Are three copies necessary?

I stopped using "Attach Link to File" and I'm now using "Attach Stored Copy of File". I also moved my data directory off OneDrive and onto a local folder because that is what the Zotero documentation recommends. And I'm using pCloud to sync files (instead of pointing multiple machines to the OneDrive data directory). I'm continuing to use my Zotero account for data sync (no change), though I notice that Zotero still creates .sqlite files in my date directory (why? Isn't data being synced to my Zotero account since that is what I have configured?)

I've taken these actions to hopefully avoid recurring problems with disappearing link targets. Everything seems to be working fine, but it occurs to me that now there are a minimum of 3 copies of each pdf -- the original, the one that gets created in the local Zotero data directory, and the one that syncs to pCloud, plus additional copies when I sync other machines.

Is this as expected, or am I doing too much here?
  • edited 12 days ago
    though I notice that Zotero still creates .sqlite files in my date directory (why? Isn't data being synced to my Zotero account since that is what I have configured?)
    Zotero is, first and foremost, a local program on your computer that saves data locally. That's just its database. Setting up syncing has no effect on that.
    Everything seems to be working fine, but it occurs to me that now there are a minimum of 3 copies of each pdf -- the original, the one that gets created in the local Zotero data directory, and the one that syncs to pCloud, plus additional copies when I sync other machines.
    If you add a stored file, you would normally just delete it from its original location. There's no reason to keep an extra copy.

    You can use "as needed" file sync mode on other computers if you want to avoid downloading all files preemptively. A future version of Zotero will offer more advanced management of how much local disk space is used to store files that exist on the server.
  • edited 12 days ago
    Thank you. Is there any way to store the local database and the primary local files in separate directories? That would solve the problem of database corruption when using a cloud-synced folder for the pdf's.
  • You can either use linked files or symlink the 'storage' folder to your cloud storage folder. In those cases you wouldn't use WebDAV syncing at all.

    https://www.zotero.org/support/sync#alternative_syncing_solutions
  • But that doesn't separate the database from the files, does it? That is what I was doing originally, and it kept the files and the .mysql database in the same root directory. How can the database and the files be separated in local storage?
  • I'm not really sure what you mean. I explained your options, and they're also explained on the linked page.
  • The documentation says "Storing the Zotero data directory directly in a cloud storage folder is extremely likely to corrupt your Zotero database and should not be done."
    My understanding is that the local data directory always includes both the database and the files. I understand that they can both be synced to different cloud locations, but on the local machine, I have not seen a way to separate them. Is there a way to separate them?
  • The whole point of that section is to explain the various ways to avoid that problem.
  • But it does not say if it is possible (or not) to separate the database and the files. That is my question.
  • Stored files are stored in your Zotero data directory. That's what makes them stored files.

    Again, that page explains your options. If there was some other option I would've told you. If you're not comfortable using symlinks or selective sync, then I guess those options wouldn't apply to you and your only option would be to use linked files instead of stored files, as is also explained there.
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