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I have to reinstall all my addons and I'm encountering an issue with “Missing script files.”

I run Blender in a “portable set-up”, with different versions sharing a joint parent “config” folder. Originally, this set-up would update addons automatically regardless of which version I had initially used to install the addon. I messed something up with the folders and their structure, so I've been reloading these folders and files, and now the addons no longer integrate across the various versions like they used to. Newly installed addons work fine in the version from which they've been installed, but appear in the “Missing script files” window to all other versions.

I'm working in Window 10. The folder set-up is a symbolic link (Link Source>Junction) from the parent “config” folder (C:/Software/Blender/data/config) to the versions' folders which carry the version number (e.g., C:/Software/Blender/blender-351/3.5 or C:/Software/Blender/blender-360/3.6; where scripts and other data seem to be stored). I basically followed this article.

The different versions all share the startup default and preferences generally, and these update regardless of which version opens or saves changes to startup or preferences, so some part of this set-up working. But whatever procedure had each version finding/creating/installing its own files for each installed addon no longer seems to be working.

So I guess I have a couple questions. First, does someone understand this in a way that they could help me get this set-up sharing the addon information across versions and their file structures again, regardless of which version is used to install the addon?

Second, can someone help me understand the “Missing script files” issue? What files? From where are they missing? Can they be restored manually? I previously tried to find what looked like script files inside the addon zip files themselves, and paste copies into the individual versions' folders where it seemed right, but with mixed results. I'd like to understand how this works, even if it's not a practical solution to the overall issue.

Thanks so much for checking this out. Hoping somebody has something for it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Blender intentionally separates config files scripts and addons between versions because newer versions update or change things in ways that may not work well in older ones. Older files may be version patched and addons updated, sharing them between versions may break. Version 3.6 has introduced multiple script folders in preferences, this may well break configuration for older versions that had only a single one. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @DuarteFarrajotaRamos. This is helpful. I knew that eventually this system would run into that problem, the versions being structurally too different. This current set-up starts at 3.12, and I thought maybe that's too far behind, but it sounds like 3.6 may be too far ahead. So I guess I need to decide how to run parallel set-ups, or leave this and abandon versions 3.5 and earlier. Older Blender files should generally open in newer versions, right? Anyway, thanks for the info. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ I guess I have a follow-up question, which is if I want to get an addon active in a particular version, which files do I need to find and can I just copy them over? And what's "init.py"? EDIT: The markdown isn't displaying the weird, extra-long underscores, but that python script sure got them. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ See blender.stackexchange.com/q/139817/19307 also see blender.stackexchange.com/q/78121/19307 "which files do I need to find and can I just copy them over" All of them, you can't just cherry pick random files from addons and expect them to work. Most third party addons are generally retro compatible, but some more complex ones have specific versions that work only within particular Blender ranges. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you need so many concurrent Blender versions, why not use just the latest? Or if you have long term projects why not stick with one LTS release? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 21:41

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