RM9 - Shareable drive from a master repository?

Using MyRootsMagic to publish a website of my database has limitations, particularly size and only thumbnails of the photos.

Using RM9 to produce html pages for a website that I would host somewhere has the difficulty of hosting and limitations to downloading.

Using a shareable drive solves those problems, but it is not very convenient for frequent updates. I have quite a few recipients, mostly located in other countries, so mail service isn’t great.

What I really would like is to be able to upload the ability to read my file and have the full media available – exactly what is provided on a shareable drive. But, instead of ME producing and mailing the drive, I’d like to be able to have the contents available to my readers for THEM to be able to download.

I note that once I produce a shareable drive, I can copy the contents [RM9 in readable form plus Media] by using burning software in order to produce a CD or DVD disc.

I am thinking that I should be able to upload the contents of a shareable drive to a cloud location. I personally use Proton Mail, and have a ProtonDrive available to which I can upload files. Users can be granted protected access to those files and thus be able to download them. If this is workable, then whenever I update the database all I would need to do is produce one shareable drive, load it up to my ProtonDrive location, and notify my readers to download the update.

Before I spend time experimenting with this approach, I am wondering if some of you more technologically-capable RM9 users have any thoughts about this? In particular, is it preferable or best to zip the materials from the shareable drive so that a single file is uploaded by me and downloaded by my readers? [A zipped file would, of course, maintain the file and directory structure of the original shareable drive.] Or, would I just maintain the directory and file structure from the shareable drive on the cloud ProtonDrive to which I upload the material?

The shareable drive you create will run only on computers having a compatible operating system. If you’re on Windows, your recipients can’t use it on their Macs and vice-versa. So I would suggest you upload a RM Backup (with the media option) to your cloud folder. The .rmbackup file is, after all, just a zip file whose name extension has been changed. The recipients then download your backup file and run File>Restore from Backup on it using their OS-appropriate version of RM already installed on their computer.

After restoring, they may need to run the Fix Broken Links tool for Media although this is unlikely because the path to the media (all in one folder) is relative to the database file (in the media folder under the database’s folder. And cross-platform transfers should run the Database Tool Rebuild Indexes after restoring because there is a difference between the RMNOCASE collation sequence as implemented in Mac and Windows.

That should simplify the procedure at your end to backup and upload and that could be simplified even further by backing up to a shared folder. Each backup file can have the date in its title or you could overwrite the previous backup leaving only the one file in the folder. No need to invoke the creation of the shareable drive.

For the recipients, maybe it’s a bit more complicated than downloading and running the shareable drive because they will need to install RM but the learning curve to using the free Essentials versus the shareable version (I think it is just a portable Essentials) is pretty much the same. However, it is inclusive of users of both MacOS and Windows. And those users who are keen to get more features can buy a licence. The one reservation might be if media links are broken in the process because the Fix tool is not activated in Essentials, iirc.

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Hi djones

There are a lot of challenge when you want to share full experience with others. Another challenge is when you have a lot of media. Many websites have a smaller limits of file space. Unfortunately the current version of RM does not include media in HTML/website. GEDSITE might be worth considering – its relate lively easy to use and very quick compared to most other HTML creators I have used. There are a few small learning curves – but the developer and Google group are very helpful should you run into any challenges.

The media database does actually have have the potential for URLs, but that is not used anywhere with RM UI. Since you do know the filename --you could potentially rewrite things to cloud space -assuming the filenames keptsame name and path structure from root path. I would check on TNG – its little more on the setup side of things - but its dynamic vs static (https://tngsitebuilding.com/) You install updates via GEDCOM and FTP the media files to do the updates. Sample here Pedigree Chart for Janet Elaine Weech: Darrin and Andrea Lythgoe's Genealogy Pages

I use Dropbox in exactly the manner you describe. I can place a bunch of files and subfolders in a folder and then share the address of that folder in such a way that I can email it as a URL. I have a paid subscription to Dropbox, but there is a free subscription that might (or might not!) have enough space for your needs. You can replace the contents of the folder with with a new version of the data and your correspondents can see the new data using the same URL. The only way the URL goes bad is if you delete the shared folder and then recreate it. In that case, you would have to get a new URL from Dropbox because this the folder is now a new folder.

As an example, you could use RM’s feature to create an HTML Web site and share it with Dropbox. As another example, you could create a “shareable drive” in a folder that you share with Dropbox.

Thanks, Tom. At least for the moment, I’m hoping to avoid a solution whereby my readers have to acquire install RM9 to their systems. That’s one reason that attracted me to the “shareable drive” approach - they get a read-only version of RM9 so I don’t have to worry about any acquisition / install problems, like media links.

However, I do see the problem of the shareable drive being OS-specific, so I have to deal with that issue even if I want to pursue the “shareable drive” approach. I work in the Windows environment, and notice that when I did my upload/download tests, the shareable drive that was created included a batch file “Launch RootsMagic9(Windows).bat”. I also know there is a corresponding “Launch RootsMagic9.(Apple).bat” file. But I doubt that it would be as simple as finding out how to include the…(Apple) bat file along with the …(Windows) file.

So, I may well have to move on to your suggestion, which I really appreciate.

Thanks again!


Hi kevync1985:

Thanks for taking the time to help… much appreciated! If I can’t get my “shareable drive” approach to work, I’ll certainly start to dig into TNG. I have about 360 media files - not horrendous, but I’d have to see if TNG handles that many, along with the usual website hosting issues.


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Thanks for your usual cogent reply! Much appreciated!

I have now tested a “shareable drive” by producing one, uploading it to my ProtonDrive, getting the link, downloading it back to my desktop and running it from both the hard drive and another removable drive… both worked just fine. So, I’ll probably continue to try to finalize with the direct “shareable drive” solution rather than creating an html website to run through the cloud upload/download.

That leaves me with one possible issue, which I’m not sure your note addresses. You mention that you use this cloud approach… but don’t specify which OS you work in. My Desktop, from which I originate and return to with the :“shareable drive” material is Windows, so the “shareable drive” includes a batch file - "Launch RootsMagic9(Windows).bat. And that does take me right into the CMD line and does launch the attached read-only of RM9.

It seems to me that the “shareable drive” materials in going up to my ProtonDrive and back down are independent of the OS. Dare I hope that the solution to make the same “shareable drive” materials available to Apple readers is as simple of finding out how to locate and include in the upload the related batch file "Launch RootsMagic9(Apple).bat? Somewhere earlier in my testing, I saw a “shareable drive” configuration that had the RootsMagic folder and BOTH the (Windows) and (Apple) .bat files. But, since I began testing in earnest, I have only seen a (Windows) .bat file.

Anyway, thanks again for y our help!


TNG can easily handle over 10K of media / 20 K in links
You could even install WAMP (or similar mini local PHP/MySql server) on a shared drive then install TNG on a flash drive as a workaround.
You could probably even redirect media paths to cloud storage (not sure off the top of my head).


Cools that is a great idea - never thought of using drop box in that way. There is also a way to create a drive based on shared folder in Onedrive but I never explored that option.

In other posts/forums RM Support has stated that Sharedable CDs are OS specific, ie Win Sharable CDs must be made on a Win OS and MAC Sharable CDs must be made on a Mac. Apparently, certain OS specific functionality is linked into the Shareable executable and will not run on any other OS.

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I know cds and dad's, as well as other removable would be OS-specific... it's a function of how they are produced by each system. But the underlying files transmitted via cloud storage should not be until the recipient produces them after download to their drive. 

I do wish the HTML website included media better (and more of it).

Yes, and/or the MyRootsMagic sites.

Unlikely – since its free and limited to ~200 mb - -my RM file is over 100mb without media.

Tom, this is looking more like the way I’m going to have to approach this. I’m going to run some tests to see if the backup/restore does break the media links… at least, tests in my Windows environment. I don’t have or use Mac…

Thanks again for the good idea.

I have taken it a stage further.

Yes, I created the shareable drive and the RM file does have all linked files, images etc.

Then added a lot of additional folders into which images, word docs, pdf files, video’s etc were placed.

In these folders together is a Gedcom file, a ReadMe text file explaining how the file is intended to be used is in the root of the USB drive, the ReadMe file incudes a suggestion to make a full copy of the USB drive and to save it securely.

Scanned copies of all certificates and screen shots of census returns etc are in the folders.

All images are in their own folder and separately indexed.

So two completely separate systems on one USB drive.

This way it is a “Belt and Braces” approach where the USB drives can be given to each Cousin and Offspring

Thanks for your response! Much appreciated.

I gather that you must have the ability to produce both Windows and Mac material?