How to access and backup sessions?



  • Does anyone know how to access and backup session data? I found a .bin file for each session in this path: /Users/.../Library/Application Support/Vivaldi/Default/Sessions but they appear to be archives that I can't open.

    I just would like to be able to back up the sessions. If I put these session files into a new install, I bet they wouldn't work, so I need to know either:

    • how to pull the session data out of these .bin files
    • OR how to install these .bin files in a new install of Vivaldi (in case my hard drive croaks)

    Thanks!
    Scott



  • Take a look at "Full Reset of Vivaldi" that contains the location of session files and how to backup them.



  • Thanks, @greench ! So, do I just need to save those .bin files in Sessions directory? In other words, if I did a clean install, could I place those .bin files in the new Sessions directory and instantly restore access to them -- or do I need to back up the entire Vivaldi folder?


  • Moderator

    @scottedwards2000: The files themselves should be enough.



  • @scottedwards2000 I personally think that it would be prudent to backup the entire Vivaldi directory, if possible, for archival purposes to ensure that you can restore Vivaldi into a good state. Nothing says that you have to restore everything when you reinstall.


  • Moderator

    It's certainly easy enough to back up everything. That's what I do.



  • Thanks, @Ayespy and @xyzzy , I'll do that!



  • @scottedwards2000 One other thing that you'll probably also want to securely archive is the password in "Chrome Safe Storage" that's stored in your keychain; you'll need to restore this key value too if you want to maintain access to the archived Vivaldi secure data store.

    Also, after restoring your sessions and prior to relaunching Vivaldi, you'll probably also need to remove the "~/Library/Saved Application State/com.vivaldi.Vivaldi.savedState/" directory. I'm not sure what would happen if macOS's saved state no longer matched Vivaldi's state after you restore your profile and session data.



  • Thanks, @xyzzy - do you know how I could find that in a directory so I could add it to my automatic background program (or using icloud?). This seems like it's getting complicated -- all I really care about is not losing my sessions. Maybe I should just restore those .bin files and be done with it?

    The fact this is so involved makes me wonder what the product roadmap is for sessions. The way I browse, I'll end up with quite a few, and given I switch laptops every few years, I would need to bring those in to the new install.

    Is the vision that there will be a cloud service to do this?

    At a minimum, an official guide to backing up sessions would be nice.

    Thanks again for the help!
    Scott



  • @scottedwards2000 I don't work for Vivaldi so I don't have any knowledge about their product roadmap beyond what they've shared publicly. However, quite a few people have been asking for an easy, reliable way to export/backup and import/restore snapshots of their Vivaldi environments.

    Restoring your session files may be enough. You'll have to test that. However, if you also need to back up (and the hard part, restore) configuration data, extensions, passwords, session state, etc. and get right back to where you were before, that's a challenge. The easiest approach to recover all of that is probably to restore all of the Vivaldi files in ~/Library and transplant the Chrome Safe Storage key value in your keychain. That should work.

    Personally, I only worry about my passwords and bookmarks, and there are (several) browser-agnostic ways to manage that. (I currently use Safari as my base environment.) This way, I can get up and running (and be productive) within minutes on any browser on any operating system on any platform.



  • thanks @xyzzy - good to know others are asking - maybe that means we will eventually at least get an 'official' guide on disaster recovery preparation with Vivaldi, that includes backing up and restoring sessions.

    You're right - favorites and passwords are easily handled with other services, but one reason I'm harping on sessions is that I've been waiting forever for a browser that supports true session saving (where the history of each tab is also saved). None of the tab management addons in Chrome support it (I believe one developer said it was impossible due to it not being present in the API), so it's a huge deal.

    Maybe I'm alone, but I have no idea what other users do when they find themselves with 100 tabs open and have to face either saving just the current page on each tab with the common right-click and save all tabs as bookmarks feature (losing perhaps even more valuable content in the history of the tab), or keeping them all open and eventually completely running out of memory.

    So, I couldn't have been more happy to find Vivaldi after waiting for this feature for over 10 years. (my friends always said "just use bookmarks" but how would that work?)

    I think I'll backup the .bin session files and hope for the best. I have no idea how to backup anything from the keychain into a cloud service.

    Thanks again!
    Scott



  • I would certainly recommend using a third-party service for passwords, but for bookmarks/favorites? No way. Bookmarks, along with browser history, are fundamental to information management and retrieval within the browser. If your browser doesn't do a good job of leveraging the power of bookmarks, then it might be time to use another browser—a third party solution is probably not going to help.



  • I think you might find good use to a third party tab manager. I'm not at my computer right now and I don't remember the name... But there are several tab managers that monitor the tabs in a window, and automatically update the saved session on any change. I was so releaved to find these! I'll get back to you on the name.

    Simple Window Saver is one of these, not quite my favourite anymore though.



  • @scottedwards2000 Chrome Safe Storage is just a random password that gets generated when you install Chrome or Vivaldi and is stored in the macOS keychain. You access it using "Keychain Access.app"; it's located in /Applications/Utilities or can be launched from Launchpad in the "Other" program group. Like Chrome, Vivaldi uses that password to decrypt its encrypted data stores.

    Vivaldi also generates the following files/directories:
    ~/Library/Application Support/Vivaldi/
    ~/Library/Application Support/Google/
    ~/Library/Caches/com.vivaldi.Vivaldi/
    ~/Library/Caches/Vivaldi/
    ~/Library/Preferences/com.vivaldi.Vivaldi.plist
    ~/Library/WebKit/com.vivaldi.Vivaldi/

    ... and the OS also saves some state here too but these are not critical to backup:
    ~/Library/Saved Application State/com.vivaldi.Vivaldi.savedState/
    ~/Library/Application Support/com.apple.sharedfilelist/com.apple.LSSharedFileList.ApplicationRecentDocuments/com.vivaldi.vivaldi.sfl

    Those are all the things you need to backup if you want to do a complete archive of your Vivaldi installation on macOS. You'll also want to archive a copy the Vivaldi installer for your current version. Conversely, if you should ever want to purge your Vivaldi installation and start fresh, these are all the files that you need to delete.

    Restoring all of this is a bit like doing a Vivaldi brain transplant from one installation to another. I haven't fully tested this myself but it should work:

    • Reinstall Vivaldi and run it
    • Quit Vivaldi
    • Delete the new Vivaldi files in ~/Library
    • Restore the archived Vivaldi files
    • Restore/transplant the previous "Chrome Safe Storage" password
    • Launch Vivaldi... and hope for the best.

    I still have more confidence in simply exporting my bookmarks to a file and using a secure password store. Hopefully you too will find a simpler and more robust way of archiving your critical browser data.



  • Thanks for all your help, but it turned out to be SO easy! see here
    https://forum.vivaldi.net/topic/20897/happy-to-find-moving-session-to-new-laptop-very-easy



  • @scottedwards2000 Thanks for sharing... Very happy to hear that your migration was successful!


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