I was using Shotwell on an old computer running 12.04 LTS. Not sure what the Shotwell version was [I've looked since, and it's 0.12.3], but it would have been up-to-date for that OS version. Got a new computer running 13.04 and Shotwell 0.14.1; copied Pictures folder to new computer; copied ~/.shotwell to ~/.local/share/shotwell. It kept all the tags and the images are there but the images don't match the tags (or vice versa) and the images are mostly all distorted like Shotwell is retaining the orientation and/or resolution for the wrong photo.

So, the question is: Is there a way to get the right tags matched back up with the right photos, etc., so that everything is back like it was? Or do I just have to delete the photo.db, let Shotwell re-index everything and start over retagging everything? (sigh)

Shotwell did give me an import log, which pointed out a number of duplicate directories that I'll be able to easily clean up. Nice.

  • This is covered in the official Shotwell FAQ. redmine.yorba.org/projects/shotwell/wiki/ShotwellFAQ
    – MrEricSir
    Sep 4, 2013 at 19:28
  • Yes, well, following their instructions nets me the same results, since it's the same as what I did. I even reloaded the ~/.shotwell folder from the old computer, but no difference. I'll log the issue with yorba and see if they have any advice.
    – Merle Hall
    Sep 5, 2013 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


Jim Nelson responded to my post on yorba which resolved this. My guess is that my not deleting the cache after the first attempt is why I couldn't get any further.


copied ~/.shotwell to ~/.local/share/shotwell.

I would have thought that you should copy ~/.shotwell to ~/.shotwell. If shotwell has an upgrade mechanism, finding its data in the "old" directory and not the new might trigger its upgrade mechanism and do any necessary conversion.

It's worth a try, at least. I must admit to not knowing much about shotwell.

  • Good thought, though I would think it would actually take an upgrade from a previous version on the same machine to trigger it. But I did rename the ~/.local/share/shotwell directory and copy ~/.shotwell to ~/.shotwell and got the same results.
    – Merle Hall
    Sep 3, 2013 at 2:10
  • Also, discovered that renaming the ~/.local/share/shotwell directory doesn't make any difference because shotwell finds and uses it (by copying it back) anyway. I had to completely delete it, but then it doesn't find ~/.shotwell at all. Thanks, anyway.
    – Merle Hall
    Sep 5, 2013 at 4:07

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