[digiKam-users] Moving / Sharing collection between external HD and internal HD

Daniel Bauer linux at daniel-bauer.com
Thu Oct 14 23:44:13 BST 2021

Am 14.10.21 um 03:40 schrieb Warren Baird:
> Hi all,
> I've done a bunch of googling, and have not been able to find any 
> answers for this, so hopefully someone here can help.
> For the past few years I've been using digikam on a laptop (running 
> Linux Mint) to manage a collection on an external HD.   I recently built 
> a desktop PC (also running Linux Mint) that has a big enough internal 
> disk and I'd like to copy the collection from the external drive to the 
> internal drive.
> I found a thread from 2015 talking about moving a collection from one 
> internal disk to another, and it sounds like if you remove the internal 
> disk and add a new disk with the same path, it should 'just work'...  
>   but since it's an external drive I can't figure out how to make that work.
> Any suggestions?
> Ideally in fact, I'd like a way to basically 'share' or 'mirror' the 
> collection between the internal and external drives - if I'm travelling 
> (assuming that ever happens again), I'd like to be able to sync the 
> internal drive with the external drive, use it with my laptop during the 
> trip, and then sync all the changes again after the trip...
> Is there any way to achieve that?
> Thanks in advance!!!
> Warren

Hi Warren,

Just to copy (or faster: rsync) the files from external to internal is 
no problem. Just make an albums-root directory in the new computer and 
point to it in the settings of the new digikam (if you also want to copy 
the database files point to the directory when you want to have them in 
digikam settings). Then copy/rsync and images files/folders to that 
rootalbum-folder and database files to their folder. (digikam closed).

It should already work when you open digikam the next time.


The bigger problem is syncing, and not because of the image files but 
because of the database(s).

To sync the databases you'd need a database-tool according to the type 
of database you use, and I am not aware that something like this exists 
- it would be a quite complicated tool as it not only would have to sync 
the database entries but also check if the files of the changed entries 
really exist/are removed at/from the given location and many things more.

But you can always add/remove files in the digikam-album while digikam 
is not running, and then let it check the files at start-up (takes some 
time). So you can rsync (with --delete option) the up-to-date-albums to 
the external disk or laptop and reverse.

Of course you will only have tags etc., if you decide to write those 
things into the image files themselves and/or sidecar files.

Always think about backups before doing things like that. It can fastly 
happen that you "update" the newer version to the older instead of the 
reverse. So be careful :-)

It is quite a bit of work and good planning, I don't do it :-) I only 
save the new images in the laptops digikam. At home I simply copy them 
to the desktop.

(I do take some "important" images with me on an external disk. If I 
need one I copy it to the laptop and change size/crop to the given use, 
but I don't change the "desktop-file" on my laptop, so there is nothing 
to sync in my case)
Daniel Bauer photographer Basel Málaga

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