2 places as of now. Is there any way you can explain in easy layman's terms what I need to do to access my library in Calibre? I checked your help site and watched the videos (VERY helpful in other areas) & did not find what I need; and I'm not software literate enough to understand the directions you gave on this forum, but am so glad to have found it. (sorry to be so wordy, but needed to be sure you knew what I did and that I don't understand even the easy techie talk.) HELP!

p.s. I DO have ALL of the books in Calibre Library. However, I just found out about a new problem when trying to reinstall Calibre. It says the database is corrupt. I think it means my Calibre Library?

Last edited by doxie56; 04-29-2011 at 12:14 AM. Reason: new issue
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