Saving bases

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Revision as of 23:24, 10 February 2017 by Henri83 (Talk | contribs) (Archiving a V7 base)

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This article explains how to save a GeneWeb base using command line tools. The same operations are also accessible through the web based interface gwsetup.

Storage devices are not 100% failsafe, and one should maintain multiple archives on separate devices. It may also be prudent to maintain inetrmediate versions of a base, allowing fallback to an earlier version in case of severe modification problems. Lastly, the .gw save format is a clean and sure mechanism to exchange bases between GeneWeb users (GEDCOM is also available but not with 100% compatibility).

A simple mechanism to archive a base is to make a copy of the base.gwb folder. A better mechanism is to produce a textual file using the .gw format.

To create an archive for base toto, use the gwu command and archive the resulting output:

gwu toto >

Or using option -o for gwu :

gwu toto -o

You may select any name of your choice, provided you keep the extension .gw. For safe archival, make multiple copies of the file, on multiple devices.

Using the .gw file format has many avantages :

  • simpliciy : a single file when the base folder contains multiple files (note forum and update history are not preserved through a .gw file) ;
  • economy : a .gw source file is quite smaller that the corresponding folder ;
  • compatibiliy : the .gw format maintains compatibility with future versions of GeneWeb ;
  • accessibiliy : the .gw is a human readable format, and allows for global editing or difference detection
(using a command such as diff under Unix/Linux/OSX)

To restaure base toto from, use the gwc command:

gwc -o toto

Archiving a V7 base

With the new folder organisation proposed by GeneWeb V7, it becomes possible to archive an entire base (content, images, documents, personnalisation) with traditionnal archiving tools such as tar, zip or rar. Remember nonetheless that such an archive is "attached" to a specific version of the GeneWeb execution software! As such, for a more permanent version independant archive, the .gw format remains the preferred solution.


In the .gw file created by gwu some orphan information is not saved:

  • Isolated persons, that is which have no family and are not part of any family.
Such persons may appear as witness of another person subsequently deleted.
  • A Linked page (created with the WikiText syntax, or with the command m=NOTES;f=linked_page) will not be saved if it is not referenced in the notes section of a person, or in another linked page.
  • Should gwu stop with Uncaught exception: Invalid_argument("index out of bounds"), add the -mem parameter (seen with 5.02 on Ubuntu)

GeneWeb Manual

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Use and manage genealogical databases

Technical annex