Porting a project from MAC OS to Linux

I have a large Scrivener project (.scriv) under Mac OS X, and I also have Scrivener installed on a system running Ubuntu. I would like to port the project from the Mac system to the Ubuntu system. Just copying the .scriv file and trying to open it in the Linux Ubuntu does not work -Scrivener sees it as a directory with individual RTFs and control files rather than as a project. Is there something I can do to properly port this project, as a coherent Scrivener project, between the two systems? It is hard to believe that this would be impossible…

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Mac OSX has a unique file feature called a “bundle” wherein a folder full of related files is displayed as a single file; in this case, a “nnn.scrivx” project file. This is similar to the “nnn.rtfd” file bundle, where an .rtf-format file is bundled into a folder with associated graphic content such as .jpg or .png files. No other OS (Windows or Linux) has or supports this structure.

The answer in Linux or Windows is to open the project folder “bundle” and look for the file ending with the .scrivx extension. Click on that to open it with Scrivener and all will be normal. Be sure NOT to disturb or alter the other files in the folder; they are all essential parts of your Scriv project.

I’ve sometimes made an “alias” or “shortcut” file linked to the .scrivx file in the project folder, and put that someplace convenient for access; this avoids opening the project folder each time, and does not expose the other project files to accidental damage.

Thank you very much for your reply. However, I don’t have a .scrivx file in my bundle. I do have a file called “binder.scrivproj”; when I try to open it with the Linux Scrivener, it seems to think the file is corrupted (it opens just fine on the Mac). Should I be (normally) able to open this file? My Linux system is Ubuntu 15.10; is it possible that Scrivener doesn’t work properly with this release?

It sounds like you are using a very old version of Scrivener, back when there were no plans for it to ever be anything other than a Mac program. Back then the software used file formats optimised for use on a Mac, which are faster than text files but aren’t portable. The format was redesigned completely for Scrivener 2.0 with cross-platform compatibility in mind, using plain XML files for all of the details of the project, and RTF instead of Apple’s RTFD format.

Consequently there is no way to open that project on Windows or Linux… but it should be a simple matter of first opening it in Scrivener 2.7 for Mac (you can download the demo version to do this if need be), let it update the project and copy that one to the Linux machine. Now you should see a much less cluttered .scriv folder, with everything more neatly sorted into subfolders, and one single .scrivx file to load the project with.

Indeed, I installed a somewhat newer Mac version, converted the old project, and now it sports a .scrivx file which opens the project in Linux. Life is beautiful. Thank you both so very much for your help.