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

Daniel Bauer linux at daniel-bauer.com
Sat Oct 16 13:00:06 BST 2021

Am 16.10.21 um 04:44 schrieb Warren Baird:
> On Thu, 14 Oct 2021 at 18:44, Daniel Bauer <linux at daniel-bauer.com 
> <mailto:linux at daniel-bauer.com>> wrote:

>     Am 14.10.21 um 03:40 schrieb Warren Baird:
>     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.
> Hi Daniel,
> Thanks for your advice - that seems to have worked!   But I have to 
> admit I'm not entirely sure how my metadata was preserved...   I was 
> expecting to have to do some kind of mapping telling digikam that the 
> old path (/media/warren/seagate/...) should map to the new path 
> (/data/...)   is the metadata just associated with a relative path 
> compared to the root of the 'album' or something?

(I am talking about the SQLite version)

As much as I know, there are root-album(s) defined in the database that 
point to the album-root-directory/directories on a specific device with 
its ID. So this album-root must be set in digikam settings.

All other albums are relative paths to that root-album.

Each image has a database entry that also points to the album in which 
it is saved (the relative one). Then there are several tables with 
image-data, tags and things like that, that point to that image.

So as much as I know all data, except the root-album, is relative and it 
is enough to change the root-album to make working all other data.

(Please make backups before any tests and maybe wait if somebody knows 
better, I am a user not a developer...)

> I think your proposal for syncing is more complex than I need - I won't 
> be making updates to both systems and need to merge them - what I'd like 
> to be able to do is rsync my internal drive to the external drive, copy 
> my digikam db to my laptop, and then for a week or two be able to add 
> new photos to the external drive, tag them, etc. - then when I get back 
> home, rsync the photos from the external drive to the internal drive on 
> my desktop, copy the digikam db to my desktop and then have the new 
> photos and metadata available on my desktop.
> it seems to me that since the bulk copy I just did worked, then I might 
> be able to just do what I describe above and have it work also...
> Do you think that's likely to work?

I think it should work. But, of course, it's always a lot of rsyncing 
and making sure to do it in the right direction and changing the 
root-album in the copied database in digikam settings of the new device.

So, sorry for repeating, backups are essential also in this case.

I personally have much too much data to copy to the laptop, there's not 
enough space... Furthermore I don't do real editing on the laptop 
because of the different colors of the laptop screen. So, as said, I 
just save the new images to digikam on the laptop when traveling (mainly 
to have a comfortable look at them, maybe do some selection or to use an 
unedited copy for some blog etc.) and then simply rsync the new 
directories to my desktops digikam-root-album when back.

As I don't use tags etc. on the laptop, for me it's an easy task, the 
desktops database gets updated automatically with the new images and I 
have no need to copy the database etc.

But, of course, that's a different approach, because I do all the 
editing, comments, tagging etc. when back home on the desktops screen only.
Daniel Bauer photographer Basel Málaga

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