Export / Import is not a backup

Xubuntu 18.04, Joplin 1.0.216.

While struggling with fixing my sync I notice that the export I made before the mess started does not seem to contain all notes.

After import to a fresh installation of Joplin I have 736 notes, while in the encrypted folder there are more than 2600 md files.

I suppose that is because Joplin keeps track, not only of notes, but also of completed tasks and deleted notes. So it seems if you need to keep version history the right thing to do is backup the joplin directories.

Lesson learned.

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Export is a backup of the current notes (+tags, metdata, resources).

The additional md files you see are tags, relations, and most likely version history files.

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Then I think @ahpl makes a very valid point in that export to JEX is not a full backup (since note history is not included in the JEX file).

On the other hand I think that note history is not included in syncing either…

Note history is included in sync, but not export. Exported notes are essentially a copy of the notes, so they start with a new history.

If you need to preserve history in your backup, you need to backup the sync directory.

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A nice option would be a function to restart sync (as opposed to changing the sync directory, which may delete notes).

Restart sync is the wrong term because it could be understood incorrectly.

Here are more accurate terms:

  • Re-initiate sync
  • Re-initialize sync
  • Start sync from scratch
  • Overwrite local data
  • Overwrite remote data

In either case, the consequences must be explained properly with a big fat warning!

Something else to note about “export/import as backup/restore”; if you restore by importing from backup, the restored notes don’t retain their original id, they will be assigned new id’s. Ids are internal identifiers, however they are exposed to the user in several contexts. I understand why it works this way technically, however it is something to be aware of.

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