That makes sense. Thank you!

doug wrote:
Much your best bet is to save your database in Portable Gramps XML format. Give the .gpkg file a name that records the date it's been made.

Copy the <filename>.gpkg to your laptop.
Then create a new Family Tree and name it <same filename> and Import <filename>.gpkg into that.

That takes care of all your pictures, etc. The only thing you'll need to deal with is where those pictures, etc. are going to be kept: the default suggestion that comes up with the Import isn't usually very convenient; but look up the Wiki (I think) or the archives of this mailing list - the question has come up a number of times.

Why Portable Gramps XML? You can use it on different setups, eg. my desktop is a 32-bit machine running Mandriva Linux 2009.1, my laptop a 64-bit running Mandriva 2008.1 with a somewhat different directory structure and there's no problem keeping the two databases in sync.

Why not simple Gramps XML? It will only work if the new setup you're taking it to has the same structure as the old one. (I stand to be corrected on that)
Doing a backup to an external drive as a straight copy or Gramps XML will be OK so long as you have the original structure intact on your desktop, but if something goes wrong with that your backup may well be useless - again Portable Gramps XML is much safer.
(On your question, what to back up?  If you have a large collection of pictures, etc. you may find you need to take them out of your home directory and put them elsewhere to avoid using up all your allocated home space. Obviously, those would also need to be backed up)

Why use a name for the gpkg file that records the date? If you're at all scrupulous about backing up, you're liable to find yourself inundated with gpkgs and not know which refers to what state of the family tree.



Dave Marshall wrote:
Pictures is one of my concerns. but I was not thinking of pictures, as in photos, when I asked the question. I have jpegs of records, like death certificates, newspaper obituaries and other data that I would like to attach. Since it is jpegs, I guess that would be "pictures". I also have data in the form of transcribed records that I found online at and other websites that I will be copying and pasting into Gramps.

And this brings up another question (I am a Gramps rookie, but have been using Linux for a couple years). On a weekly basis, I copy everything, including hidden folders and files, in my /home/<username>/ folder to an external hard drive for a backup. If the /home/<username>/.gramps/ folder does not contain all of the data, what other folders should I be backing up?

Duncan Lithgow wrote:
2009/10/28 Dave Marshall <>:
I just read the Wiki Manual FAQ topics on the issue of Portable files  I
understand the need to have all of the separate files and subdirectories
under /hone/<username>/.gramps/ I want to copy my Gramps data to my laptop
to take with me the library or visiting family so that I can make updates on
the spot instead of writing notes then entering the data later. I am using
PCLinuxOS-Gnome on both the home computer and laptop. If I copy all of the
files under /hone/<username>/.gramps/ to the laptop then copy it back to the
home computer, will all of my data be intact?

In short, no it won't. You should export your data to a GRAMPS XML
file and import that into an empty database on the other machine. (I
recommend renaming the original as 'backup' and the newly imported one
as 'master' so you don't risk getting confused about which one is the
most up to date.)

If you mean all your pictures etc. as well, then that's a whole
different ballgame.



Dave Marshall N8OAY

N8OAY's Railfan Help Desk

All Ohio Scanner Club


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Dave Marshall N8OAY

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