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Old 02-10-2018, 04:32 PM   #16
ilovejedd
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I've run the install on both machines with the very important caveat that it's only running on one machine at any given time. I always exit calibre once I'm done with the PC.

The Dropbox icon on the system tray usually shows the latest files synced and when it's done syncing.
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Old 02-10-2018, 04:42 PM   #17
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Okay, so I checked the Dropbox system tray and when I read and bookmarked a book, it changed the epub itself as well as iterator.pickle and viewer.json.

Exited calibre, made sure Dropbox was done syncing on PC 1, fired up PC 2, made sure Dropbox finished syncing on PC 2, fired up Calibre, opened the last book I was reading and the bookmark and last read location was all correct.
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Old 02-10-2018, 06:50 PM   #18
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Well, as near as I can tell I've done exactly the same thing. The files you mention get updated but what I see is different on the two PC's.

I will probably come back to this at some point but for now I've had it. :-) Thank you for the testing you did. I appreciate it.

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Old 02-13-2018, 03:48 PM   #19
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FWIW, it looks like the key to this is a pickle. Specifically it's iterator.pickle.

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=265864

While the current page and the bookmarks are stored in the epub, they're also stored in iterator.pickle in ...users/{username}/appdata/roaming/calibre/. They are taken from the local location preferentially.

I copied the data from that folder to a folder in the cloud where both PC's could see it and then created an environmental variable CALIBRE_CONFIG_DIRECTORY on both machines pointing there. After reboots (and multiple episodes of correcting poor spelling) it seems to be working.

Fingers crossed.

Thanks again to those who helped me here.
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DickD View Post
FWIW, it looks like the key to this is a pickle. Specifically it's iterator.pickle.

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=265864

While the current page and the bookmarks are stored in the epub, they're also stored in iterator.pickle in ...users/{username}/appdata/roaming/calibre/. They are taken from the local location preferentially.

I copied the data from that folder to a folder in the cloud where both PC's could see it and then created an environmental variable CALIBRE_CONFIG_DIRECTORY on both machines pointing there. After reboots (and multiple episodes of correcting poor spelling) it seems to be working.

Fingers crossed.

Thanks again to those who helped me here.
I do hope you have backups of your library completely on another system. I admit to being old fashioned and I will usually "rar" a static backup in order to be sure the books are not modified by someone accidentally switching to the backup library or a virus or program hitting the library. With a rar sitting on a usb drive it is very unlikely to happen.

One thing I do suggest is to keep your library name/ name plus path name on the long side when creating a new library. That will help to ensure that if you have to move or restore your library to a new location you will not be truncating the file names.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:57 PM   #21
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From what I've researched, there are at least two issues that can cause problems. One is the fact that Calibre is not multi-user. If more than one thing tries to access the library at the same time, you are potentially in for corruption. It would be nice if in the future Calibre could switch to using an actual relational database backend.

The second is that Calibre uses "special" characters in it's file naming convention. You'll see parenthesis in there, spaces, dashes, etc. While all these are not truly "special characters" for individual OS'es in the strictest of meaning, they are "problematic characters" when viewed as a whole. Maybe in some future version, Calibre would switch to only using alphanumerics and an underscore. That should be safe everywhere.

But to make a change like this, either moving to an actual RDBMS or changing file naming conventions, you have the headaches of backwards compatibility, conversion of existing libraries from old format to new format, etc. This would definitely be a major version change, from the current 3.xx to 4.xx, with ample warning that a "non-reversible library conversion" would be part of the upgrade. Of course, running a relational database over something like DropBox, would be, shall we say, very much a "programming challenge"!!! Calibre is a local server. It's way too complex/sophisticated to be DropBox-able IMHO, despite many folks evidently trying to force it to do exactly that. DropBox and other cloud drives are for files, not applications. There are cloud based applications as well, but that's not something your everyday Joe who just wants to read eBooks is going to be able to implement/configure.
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Old 02-25-2018, 12:37 AM   #22
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calibre is multi-user (use the content server which allows multiple users to modify data concurrently) and does use a relational database, and all characters used in filenames in the library are safe on all filesystems (the only limitation being that windows cannot handle long filenames which calibre does generate on non-windows systems).

The only thing that is not multi-user safe is exporting the calibre library folder and running multiple copies of calibre on it on different computers, i.e. the calibre GUI is not multi-user safe in that you cannot run multiple instances of the GUI on the same library at the same time.
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Old 02-25-2018, 12:39 AM   #23
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Calibre does use a relational database. The actual program is just not a client-server model (albeit the content server is).

The primary problem with Dropbox (or any network storage to a lesser extent) is possible write conflicts. As mentioned, the library isn't designed to be accessed by multiple instances of Calibre at the same time.

I run Firefox Portable from Dropbox. That's probably more complicated and harder on the file system than Calibre.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:37 PM   #24
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... all characters used in filenames in the library are safe on all filesystems ...
I thought the parenthesis used were a problem with Google Drive, causing corruption if you try it with that cloud storage provider. Granted, Google Drive is not a technically "filesystem".

Quote:
The only thing that is not multi-user safe is exporting the calibre library folder and running multiple copies of calibre on it on different computers, i.e. the calibre GUI is not multi-user safe in that you cannot run multiple instances of the GUI on the same library at the same time.
I thought you couldn't run the Calibre GUI, and the content server at the same time. You could run the content server from within the GUI, but not as a separate program. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that if you have the content server running, you have to kill it, run the GUI, kill the GUI, then restart the content server when you're done. Or just leave the GUI running 24x7 and run the content server from within.

What I have done is use the GUI on my main library. Nobody else gets access directly to that. And then I rsync that main library to a separate server daily, and run a content server against that rsynced copy. I don't want any user to be able to make changes - I only want them to have read access. But if they somehow manage to change something, because I configured the content server incorrectly, I don't really care too much because their changes will be overwritten by the next rsync. This seems to work very well.

However, I just read the other day that you should not run the GUI and an rsync at the same time. I have not taken that into consideration in my rsync scheme. So far I haven't had any problems (that I am aware of!), but that may just be luck. I will investigate creating a snapshot and rsync from that in the future. Or I could enhance the rsync scripting strategy so that it that kills any running GUI before starting the actual rsync command. I didn't realize that concurrent rsync copying would be a problem, until I just ran into a comment about that recently.

As always, thanks again to Kovid for giving us such a wonderful program!

p.s. - I'm thinking I need a safer strategy for the rsync. If I don't go with snapshots, maybe something like this:
  1. Kill any running GUI on server A
  2. chmod 000 the GUI executable on server A (for extra protection from me trying to start it up manually!)
  3. Kill the content server on server B
  4. Run the rsync
  5. Restart the content server on server B
  6. chmod 555 the GUI executable on server A

My current implementation is this. I now see that what I am doing could potentially cause problems:
  1. GUI may or may not be running on server A (probably not, but could be)
  2. Content server is definitely running on server B
  3. Invoke rsync (started on server B, this pulls content from server A's rsyncd daemon)
  4. Kill/restart content server on server B to force it to re-index (or whatever) any new content
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:57 PM   #25
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I run Calibre from three different computers and I have no problem. But then, I am the only one access the databases.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:35 PM   #26
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Google drive is not a filesystem, it's an abomination. And you can run the server and the GUI at the same time as long as you run the server from within the GUI.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DickD View Post
FWIW, it looks like the key to this is a pickle. Specifically it's iterator.pickle.

https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=265864

While the current page and the bookmarks are stored in the epub, they're also stored in iterator.pickle in ...users/{username}/appdata/roaming/calibre/. They are taken from the local location preferentially.

I copied the data from that folder to a folder in the cloud where both PC's could see it and then created an environmental variable CALIBRE_CONFIG_DIRECTORY on both machines pointing there. After reboots (and multiple episodes of correcting poor spelling) it seems to be working.

Fingers crossed.

Thanks again to those who helped me here.
May I ask why you are not just using calibre portable which is specially designed to store all its setting in its folder including bookmarks etc. And would do exactly what you want instead of finding all these workarounds. For me calibre portable works even works on linux mint using wine.
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