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Old 07-29-2019, 12:00 PM   #1
Vol4Ever
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Calibre PC versus mobile [Dropbox]

What are differences between the Windows and Portable versions? I like that the portable version installs various subdirectories in common location. Lots of my multimedia "tools" software is put on Dropbox so I can update from anywhere & all my devices update with it. I'm toying with doing same for Calibre. Mainly wondering about personalized settings. I tweak those every now & then, and it's a pain going to each device every time a change is made. I tried installing PC software version to Dropbox, but it apparently stores settings files elsewhere so they don't get synchronized. Haven't dug deep, but probably inside either ProgramData or maybe the registry. At any rate, Windows version doesn't look to be best choice for what I want to do. Would portable do the Dropbox consolidation trick? Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:42 PM   #2
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Yes, portable seems like a good fit for what you want.

There are some things that don't work on the portable version (e.g. Import/Export) but you don't really need that since you can just easily backup/copy the entire Calibre Portable directory (which contains the app, settings and library).
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:50 PM   #3
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There's no need for the portable version. What you propose is more hassle then it's worth and the chance of failure is greater.

Just RAR or ZIP the configuration directory. Copy it the ZIP or RAR to Dropbox. Then you can copy that to each computer and uncompress to the configuration directory. Problem solved. Plus, it just easier.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:59 PM   #4
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There's no need for the portable version. What you propose is more hassle then it's worth and the chance of failure is greater.

Just RAR or ZIP the configuration directory. Copy it the ZIP or RAR to Dropbox. Then you can copy that to each computer and uncompress to the configuration directory. Problem solved. Plus, it just easier.
why even zip it?
my free file sync preset job sends my calibre library to a mirror folder in dropbox, and sends my entire config directory from app data to a different folder in dropbox ( where I backup the config data for various programs)
granted, I don't try to actually RUN the calibre program in dropbox, so I don't need to link the 2 things, but config data can be copied to dropbox just like any other folder.

if i need to setup or update a new PC I can just flip the mirror direction in FFS, so that it mirrors From dropbox To a new PC.

in practice, i have a local dropbox folder on each pc as that is another level of backup
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:34 PM   #5
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why even zip it?
my free file sync preset job sends my calibre library to a mirror folder in dropbox, and sends my entire config directory from app data to a different folder in dropbox ( where I backup the config data for various programs)
granted, I don't try to actually RUN the calibre program in dropbox, so I don't need to link the 2 things, but config data can be copied to dropbox just like any other folder.

if i need to setup or update a new PC I can just flip the mirror direction in FFS, so that it mirrors From dropbox To a new PC.

in practice, i have a local dropbox folder on each pc as that is another level of backup
Because I don't like making a active directory a sync directory, I would much prefer the RAR/ZIP method. One thing that can happen is you can make a mistake and that mistake would the spread to all your copies of Calibre. By doing it as a RAR/ZIP, you still have a chance to have a copy on one of your computers that you can restore should you want to.

And to have your Calibre library on Dropbox is really bad. That can cause your library to have problems. Don't do it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
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On PC install version, where does settings directory reside? I could probably poke around & find it, but obviously some of you guys definitely know what you're doing and can tell me off the top of your head.

Followup question: does said directory also contain installed plugins and their settings as well?
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:11 PM   #7
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On PC install version, where does settings directory reside? I could probably poke around & find it, but obviously some of you guys definitely know what you're doing and can tell me off the top of your head.

Followup question: does said directory also contain installed plugins and their settings as well?
Followup answer: Yes.

To find Calibre's configuration directory, run Calibre. Then go to Preferences > Miscellaneous (under Advanced). Then select Open Calibre configuration directory. Done.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:33 PM   #8
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Thx new friends! I think I can accomplish what I want now without the synchronize headaches I've had up til now.

I have one more file naming template layout question, but I'll put that in another thread later. No rush on it.

Thanks again!

~Vol
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:33 AM   #9
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Followup answer: Yes.

To find Calibre's configuration directory, run Calibre. Then go to Preferences > Miscellaneous (under Advanced). Then select Open Calibre configuration directory. Done.
the default is C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\calibre

its not large, so its easy to backup or to zip.
I have no idea what most of the bits inside do - I treat as a black box and don't dabble

ps I agree with the advice to not have your main library in any cloud solution, but having a mirror / backup there is very useful. it enables 24/7 access without running your library PC for 24/7, and because the dropbox PC app will maintain a a local disc copy wherever it is installed, you have additional auto-updated local backups on other machine(s)

Last edited by stumped; 07-30-2019 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 08-02-2019, 02:15 AM   #10
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And to have your Calibre library on Dropbox is really bad. That can cause your library to have problems. Don't do it.
I concur with JSWolf. Running calibre from Dropbox is not a good idea.

That said, I have run calibre from Dropbox for about 10 years. I am intimately familiar with the quirks, precautions and maintenance required to ensure the library is without errors. But without close observation and maintenance it is easy to lose books and correcting the errors isn't always as intuitive as a user would like.

After all this time the precautions, maintenance and corrective steps required to run calibre from within Dropbox are second nature to me and easily handled. I haven't lost any books in about 9 years, but I don't think it is a good strategy and do not recommend the practice.

Using Dropbox to backup your library is fine but you shouldn't run calibre from within Dropbox.
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Old 08-02-2019, 03:28 AM   #11
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I concur with JSWolf. Running calibre from Dropbox is not a good idea. ..

Using Dropbox to backup your library is fine but you shouldn't run calibre from within Dropbox.
Also there is the horrifying security loophole which I posted about in CC forum
any app that you allow to access dropbox. e.g. moon reader to sync last page read- is awarded full read/write acesss to the entire dropbox.
With the moon+ built-in file explorer, anyone on a lost /stolen device can see all folders and examine all the dropbox content - you may not care about open access to your books - I don't- but to all of dropbox ?
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