On library, libraries and workflow


(Matteo Bertolino) #1

Hi all.

Just a premise; I run a Mac, I don’t know anything about lines, strings and programming, and even almost nothing regarding terminal use. I come from LR.
But I really love darktable!!!
And I am ready to make the final switch, but first I need to solve a few doubts regarding workflow. Hope you can help out.

  1. On library:
    The library with time gets bigger and bigger; now, how can I move the .config folder (or even just the DT library alone) to another external drive and then launch DT which is installed on my machine?

  2. If I want to move and image - or a folder - from one location to another, I do it outside DT, making sure I also move the .xmp file. Then I import again the same folder, to have all the new images displayed and imported. Is this procedure the optimal?
    I guess there is no such tool yet as “synchronise folder”, so that the program simply reads the new images within a given folder, as in LR.

  3. From reading here and there, I understood that there is still no way to create new libraries: correct?
    So I assume you all work with just 1 file_library, no? Where do you store such file, when big? And here I go back to my point 1)
    With LR I used to create a catalogue for each year, and I would like to maintain the same workflow’s structure.

If I manage to overcome these issues I can finally say I moved - for good - from LR to DT.

Many thanks in advance!

(Pascal Obry) #2

1 - without resorting to command line, no solution.

2 - do not do that, move image from within dt, it ensures the database stays synchronized. in the procedure you described one of the picture (previous one) will become a skull as the actual image is not anymore accessible. that’s a wrong procedure and something to shoot yourself in the foot.

3 - correct except if you create script to set proper command line option to use two different library (one personal and one for professional work or one for each client). It gets big but not something you can’t work with. I have more than 50k pictures and the library is around 380Mb. A library for each year is possible (using command line option) but you loose the ability to search across all your pictures. Given that dt can handle very large set of picture without slowdown (that’s not the case for Lr) what’s the point.

Hope this clarify the situation with dt.

(Matteo Bertolino) #4

Yes, thanks, it did help!

Now, and following:

Ok, I will not be moving the library to anywhere else; but then, how to I make a back-up of the library on another drive, do I simply copy and paste the .config folder to another location?
I mean, if my machines breaks down, how do I go back to the library located on another drive?
My guess is the following: your machines breaks down, you make it new again, fresh re-install DT, import again folders with .xmp files: done. Good guess?

How to move folders and files within DT? :slight_smile:

Perfect. 50k of images and 380Mb is very, very reasonable and manageable indeed.

Many thanks. Much appreciated.

(Pascal Obry) #5

Yes, just copy the .config/darktable folder and you are set. Everything is there (db, lua scripts, styles…). You of course also need to backup the pictures.

To move files just select them and do [move] from the [selected images(s)] module. You can then select an existing film-roll or create a new one. The pictures will then be moved into the new film-roll and if the source film-roll is now empty it will be removed. And of course this moves the pictures and XMP and sync the database properly. That’s the safe way to move pictures around.


The location of the library can also be configured in darktablerc.

(Matteo Bertolino) #7

Nice. Would it be too much to ask how?




Change the line starting with database=. By default its value is library.db. Any relative path, i.e., not starting with a /, is treated as relative to the config dir. I am not sure if absolute paths are working on Windows, probably not.
When curious about settings in darktablerc, have a look if your dt installation comes with share/doc/darktable/darktablerc.html. It shows all the default settings, together with a few help messages.