Lightroom Classic: Allow me to keep my catalog / previews on a much faster SSD networked drive!

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  • Updated 9 months ago
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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Lightroom Classic and CC: Allow Catalog to be stored on a networked drive.

"Lightroom Catalogs can not be opened on network volumes, removable storage, or read only volumes."  Why not?

After buying my new SSD to pop into my drive dock, and copying my catalog/previews files from Lightroom over to it to improve the system performance, I'm advised "NOPE!"  Adobe needs to fix it.  If I am going to continue to lease this software for $120/year then they should make my system handle my 150,000 + images much faster.
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David Rye

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Posted 9 months ago

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Photo of anssik


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Is this really the case – has support for external SSDs really been removed? I haven't updated to LR Classic CC 8.1 yet because of the bug reports and concerns posted here, and I rely on my external Samsung SSD T5 for my Lightroom Catalog.

It's the only way to work between three computers – office desktop, home desktop and laptop – and I can't believe something that essential of a change would be set up on a x.1 update.

This has to be some kind of problem with your system and the error message giving misinformation, right Adobe?
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Paul Thompson

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As far as I understand it Adobe chose to use an open source database for Lightroom called sqllite. One of the restrictions of sqllite is that it only works on local non removable drives and for one user at a time. Lightroom was never intended as a team image management system so this really wasn't a concern. A networkable multi concurrent user database backend would have cost a lot more in licensing fees from someone like Oracle or Microsoft. Adobe already licenses the mapping from Google which is why you lose the map module if you let your subscription lapse. So really it's a good thing that sqllite is open source and doesn't require a license because it means you still have pretty much full access to all your images even if you stop paying the subs.

While the database/catalog file needs to stay on a local drive there is no restriction with where the images reside. Some people put the database/catalog in a DropBox folder which keeps it synchronised between multiple machines.  Having SSD's will always be faster than spinning disks both internally and externally. There are plenty of strategies for optimising the speed of image viewing. I have very few speed issues on a 2012 macbook with 200,000 images on an external thunderbolt drive with spinning disks.

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