Skip to main content
Adobe Photoshop Family

24 Messages

 • 

4.4K Points

Sun, May 1, 2011 9:55 PM

411

Lightroom Classic and CC: Allow Catalog to be stored on a networked drive.

I'd love to make LR more multi-computer friendly. I have no doubt that there's probably database architecture issues and a host of other barriers... But I have to believe that the need for either multi-user or at at lease multi-computer use is widely desired. And yes, I know you can do the catalog import export thing but I find this less than ideal.

Responses

14 Messages

 • 

570 Points

9 years ago

Thank you Dan. I think that helps.

20 Messages

 • 

416 Points

9 years ago

Lightroom needs to support a shared catalog over a network to make it friendly to professional and multiple users. Copying the catalog from machine to machine is not only time consuming but it destroys the edits made it the develop module. Until Lightroom can support multiple users connecting to a shared catalog on a network drive it is really nothing more than a cataloging application for professional users.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LR Network catalog option a requirement for hyperbole.

1 Message

 • 

68 Points

9 years ago

another vote for multi machine syncing.

9 Messages

 • 

232 Points

8 years ago

I have done this by using Dropbox. I found this article and it has been working for me ever since! I'm sure this would work with Google Drive as well!

You just have to be careful to let Dropbox fully download before you use it on another computer otherwise it will create a duplicate file. Other than that it works great because Dropbox stores the file on your computer so it isn't considered an external hard drive. Enjoy!

Cloud based Lightroom Catalogues | work on the same Lightroom catalogue from multiple computers!

How to make Lightroom a net-workable application by storing it in the cloud.
Smart workaround if your planning to access the same Lightroom catalogue from multiple machines. We have set this up in our own office and it works beautifully on 3 iMac’s running Lion OSX, the only limitation is that only one computer can have the catalogue open at a time and you will need to mount the drive with your images for the additional computers.

1. Sign up for a free Dropbox account. Here is direct link to sign up to get a free 2GB Dropbox account. www.dropbox.com

2. Download and install the Dropbox application for your platform/operating system on all computers where you want to share your Lightroom catalogues. Check the box ‘Enable LAN sync’ in the preferences panel to take advantage of your home network speed syncing the Dropbox files to your other networked computers.

3. Either create a new Lightroom catalogue, in a new folder in your Dropbox, or move an excising catalogue there. We suggest using the minimal previews in the catalogue settings, for this method to save syncing time and Dropbox space.
if you don’t know where your Lightroom catalogues are click Lightroom on the top menu bar and click ‘catalogue Settings’. On top of the information panel you can see the path, click ‘Show’ and Lightroom will open the folder for you.

4. Now wait for the catalogue to sync through Dropbox to your other computers. When synced (you will know that the sync is finished, when folder has a green tick on it), open the catalogue in Lightroom on the second computer, if you get question marks on the images, meaning missing folder or files, mount the drive with your images either through finder on MAC or Explorer on PC, and your catalogue and files will be ready to use just like on your other computer in the library module.

5. And just as a reminder, to always close the Lightroom catalogue on one computer before accessing it on the other. Check in your Dropbox folder that it has the green check before opening just to be safe you got the latest updates synced as well. Lightroom does have a safety feature with .lock files so your files and catalogue will be safe even if you manage to forget. We have couple times, no harm done.

Now here is something else you can do to speed up your Dropbox synchronized Adobe Lightroom catalogues!

This feature removes the preview data from syncing resulting in a great deal less syncing time, and lots more space for your catalogues. Lightroom will rebuild the new previews much faster in the destination ends rather than syncing all the preview data through the cloud.

Dropbox Selective Sync.
1. Access Dropbox Preferences by clicking the blue Dropbox icon in your menu bar.
2. In the preferences panel go to the Advanced tab and click Change Settings for Selective Sync.

3. Click Switch to Advance View at the bottom of the dialog window.

4. When in Advanced View select your Lightroom catalogue folder and uncheck the .lrdata folder, this is where your previews are stored. By unchecking you stop the syncing of these previews and only sync the catalogue resulting in much quicker syncing! Press the update button to confirm.

5. Press update a second time; now repeat this process in your Dropbox preferences on your other computers sharing this Lightroom catalogue.

http://www.color-shop.co/share-lightr...

17 Messages

 • 

276 Points

Thanks very much for your suggestion, I think it is great. In the process of syncing my two machines and wondered if you could help me. I am rather embarrassed to ask what is meant by “mount the drive with your images” This is mentioned in paragraph no 4. Please could you spell it out to me.

Regards

17 Messages

 • 

276 Points

I feel rather foolish - I managed to mount the drive in the usual way - what confused me is that I thought Lightroom would not see the drive over the network, but it has, and now able to see the catalog on both of my machines. Thanks everyone for all your help.

3 Messages

 • 

88 Points

8 years ago

I've been wanting to incorporate Lightroom into my company's image workflow for years, but the non-workgroup issue has been a solid shopstopper. That it didn't show up in version 4 was a genuine and unpleasant surprice.

Otherwise, Lightroom would fit perfectly: Our need is to tag pictures, so our large and still growing image library would be a true asset. It would be so nice to be able to search for "product x" in "sunlight" at "that place", something which right now resides in the heads of me and my colleagues.

But if that functionality is limited to one person on one computer, then forget about it. Lightroom without a shared database is limited to hobbyist/single photographer use.

Shame for all of us, both us who want to use Lightroom and Adobe. This isn't a nice-to-have like the rest of the feature request in the ideas forum - it's a very, very real barrier against the professional market.

3 Messages

 • 

88 Points

8 years ago

I've been wanting to incorporate Lightroom into my company's image workflow for years, but the non-workgroup issue has been a solid shopstopper. That it didn't show up in version 4 was a genuine and unpleasant surprice.

Otherwise, Lightroom would fit perfectly: Our need is to tag pictures, so our large and still growing image library would be a true asset. It would be so nice to be able to search for "product x" in "sunlight" at "that place", something which right now resides in the heads of me and my colleagues.

But if that functionality is limited to one person on one computer, then forget about it. Lightroom without a shared database is limited to hobbyist/single photographer use.

Shame for all of us, both us who want to use Lightroom and Adobe. This isn't a nice-to-have like the rest of the feature request in the ideas forum - it's a very, very real barrier against the professional market.

3 Messages

 • 

88 Points

8 years ago

I've been wanting to incorporate Lightroom into my company's image workflow for years, but the non-workgroup issue has been a solid shopstopper. That it didn't show up in version 4 was a genuine and unpleasant surprice.

Otherwise, Lightroom would fit perfectly: Our need is to tag pictures, so our large and still growing image library would be a true asset. It would be so nice to be able to search for "product x" in "sunlight" at "that place", something which right now resides in the heads of me and my colleagues.

But if that functionality is limited to one person on one computer, then forget about it. Lightroom without a shared database is limited to hobbyist/single photographer use.

Shame for all of us, both us who want to use Lightroom and Adobe. This isn't a nice-to-have like the rest of the feature request in the ideas forum - it's a very, very real barrier against the professional market.

195 Messages

 • 

3.6K Points

8 years ago

I'd really welcome this idea, for example tonight I want to carry on editing my pictures (which all sit on my main PC) while I sit in bed watching a bit of TV!

It's a pain being tied to the main PC, especially as I have Lightroom with matching settings on BOTH machines, so all it would require is the ability to edit across a network....

What say you Adobe? how about focusing on a real important issue rather than something "headline catching" but quite un-required like much of the new stuff in Lr 4!

4.5K Messages

 • 

76.3K Points

If all you want is to work on the same catalog from 2 different computers (not simultaneously) without dragging an external drive around, and you have a network, why not just copy the catalog to the network, then copy it to the next computer? If you want to automate it, then use one of the work-arounds like Amy Martz has mentioned above. Also there is a customizable script (Python) for sharing a catalog if you want:

http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...

Rob

195 Messages

 • 

3.6K Points

8 years ago

Its worth a look Rob, but it really worries me that if I was doing this type of manouvre I'd end up making some dumb mistake, and accidentally ruin my catalog.

the peace of mind of having it all "automated" at source by Adobe would really be a blessing

Thanks

4.5K Messages

 • 

76.3K Points

I understand your concern, but you can't corrupt your catalog this way, the worst that will happen is you lose some work done by forgetting to copy over. Perhaps follow a regimen of backing up locally before copying to network, so you can consolidate in case of mistake. I realize a main objective of your post is to communicate your desire to Adobe - mission accomplished. In the mean time, wouldn't a work-around be better than nothing? - It may take Adobe several years to implement a real solution, if they ever do...

1 Message

 • 

64 Points

8 years ago

I've been waiting for a solution for multi-user and NAS solution for well over 2 years.... Sounds like an "Adobe Drive" (i.e. google drive, sky drive, dropbox) might be a solution... in addition to NAS storage of course.

The train is stopped... let's get this feature done and get out of the station! There are photos to be shared people! :)

2.1K Messages

 • 

32.2K Points

We already have a product called Adobe Drive: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobedr...

It's not designed to work with Lightroom as it works with Version Cue servers, which in turn work with Creative Suite product. It is doubtful that Lightroom would recognize Adobe Drive as a viable location to store a catalog file, but I've never worked with it myself.

7 Messages

 • 

136 Points

Brett, while the name matches the letter of what Kenny wrote, the point of his comment, is that we ALL need a SOLUTION for Lightroom catalogs stored on the network

4 Messages

 • 

112 Points

8 years ago

4 Messages

 • 

112 Points

8 years ago

4.5K Messages

 • 

76.3K Points

8 years ago

Reminder: on Windows, one can just map the network drive with catalog as local drive. *but* those who've done that said:

* it's slower (for the multitudes of random catalog accesses)
* it's less reliable (potential for corrupted catalog, even when only used by one user at a time).

I assume the same will be true of mounted dmg.

Don't get me wrong: if this works well enough for you, then more power to ya. But, keep your catalog backed up...

There is a reason why Adobe doesn't support this configuration (they are aware of it, Dan Tull of Adobe said so). Again, the purpose of my post is not to throw water on this idea, or overturn said apple cart, just be aware of potential for less than ideal behavior, and be prepared for it...

Rob

7 Messages

 • 

136 Points

Up to Lightroom 3.5 you could do this on Windows and Lightroom would be none the wiser, but now it sees through the mapping that underlying the drive letter is NAS.

There are plenty of databases (incl. mission critical) and file systems that work with NAS quickly and efficiently, and some SOHO / enterprise NAS such as those by QNAP enable you to connect two gigabit connections for double the throughput. This isn't some dinky "harddrive inside a wifi router with storage" NAS. It can keep up with the CPU doing image processing.

4.5K Messages

 • 

76.3K Points

Fair enough - thanks for the update. Any dmg-mounting-like software available for Windows?

4 Messages

 • 

112 Points

8 years ago

Mounted dmg has worked for me since version 1. I've probably accessed it thousands of times without corruption. Always over Cat6 GigE and a good industrial grade switch though. Latency is not an issue with a good hd on both ends. In fact, hd access can be faster than local when working of a networked macpro raid with gigE. Close to 90MB/sec sustained in duplex.

the images themselves can live anywhere

best,
walker

7 Messages

 • 

136 Points

"the images themselves can live anywhere"

Indeed. It is a silly situation whereby Lightrooom without any tricks allows raw files and output to be anywhere on the network - but not the catalog.

3 Messages

 • 

82 Points

8 years ago

My amature photo collection is growing like weeds. I am at 50,000 photos and 600gb and growing. Have all my photos on a secure network drive with RAID1 + 2 extra backups. I have both a PC desktop and a laptop. I like the desktop with the large monitor but truely I use the laptop more and more for photo editing. I am new to lightroom 4. Seems the lightroom catalog can't work on a network drive (error message). Seems teh recommended approach to put a portable drive with teh lightroom catalog and swap back and forth from laptop to PC and then have a separte backup routine for the catalog vs. the library. I am not PC technie. Just I guy who likes to take pictures and is looking for a safe and simple way to manage and edit images. i been using photoshop for years now and always believed it has way more more than most photographers need. I really thought Lightroom was supposed to be with photographers in mind. Seems to me this a a key point that the designers have missed. How do other bounce back and forth between PC and laptop? (maybe I go back to just using Bridge)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom PC and Laptop & network.