I am migrating from Windows version of Gramps (AIO 4.2.1) to Linux (Debian Stretch, manually installed 5.0.1 deb file), but cannot read the BDDB as it complains that the database has version 6,0,30 and the application is using 5,3,28 (older). Which is weird for me as the Gramps 4.2.1 is maybe three years old all-in-one Windows installation and the 5.0.1 is brand new one.

I have some backups (gpkg files), but not the latest - and it looks I cannot start the Windows anymore. Is there a way how to load the tree in to the latest Gramps?

1 Answer 1


TL;DR export your family tree in XML format in windows version and import it in new family tree in linux version.

I quoted this from gramps bugtracker where I reported this 'feature' 2 years ago, the answer was:

To use databases like that you need to have same version of db library and their python binding on both system or they can be of newer version on new system and gramps will try to upgrade them.

Your windows version of gramps had pybsddb-6.1.0 and db-6.0.30, your linux version have pybsddb-6.1.0 and db-5.3.28 For things to work you need linux db of same version as windows one or greater in which case gramps will upgrade database.

Gramps uses both libraries from system so they can change anytime you upgrade your system, except with windows and mac bundle which contain their own version of those libraries.

Unless you know how to build and install them locally you must export your family tree in XML format in windows version and import it in new family tree in linux version.


In the ensuing conversation, you also have some insight on how to update the db on linux but I think I did the windows XML export in the end (but that was before version 5 was released).

  • Thanks a lot. I've made the XML export from win version of BDDB and then successfull import to Linux one. The package was about 4GB file (with media) and all is ok on Linux. Unbelievable.
    – Martin
    May 27, 2019 at 11:00
  • Glad it worked for you too! FYI in version 5 they have put some automatic xml backup feature.
    – wotter
    May 28, 2019 at 15:56

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