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Lightroom Classic Catalog on a Network drive, OneDrive or Google Drive - School situation

New Here ,
Feb 14, 2020

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This is in a school situation. Students are using Lightroom in a class. While they are normally on the same computer day after day, students can move from computer to computer, especially if a computer isn't working properly.

 

The schools are using network drives and have access to One Drive and Google Drive. (One Drive is preferred, but not a necessity)

 

Catalogs in Lightroom I understand are a problem on Network Drives/cloud based drives. the amount of space on the computer hardrives is an issue (Multiple students throughout a week of classes, Multiple classes, etc). As well the local hardrives aren't backed up (We save the data on the network/cloud based services).

 

I found a posting from about 2016/2017 on this, and that it isn't possible. I am wondering if Network Drives/cloud drives can hold catalogs now, and if not, if there is a reason why not?

 

Or a work around. Using portable harddrives isn't really a possibility (time constraints at the end of class, costs etc.)

 

Thank you for any help you can provide. It is appreciated. 

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Lightroom Classic Catalog on a Network drive, OneDrive or Google Drive - School situation

New Here ,
Feb 14, 2020

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This is in a school situation. Students are using Lightroom in a class. While they are normally on the same computer day after day, students can move from computer to computer, especially if a computer isn't working properly.

 

The schools are using network drives and have access to One Drive and Google Drive. (One Drive is preferred, but not a necessity)

 

Catalogs in Lightroom I understand are a problem on Network Drives/cloud based drives. the amount of space on the computer hardrives is an issue (Multiple students throughout a week of classes, Multiple classes, etc). As well the local hardrives aren't backed up (We save the data on the network/cloud based services).

 

I found a posting from about 2016/2017 on this, and that it isn't possible. I am wondering if Network Drives/cloud drives can hold catalogs now, and if not, if there is a reason why not?

 

Or a work around. Using portable harddrives isn't really a possibility (time constraints at the end of class, costs etc.)

 

Thank you for any help you can provide. It is appreciated. 

TOPICS
How to, Sync, Windows

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Feb 14, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Feb 14, 2020

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As far as I know, there is no way to store a Lightroom Classic catalog on a network or cloud drive. People have tried to find workarounds, but other than putting the catalog file on an external hard disk, I don't really know if any have been successful, but I tend to doubt it.

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Feb 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2020

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When in use, the Lightroom catalog needs to be on a local drive, internal or external. The catalogs can be copied to and from network drives and cloud services for safe keeping, but they need to be local for use.

 

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Feb 14, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 18, 2020

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If the student computers are Windows PCs, mapping letter drives to catalog folders on network drives with the subst command will enable access by a single instance of Lightroom Classic per catalog.  This should work reasonably well if the PCs are hard-wired to the file server.  See https://github.com/kgorlen/lightroom for details.

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Jul 18, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 18, 2020

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"This should work reasonably well..."

 

What does "reasonably well" mean? What are the risks?

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Jul 18, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 18, 2020

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By "reasonably well" I mean that performance and reliability is satisfactory for me, an ethusiast (not professional) photographer, and it should suffice for a classroom environment.  The README at the link I provided describes my usage background and the risks involved.

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Jul 18, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 18, 2020

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Please be a good member of the community and not give instructions that people to go to a web site and then open a file with an unknown (to me) file extension, which I will not do, and I recommend everyone else also not do. Post the risks directly here in the forum.

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Jul 18, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 18, 2020

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[When I follow the link, the README.md file is displayed without opening anything.  Requested excerpt follows.]

 

Lightroom Classic (*LrC*) normally will not access a catalog that resides on a network drive. In 2007, Adobe engineer Dan Tull[1][2] tested LrC catalogs on a corporate network drive by disconnecting the cable and observed catalog corruption, so Adobe coded LrC to disallow them on network drives. Technically, however, network drives are designed to behave like local drives. An LrC catalog is an SQLite database, the integrity of which is maintained via standard Windows file locking, which is also supported by SMB, the protocol Windows uses to access files on network drives. Thus, catalog corruption is the result of hardware failure or software bugs, not inherent technical limitations or incompatibilities. But since more hardware and software are involved in accessing network-attached storage than internal or directly-attached external storage, the risk of catalog corruption is greater.

 

Also, LrC currently requires that the `Previews.lrdata` folder must reside in the same folder as the catalog. Thus, when the catalog is on a network drive, previews will also reside there, slowing performance.

 

## References

[1] Reply by Dan Tull, Adobe Employee, https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/multi_user_multi_computer?topic-reply-list[se... 

[2] https://www.lightroomqueen.com/community/threads/catalog-on-nas.30499/page-3#post-1256767 

[3] https://sqlite.org/lockingv3.html 

 

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Jul 18, 2020 0
dj_paige LATEST
LEGEND ,
Jul 18, 2020

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Thank you.

 

For anyone reading along, this does not allow multiple people to use the SAME catalog simultaneously now that it is on a networked drive that multiple people can access. Multiple people using the catalog simultaneously is not allowed, and even if you could find a work-around, it would cause the catalog to become corrupted.

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Jul 18, 2020 0