Working with profiles in zotero standalone

Hi Everyone,

Three questions:

1) I've seen a few posts that say you can create a second profile with zotero by passing either the -p or -profilemanager on the command line when you start zotero. However when I try launching zotero standalone with either option I don't see the profile manager and I am launched into my default profile. So the question is how do you create a second profile in zotero standalone?

2) Assuming I can get a second profile created, is it possible to specify which profile to launch zotero standalone in?

3) Is there a list of commandline options that zotero standalone supports? --help doesn't seem to list anything.

Edit: Sorry I forgot to mention that I am running on Ubuntu and I installed using the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:smathot/cogscinl
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zotero-standalone


  • what exactly are you running? on Ubuntu cd into the directory that contains Zotero and then running
    zotero -profilemanager works for me. If you have multiple profiles, you can set profile manager up to fire every time or to launch into the selected profile at startup.
  • Hi Adam,

    If I run using:

    $ zotero -profilemanager

    I get the following:

    (process:5127): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_slice_set_config: assertion 'sys_page_size == 0' failed

    And zotero starts normally. I've also created a second profile in firefox using the --profilemanager switch, but I cannot seem to access it in zotero.
  • Hi Adam,

    I've been able to get it to work when I run:

    $ /opt/zotero/zotero --profilemanager

    Any idea why the calling zotero directly didn't work?


  • (the GLib error is normal&inconsequential)
    Could be that the global command somehow doesn't work with flags. I'm not sure how sebastian implemented that (I have --help working to).

    Try actually cding into the directory (~/.local/share/Zotero_linux-x86_64 in my case) and run $ ./zotero -profilemanager
  • ah overlapped -- but as you can tell, no idea, no.
  • Thanks Adam, I figured the Glib error was normal (I've seen similar messages many times) but I just wanted to share it in case it contained any clues.

    For now I can alter my shell scripts to work with /opt/zotero/zotero

    As an aside, I've love to see a --syncronize command line option added.

    Thanks for the help!

  • the flags are all mozilla flags; I wouldn't expect any to be added in the reasonably near future.
  • the flags are all mozilla flags
    We have our own flags (e.g., -ZoteroDebug), but the --synchronize requests don't make sense to me. As I explained to someone else who asked for this, as long as you have auto-sync enabled, Zotero syncs 1) at startup, 2) 15 seconds after changes are made locally, and 3) every hour on idle. Future versions will also sync 4) immediately after changes are made remotely.
  • edited June 16, 2016
    Hi Dan,

    I was the one the asked. The reason for it, is that I was wanted to schedule a synchronize without launching the zotero app.

    Just tell Zotero to synchronize and then exit with a sucess or failure code. It would have fit in well with the centralized automated zotero backup that I am creating. Since there is no human user on this centralized machine no once is actually starting zotero save the backup script.

    Hopefully the request makes more sense in that light.


  • So since Zotero does sync at startup, do I understand correctly that all you're missing is the success/failure message (which you could then use to trigger exit)?
  • Hi Adam,

    Basically yes, if I could do that then my backups could run as one script as opposed to launching zotero and then killing the process two hours later and then performing the back up.

    For my purposes I would be happier if I could do everything from the command line (e.g. script it) in the same way I call 'rsync' or 'cp', wait for the sync to complete and then continue with the backup.

  • Well, you won't need to quit Standalone (in order to start it again) once syncs are triggered immediately on remote changes, which should happen in the not-too-distant future.
  • Hi Dan,

    One of the reasons I quit zotero is so that it's not changing, or deleting, files as I run the backup script.

    Still it would be nice to be able to script it, and tell zotero directly to synchronize when I want it to.

    Thanks for the help.

    Maybe a feature request for the future.
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