Coexistence of Zotero in Linux and Windows virtual machine

edited September 20, 2017
Hello, I work in a Linux environment, and I have Windows as a virtual machine (VM).

So I have Zotero 5.0 in Linux, which I use for storing and managing my bibliography. But, for writing I need to use Word instead of LibreOffice.

1) In principle I don't need Zotero Standalone in Windows, as all the process of adding new articles etc, I do in Linux. So I was wondering if the Word plugin in the VM can be linked to the Zotero in Linux, or to the folder where the library is, so it can work without the need of installing Zotero in the VM.

2) If not, I guess I would need to install Zotero for windows in the VM. But in that case, can both Zoteros use the same folder for storing the library, so the bibliography is always the same in both versions? Won't that be dangerous (both version changing files at the same time)? Or should I better create a copy of the library, and have each Zotero working in different folders; and use sync for update the library in windows from the one in Linux. I have to note that I don't need to have the pdfs files in the windows version (as I have it in the Linux one), but only the bibliographic info necessary for the word plugin to work.

I want to prevent problems arising from having both Zoteros. Any idea of what to do in these cases? problems that can appear, or things I should avoid?

  • People have had luck with Word on Wine. Note that we don't provide official support for this. Otherwise you shouldn't run multiple instances of Zotero off the same library (and Zotero won't let you either), but you could use the same database if you only had Zotero open in the VM or in Linux. If you want to be able to capture items and cite at the same time, then your best option is using sync and running a separate database in the VM, which should work without any problems.
  • I used to run Zotero in a Windows VM using a database stored on the Mac host system. Even though I was careful to avoid ever opening Zotero in both systems at once, I still experienced frequent corruption issues. I wouldn’t recommend this setup. Instead, I recommend keeping a second database in the VM and syncing. You can set the VM library to not download attachments so that you don’t duplicate any space there.
  • Thank you very much. I will go with the option of having a second database in the VM.
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