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Old 03-27-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
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How to Duplicate My Calibre Library on Multiple Computers?

Once again, act first, ask questions later. I got a new netbook, and the first thing I did was download Calibre. But how to get the books into my new library? I went to my existing library, and copied the files, and put them in my new library. But the books did not come out the same. Tags were different, dates were different, ratings didn't transfer.

How do I duplicate the same library on my new computer? I don't care too much about books I will add going forward, because those will come a couple at a time. But I have 1200 that I painstakenly put into Calibre and adjusted until they were just perfect (for me). I would really like not to have to go back and do it all over again, and I'm sure Kovid has thought of this. I think Daffy has her library on about a half dozen computers-how do you do it, Daffy?

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Old 03-27-2010, 02:58 PM   #2
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How do I duplicate the same library on my new computer?
Locate the folder containing the library on computer1. Copy it to computer2. Start Calibre on comp2, select Preferences, point to the new library location. That's it. You'll probably have an old library location on comp2 at that point that you can delete.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:02 PM   #3
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Wow, really pays to ask first, huh? I thought I copied everything in the library, but reloading the books must have been what screwed it up. Of course, I have it set to automatically download metadata! Boy, this sure seems a lot simplier than it did at 4:45, waiting for Callibre to finish importing those books!

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Old 03-27-2010, 03:34 PM   #4
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Wow, really pays to ask first, huh? I thought I copied everything in the library, but reloading the books must have been what screwed it up. Of course, I have it set to automatically download metadata! Boy, this sure seems a lot simplier than it did at 4:45, waiting for Callibre to finish importing those books!

I hope it was clear that you didn't have to reload any books. All your metadata is in the metadata.db file, which is in the library folder that you copy over. There will be a few checkbox preference settings that don't come with your library. Just look at the checkboxes on comp 1 and set them the same on comp2.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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I use a freebie 2GB Dropbox account. My master Calibre Library was on my desktop computer which I copied to Dropbox. On each of my other computers, I then copied the library from Dropbox to the computer. Now when I make a change on one computer, it syncs with Dropbox and all the other computers. Of course this requires and internet connection but it doesn't have to be a full time connection.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #6
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I use a freebie 2GB Dropbox account. My master Calibre Library was on my desktop computer which I copied to Dropbox. On each of my other computers, I then copied the library from Dropbox to the computer. Now when I make a change on one computer, it syncs with Dropbox and all the other computers. Of course this requires and internet connection but it doesn't have to be a full time connection.
Thanks, Daffy. That is exactly what I want to do. I got the library on the second computer. My first computer is already set up with Dropbox, I just have to get the second set up. I don't really use the desktop for books and music - just Quicken and Turbotax (got to get to that!) Of course, with 500GB, it is cheap backup. I wonder how long it would take to download my entire Calibre library off the clouds? Or maybe I should first transfer as much as I can, as I did with this computer?
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:27 PM   #7
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If you plan on using the netbook mostly at home, you can always share the Calibre library directory on your desktop and then connect to that on your netbook and point Calibre to that share as its library. You don't have to copy anything

Also, you can set up the server on the desktop Calibre and connect to that using your browser on the netbook.

No copying required!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
I use a freebie 2GB Dropbox account. My master Calibre Library was on my desktop computer which I copied to Dropbox. On each of my other computers, I then copied the library from Dropbox to the computer. Now when I make a change on one computer, it syncs with Dropbox and all the other computers. Of course this requires and internet connection but it doesn't have to be a full time connection.
I also use dropbox and have 4 computers sync'd up. There are ways to increase the initial 2gb of free space to 5.25gb of free space. That's where I sit now (5.25gb), my Calibre Library is 1154 books and takes up 860mb of space.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:07 AM   #9
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I wonder how long it would take to download my entire Calibre library off the clouds? Or maybe I should first transfer as much as I can, as I did with this computer?
I'm not sure how big your library is... but the newest version of Dropbox has peer-to-peer syncing. It is automatic. It is sees that any two or more of your PC's running dropbox are on the same LAN it will transfer the data directly.

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Old 03-28-2010, 12:27 AM   #10
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I'm not sure how big your library is... but the newest version of Dropbox has peer-to-peer syncing. It is automatic. It is sees that any two or more of your PC's running dropbox are on the same LAN it will transfer the data directly.
This is a very nice feature, when I log into my son's machine to allow the folders to sync, the sync ends up transferring at LAN speed.
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:13 PM   #11
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I'm not sure how big your library is... but the newest version of Dropbox has peer-to-peer syncing. It is automatic. It is sees that any two or more of your PC's running dropbox are on the same LAN it will transfer the data directly.

BOb
Thanks Daffy, BOb and Dwanthny. I was going to ask how to get them all the same, and it sounds like you 3 have figured out how to do it. I want my main library to be on my laptop, and sync to the desktop and netbook. If I make a change on the laptop, I want it to automatically change on the desktop and netbook. But I would like to have the option to make a change on either the desktop or netbook, and have that reflected on the other two as well. Peer-to-peer sounds like just what I need. Can someone explain this?
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:58 PM   #12
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Thanks Daffy, BOb and Dwanthny. I was going to ask how to get them all the same, and it sounds like you 3 have figured out how to do it. I want my main library to be on my laptop, and sync to the desktop and netbook. If I make a change on the laptop, I want it to automatically change on the desktop and netbook. But I would like to have the option to make a change on either the desktop or netbook, and have that reflected on the other two as well. Peer-to-peer sounds like just what I need. Can someone explain this?
Actually Dropbox will sync any PCs you have connected to it no matter where you make the change and if they are on a LAN together or not. One thing you should be aware of is that you can't run Calibre on more than one at the same time. Kovid has said that calibre isn't written to expect changes to the database from external sources. It is a minor issue.

That said... the "peer-to-peer" syncing is only a technical implementation detail. The software takes advantage of the fact that the PC's can communicate directly with each other and transfers the data locally rather than having 2 or 3 or whatever PC's all d/l the same data from the internet.

It's like the difference between you sending an email to your spouse that is sitting right next to you on the sofa... or turning to your left and speaking directly to them.

Hope this makes sense.

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Old 03-28-2010, 03:02 PM   #13
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Thanks Daffy, BOb and Dwanthny. I was going to ask how to get them all the same, and it sounds like you 3 have figured out how to do it.
You really need to manually get everything in Calibre in on one PC.

Once you do that... sign up for Dropbox, get the software installed on all your machines.

Once you do that... edit the configuration in calibre (on the first PC) to be located if your dropbox folder. Wait for it to sync to the cloud... you can look at the status indicator in your task bar and wait for the green check mark. Once it shows the upload is completed.

Once it has all been sent to the cloud go to your next PC and run calibre for the first time and specify the library in your dropbox as the location. Repeat on any other PCs.

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Old 03-28-2010, 03:02 PM   #14
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Actually Dropbox will sync any PCs you have connected to it no matter where you make the change and if they are on a LAN together or not. One thing you should be aware of is that you can't run Calibre on more than one at the same time. Kovid has said that calibre isn't written to expect changes to the database from external sources. It is a minor issue.


Hope this makes sense.

BOb
Does this mean I can make a change on my laptop, close Calibre, go to my net book, open Calibre and make another change, and my laptop, netbook and desktop will all have the changes next time I launch Calibre on that computer?
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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One thing you should be aware of is that you can't run Calibre on more than one at the same time. Kovid has said that calibre isn't written to expect changes to the database from external sources. It is a minor issue.
It's only minor until it bites you in the you-know-what. The reason you should not run two copies of Calibre at the same time and pointed to the same library is because the first version of Calibre may be doing something important when the second tries to change the database.

By using dropbox, you are doing the same thing. You may be risking the loss of your Calibre database. I'm not saying it's likely, but I don't want to risk it.

It seems to me it's more than just the risk of running two copies of Calibre at the same time. Any time dropbox thinks it has a newer file, it's likely to want to overwrite. That can arise when the clock is wrong on one machine due to daylight savings time errors. Or you may update the database on computer 1, which updates dropbox, but computer 2 did not gain internet access until you were in the middle of Calibre. I would hope that you could at least run dropbox in a manual update mode to prevent inadvertent overwrites.

I don't know how dropbox is designed, but just be careful and make backups. I do run a sync program, but I do it manually. I also run a backup.

Finally, consider whether the remote access of content server will do what you need with less risk. I keep a single copy of Calibre, but can access it worldwide via phone, PDA and laptop.

(Sorry if I've thrown cold water on those who are happy with dropbox, but that's how I see it. I'm willing to listen to contrary views if you think I'm wrong.)
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