Two different versions on one system?

Currently I run Darktable stable 2.6.2 on Ubuntu 18.04 and would like to try out a development version 2.7 without touching my current installation.

Coming from Windows I first thought of a portable app where I just start a binary and that’s all. But on Linux I am not familiar with such possibilities. After a quick search on the web I found ‘Appimage’ but I’m not capable of creating such an image.

I am not using a database for my images, just the XMP files.

Anyone got an idea how I can achieve this?

  1. your darktable will still use the database. but you can just tell it to use a different config directory for the master snapshot
  2. currently we have no packages that allow parallel installation. might be worth looking into for the master snapshots. but no promise.
  3. personally I have been using master for like 2 years now without big issues

With ‘master snapshot’ you mean this package?

As far as I understand I should

  • backup the config folder from 2.6.2
  • Uninstall 2.6.2
  • Install 2.7.0

With 2.7 I won’t work on older XMP or RAW files, only on test files.
If I would have the need to switch back to 2.6.2 I would

  • Uninstall 2.7
  • Install 2.6.2
  • Restore my old config folder from backup

Would this way work?


It should be easy to do this with a flatpak. Change the source to the got repo and supply the shasum.

I wonder if the unstable builds and the codebase itself should default to a different config directory anyway, e.g. .config/darktable-dev, to make it less easy to mess up the production database with experiments. Also, .xmp-dev files could be the default instead of .xmp. Only release builds (including candidates) would use the regular db and file extension then.

You have PM :slight_smile:

Highly error prone but if you want to shoot yourself in the foot… :slight_smile:

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