Using gPrime with Gramps

To use gPrime with Gramps, there are points that one should know.

gPrime is centered around the idea of a “site.” A site in gPrime terminology is composed of:

  1. a family tree database
  2. a media directory
  3. a set of user directories

The gPrime database is similar, but not identical to the DB-API Gramps database coming out in Gramps 5.0. So, the best mode of operation is to export your data out of Gramps (using the Gramps XML format) and import that into gPrime. By default, gPrime uses a sqlite database, but you can use any DB-API compliant database (including postgresql, and mysql). The database lives in SITE-DIR/database/ and has a few other files there.

When migrating your genealogy information into and out of gPrime from Gramps, you should always use the Gramps XML format. However, you can use GEDCOM if needed, but gPrime and Gramps can lose some information when going to GEDCOM. For the moment, gPrime and Gramps have exactly the same data models, or schema. However, that could diverge in the future. For example, gPrime will probably add a property on Person to indicate whether or not that they are “probably alive.” This is a useful value, and one that Gramps computes on the fly. This is a possibly expensive cost that can be avoided. As gPrime is designed for very large data files, this is important. The “probably alive” status is useful when exposing your data to others and you want to protect information of living people.

The media directory is designed to be the location for all of the media in gPrime. If you import a family tree, you may have used an absolute path, and those media will continue to be found. If you used a relative path, then you may need to do some copying. The media directory is located in SITE-DIR/media. A cache folder will be created there to save generated images. This is managed by the IIIF Image Server.


[UPDATE: as of Jan 12, 2017, gPrime will now automatically attempt to copy media into the media directory. To prevent this attempt, use the –import-media=False flag.]

A set of folders is created for each gPrime “user”. This is so that you can manage the people who have access to your data, and so that each of those people can have their own personal settings (such as theme, report options, etc.)

So, gPrime doesn’t have the ability to create a new family tree, or to switch between them. It could allow making/switching between trees, but that creates complications in managing access. However, many of the reasons why one may have created other family trees in Gramps may be seen as unnecessary with gPrime. For example, the goal is to be able to quickly and effectively create subsets of your data without having to resort to completely different databases. This will be exploited in gPrime 2.0 with the addition of a rich user interface.

Of course, you can still have multiple family trees. But each one will be a different site. In the future, gPrime could serve many sites in a single login. For now, each site requires its own url, users/passwords, and media. Sharing media is of course possible, by just sharing those folders with links. Or, you can just access different sites, one at a time.

Each site is served via a URL. If you are running locally, that doesn’t matter at all. But if you are hosting your family tree with gPrime, then you might want/need to customize your URL. For example, you might need for it to be serve at The “/smiths” is set in gPrime using the –prefix flag.


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