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Old 02-13-2019, 09:19 AM   #1
coneheadZombie
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A question about backingup Calibre library.

Guys im thinking of backing up my Calibre library, but then in the library there are files like Cover ad metadata.opf , so my question is that should i backup these files too or just the .epub ?

Also is there any other better or correct way to backup the library ?
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coneheadZombie View Post
Guys im thinking of backing up my Calibre library, but then in the library there are files like Cover ad metadata.opf , so my question is that should i backup these files too or just the .epub ?

Also is there any other better or correct way to backup the library ?
I use the export/import library function to do backups.

bernie
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:13 AM   #3
coneheadZombie
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I use the export/import library function to do backups.

bernie
I tried the export function but it doesnt allow me to access ebook individually.

So im trying to backup all the books onto Mega , its just that i dont want to backup any unnecessary files.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:41 AM   #4
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I don't think the export function exports any "unnecessary" files, at least if you want to be able to import the backup into a fresh version of calibre.

Perhaps, if you just want the book files (but why?), you should look at the save to disk functions.
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coneheadZombie View Post
I tried the export function but it doesnt allow me to access ebook individually.

So im trying to backup all the books onto Mega , its just that i dont want to backup any unnecessary files.
Unnecessary?
They are All NECESSARY if you are doing a RESTORE (OK, the metadata.OPF is not, but it is tiny).
The vovers and metadata you got (downloaded) today, may not be what you find next week.
I documented my (900+) paper Library. In many cases, the downloadable COVERS DID NOT MATCH WHAT WAS ON MY BOOKS.I spent many hours hovering over a FlatBed scanner, getting a 'proper' cover into Calibre. Backups are and absolute, in cases like this
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:31 PM   #6
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The import/export option is the right way to do a backup. In the past, I just dragged a copy of the library to an external hard drive, and that worked, but then it doesn't save any of the features you added. Perfectly fine if you were having some sort of problem with your Calibre install, but way more work then needed otherwise especially if you are operating Calibre on two computers - you typically want the same preferences.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:51 PM   #7
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The export/import method is the easiest way to do a complete backup of your library. If you end up wanting to restore it, you have to restore the whole thing though. Is your concern the ability to restore individual books?

Another way you could do it is to create a new empty library (make sure you tick the box saying to use the current library's structure) in a backup location. Then go into your original library, select all your books, right click and choose "copy to library" and send them to your new backup library.

Restoring is just a question of selecting books in the backup library and copying them to the original.

Having just tried this myself I should say that if you're not careful you end up with duplicates. If say you did a dodgy edit on a book and you wanted to restore a good copy from the backup you should delete the faulty one first otherwise you end up with two copies.

So the nice thing about this method is that you have some granularity that's at a lower level than the whole library without manually copying files yourself - so Calibre is updating the database, copying not just the book but the cover file and so on.

The downside is the duplicates and the fact it takes a few more clicks to do.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:00 PM   #8
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Paul
Restore is selective (same as Export).
You can choose which Libraries (for those of us with more than 1. Note:the libraries must be linked on the switch list to be offered) and/or the settings
But you are correct. There is not a single book mode
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarana View Post
The import/export option is the right way to do a backup. In the past, I just dragged a copy of the library to an external hard drive, and that worked, but then it doesn't save any of the features you added. Perfectly fine if you were having some sort of problem with your Calibre install, but way more work then needed otherwise especially if you are operating Calibre on two computers - you typically want the same preferences.
You can save the preferences, plugins etc. by copying the configuration folder in addition to the library folder. That's what I've always done.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:50 PM   #10
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The import/export option is the right way to do a backup.
Not quite, Export/import was implemented to answer this question: FAQ: How do I move my calibre data from one computer to another?. On the other hand there is the following FAQ: How do I backup calibre?

Export backs up entire libraries, which can take a considerable length of time, even to a locally connected USB 3.0 HDD. This discourages frequent backups; so, when you have to restore from backup you have the problem of remembering what you did since the Export. Other downsides are a) you can't recover an individual book or format file, b) it uses a calibre specific format, so if for some reason you can't run calibre you can't access the library.

I recommend using a file synchronization tool (Wikipedia) to maintain a one-way mirror of your libraries and configuration data. These tools only copy what's changed since the last time you did a backup. After the first use subsequent backups are quick, which encourages frequent use (e.g daily). Because the backup is mirror of the library you can access it with your file manager to restore an item by re-adding it to via calibre. And because it's a mirror of the library you can even have calibre connect to it in the event of a catastrophic hardware failure.

Some of the tools other calibre users have mentioned in the past are FreeFileSynch, SyncToy, rsynch, Resilio, and GoodSynch.

BR
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:57 PM   #11
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The tangential discussion about backups and system restore has been moved to https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=315219

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Old 02-14-2019, 09:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post

Export backs up entire libraries, which can take a considerable length of time, even to a locally connected USB 3.0 HDD. This discourages frequent backups; so, when you have to restore from backup you have the problem of remembering what you did since the Export. Other downsides are a) you can't recover an individual book or format file, b) it uses a calibre specific format, so if for some reason you can't run calibre you can't access the library.

I recommend using a file synchronization tool (Wikipedia) to maintain a one-way mirror of your libraries and configuration data. These tools only copy what's changed since the last time you did a backup. After the first use subsequent backups are quick, which encourages frequent use (e.g daily). Because the backup is mirror of the library you can access it with your file manager to restore an item by re-adding it to via calibre. And because it's a mirror of the library you can even have calibre connect to it in the event of a catastrophic hardware failure.


BR
Everyone thanks for replying.

Its as BetterRed said, Backup function creates a single file which is too large for me to upload and download from cloud drive evertime.
Also if i would access single files online then it could make sharing them really easy.
So that is why i was thinking of backing up the library folder using FileSync program of Mega.nz.

Anyway, what i wanted to know was are the cover.jpg and metadata.opf file really necessary or should i just upload the epub file ?
If i ever restore the whole library in the future will i need the opf file ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
You can save the preferences, plugins etc. by copying the configuration folder in addition to the library folder. That's what I've always done.
Config folder ? i didint see any config folder in the install location.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by coneheadZombie View Post
Config folder ? i didint see any config folder in the install location.
Preferences --> Miscellanous --> Open calibre configuration directory. Usually it's in User/AppData/Roaming. Copy the whole folder named "calibre". When installing Calibre on a new computer, paste the config folder to a similar location.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:33 PM   #14
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<snip>

So that is why i was thinking of backing up the library folder using FileSync program of Mega.nz.
Make sure Mega.nz's FileSync doesn't tamper with the backup copies, some cloud services, notably Google Drive, alter folder names which can create problems if you have to do a restore (which is why we do backups). And it precludes using the backup copy as a calibre library because the database and the library folder names no longer match. And at least one of the cloud services, I can't recall which one, writes hidden files in the source folders!!

And don't synch while calibre is running, see I am getting errors with my calibre library on a networked drive/NAS?.

Quote:
Do not put your calibre library on a networked drive.
A cloud storage service is the equivalent of a network drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coneheadZombie View Post
Anyway, what i wanted to know was are the cover.jpg and metadata.opf file really necessary or should i just upload the epub file ?
If i ever restore the whole library in the future will i need the opf file ?
Why do we backups? So we can do restores when something goes wrong.

What is our state of mind when something goes wrong? In a word, frazzled?

What can we do to calm a frazzled mind? KISS

Because you're doing a differential backup the time saved by not copying covers and opf files will be minuscule, and the space saved isn't that much.

I would also suggest you also keep a local backup on an external drive. Telco's, ISPs, CSPs etc do go out-of-service, or even go out-of-business. A 1TB WD HDD drive costs about USD$50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coneheadZombie View Post
Config folder ? i didint see any config folder in the install location.
Sirtel has told you how to find it.

You can relocate the config folder using the CALIBRE_CONFIG_DIRECTORY Environment variable, I have mine in the same folder as my libraries; hence it gets backed up in the same job. See ==>> Environment variables.

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 02-14-2019 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coneheadZombie View Post
So that is why i was thinking of backing up the library folder using FileSync program of Mega.nz.

Anyway, what i wanted to know was are the cover.jpg and metadata.opf file really necessary or should i just upload the epub file ?
If i ever restore the whole library in the future will i need the opf file ?
Not sure if I'd recommend Mega for Calibre library backups. Aren't they more like MediaFire or something?

I think the service is more suited for exports via Save to disk (with updated metadata and cover already embedded inside the EPUB) than a Calibre library mirror.
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