Sharing the Zotero Database with Live Mesh

Zotero 1.5 promises a fully distributed solution to sharing a single Zotero database across multiple machines. However it is still in preview and I thought to try Live Mesh to provide a similar solution for the current stable 1.0.7 Zotero.

The default position of the Zotero folder is buried deep in the Firefox default profile folder hierarchy and contains the database, zotero.sqlite, its backup copy and the usually large collection of web page snapshots and documents under the ‘storage’ folder hierarchy. After copying the Zotero folder contents I used the Zotero preferences to choose a simpler location:

zoteroprefs

After making sure this is working correctly I right-clicked on the new Zotero folder and added it to Live Mesh with its blue icon for meshed folders:

zoteromesh

On all my other machines using the same Live Mesh account I created the empty Zotero folder, added it to the same synchronised mesh and waited for the automatic synchronisation to occur. When you are confident the sync is complete, change the Zotero preferences to use the newly synched folder.

Now all machines in your mesh will share the same Zotero database and storage files. You just have to be a little careful that synchronisation of the Zotero folder is complete before using it on any of your meshed machines.

Using this method you always have a backup of your Zotero database and storage on your Live Mesh desktop in the cloud which you can access by Live ID from any Internet-connected machine even those outside your mesh. You can also share that same Zotero folder with any number of other people you nominate thus collaborating on building a reference collection.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

One Response to Sharing the Zotero Database with Live Mesh

  1. Pingback: Sharing and synchronising Zotero collections | Libraries Interact

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