Is it possible to recover from a normal file backup?

I am using Joplin desktop version 1.7.11 (prod, linux) on Ubuntu 18.04.6

I attempted (unsuccessfully) to get Joplin Cloud working by installing the latest version of Joplin (v2.4.9) in the Ubuntu repository. This resulted in the loss of all of my notes.

I have a backup that includes all files (hidden and otherwise) under my $HOME directory, which I made just prior to upgrading Joplin, but I can find no instructions regarding which files should be replaced in order to restore my previous notes. I also have no idea whether the data for the old version is compatible with the newer one.

I have not yet used any type of synchronization or encryption, so I can't imagine that all of my Joplin notes are now irretrievably lost. Does anyone have any pointers regarding restoration before I start randomly replacing files to see what works?


Ok. So apparently no one should install or upgrade Joplin from the Ubuntu Software store. It is necessary to run the shell script documented on the help page.

After restoring all Joplin-related files from my backup, I was able to run the script to upgrade without blowing away my data.

This is great software that fills an important niche, and the level of documentation and user support is above and beyond for an Open Source GitHub project, but non-technical customers who download the IOS app and pay for the Joplin Cloud service are going to expect things to work more seamlessly and with less effort.

The number of forum posts where people have lost their note data is a bit disconcerting and has me worried that I'm going to end up regretting trying to sync my desktop notes with my mobile devices.

I hope this feedback is useful.
I will now continue with my attempt to get Joplin Cloud (with encryption) working on my mobile devices...

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The Joplin Desktop in the Ubuntu app store is a snap that use its own databases in a different location than the AppImage. Installing the snap doesn't touch the data in $HOME/.local/joplin-desktop, which is the usual location. It uses $HOME/snap/joplin-desktop/current/.local/joplin-desktop. This is because snaps are intended to be sandboxed applications with limited access to the system, even to the extent that viewing the top level hidden folders in $HOME is considered privileged.

So while I have to apologise for giving you this fright, there wasn't any dataloss involved. The snap couldn't touch the original Joplin folders if it wanted to, it'd have to go through security reviews by Canonical first to be granted permission. And while in theory this is sometimes granted, the policy is still usually read-only access, where I'd be able to import from the AppImage but still never actually modify it, so the profile would end up in $HOME/snap regardless.

Overall, there is thousands of people using the snap, and this is only the second time someone has wished that the databases were synchronised. Since it opens a lot of subtle complexities, it's honestly something I'd rather avoid. People could manually import their databases by the synchronisation built into Joplin, the exports built into Joplin, or just copying and pasting manually from one folder to the other. In reality though, I think peope using the AppImage tend to just keep using the AppImage, and people using the snap just keep using the snap, people swapping from one to the other on the same system doesn't seem particularly common IMO.

So I apologise for the bad interaction, but as far as dataloss goes, this wasn't a case of one :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback, however remember that since it's a support forum you'll logically find that 90% of posts here are about things not working. That does not mean that 90% of users are having problems - in fact, based on the few numbers I have this is far from the case. There's like a silent majority for whom everything works well and you won't hear about them.

Joplin being available on many platforms, via many distribution channels, and able to synchronise with many different servers, you're bound to found some edge cases here and there. The best we can do is provide good documentation and support here.

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