Raspberry Pi 4 - Collection Managers

Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Manage your Personal Collections – Week 36

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

If you’re like me, you’ll have a few collections. Books, movies, coins, whatever takes your interest. Keeping track of that collection can be time-consuming, but it’s important to any serious collector. I was therefore keen to test a few open source collection managers on the RPI4.

I’ve tested Tellico, GCStar, and Alexandria (the latter not to be confused with Alexandra, a separate project).


Raspberry Pi 4 - Tellico
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If you’re a KDE aficionado, you may like Tellico. It’s a collection management program for managing collections. It supports twelve specific collection types by default: books, bibliographic entries, comic books, videos, music, video games, trading cards, coins, stamps, wines, board games, and file catalogs. In addition, an empty generic collection template is available for any other collectables. The program stores its collection files in XML format rather than SQL databases. Tellico comes with interfaces for searching a number of data sources.

There’s a package for this program in the official Raspberry Pi OS’s repositories. We get version 3.1.4. That version was released in December 2018. At the time of publication of this article, the current version is 3.3.1.

With only the program loaded, the memory footprint is approximately 52MB of RAM. With a small book library (about 60 books), memory usage increases to 95MB.

Tellico works rather splendidly on the RPI4. It’s great open source software too!


Raspberry Pi 4 - GCStar
Click for full size image

GCstar is an application for managing personal collections. The software manages collections for movies, video games, books, music, coins, wines, board games, comic books, TV episodes, periodicals, computer software, mini vehicles and more.

There’s a package in the Raspberry Pi OS’s repositories for GCStar. You get version 1.7.1. That’s the current version, although this mostly reflects there hasn’t been a new release of the program for 4 years. And it shows. A lot of the plugins have stopped working. Without some significant new development, GCStar doesn’t fulfil my requirements. Of course, the problem lies with the project than the RPI4.

Its state of moribund explains why distributions like Ubuntu no longer provide packages.

At startup, GCStar uses around 47MB of RAM.


Alexandria is a GNOME application for managing collections of books. Alexandria can retrieve book information and cover images from a wide variety of online data sources. It also features extensive import and export options, a loan interface, and smart libraries. Alexandria is written in Ruby using ruby-gnome2.

There’s no package for Alexandria in Raspberry Pi OS’s repositories. But fortunately it’s quite simple to install Alexandria. I first needed to install a few packages. You may need others, it depends what you’ve previously installed.

$ sudo apt install ruby-dev ruby-gettext yaz libyaz-dev

Next we can install rake, zoom and Alexandria itself (as gems). A gem is a self-contained format for distributing Ruby programs and libraries.

$ sudo gem install rake zoom alexandria-book-collection-manager

Memory usage is comparable to GCStar. Running the program without a collection uses around 43MB of RAM. However, the program was remarkably unstable, crashing even in basic operations such as creating a new library. I’m investigating the cause of the instability.


Out of the programs I tested, I can only recommend Tellico on the RPI4. Fortunately, I’m more than happy with its performance on the RPI4. The other programs are non-starters from my perspective.

I also wanted to look at Data Crow. But at the time of writing, the download site was just serving up 403 errors.

Read all my blog posts about the RPI4.

Raspberry Pi 4 Blog
Week 36Manage your personal collections on the RPI4
Week 35Survey of terminal emulators
Week 34Search the desktop with the latest version of Recoll
Week 33Personal Information Managers on the RPI4
Week 32Keep a diary with the RPI4
Week 31Process complex mathematical functions, plot 2D and 3D graphs with calculators
Week 30Internet radio on this tiny computer. A detailed survey of open source software
Week 29Professionally manage your photo collection with digiKam
Week 28Typeset beautifully with LyX
Week 27Software that teaches young people how to learn basic computing skills and beyond
Week 26Firefox revisited - Raspbian now offers a real alternative to Chromium
Week 25Turn the Raspberry Pi 4 into a low power writing machine
Week 24Keep the kids learning and having fun
Week 23Lots of choices to view images
Week 22Listening to podcasts on the RPI4
Week 21File management on the RPI4
Week 20Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio) on the RPI4
Week 19Keep up-to-date with these news aggregators
Week 18Web Browsers Again: Firefox
Week 17Retro gaming on the RPI4
Week 16Screen capturing with the RPI4
Week 15Emulate the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and the Atari ST on the RPI4
Week 14Choose the right model of the RPI4 for your desktop needs
Week 13Using the RPI4 as a screencaster
Week 12Have fun reading comics on the RPI4 with YACReader, MComix, and more
Week 11Turn the RPI4 into a complete home theater
Week 10Watching locally stored video with VLC, OMXPlayer, and others
Week 9PDF viewing on the RPI4
Week 8Access the RPI4 remotely running GUI apps
Week 7e-book tools are put under the microscope
Week 6The office suite is the archetypal business software. LibreOffice is tested
Week 5Managing your email box with the RPI4
Week 4Web surfing on the RPI4 looking at Chromium, Vivaldi, Firefox, and Midori
Week 3Video streaming with Chromium & omxplayerGUI as well as streamlink
Week 2A survey of open source music players on the RPI4 including Tauon Music Box
Week 1An introduction to the world of the RPI4 looking at musikcube and PiPackages

This blog is written on the RPI4.

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