Best (or good) way to synchronize one catalog on 2 devices without the cloud.

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#1
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Lightroom version: 6.14 [ 1149743 ]
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I have successfully established my Lr catalog on both my laptop and desktop machines. I would like to keep them both the same with updates that I do with keywords, photo edits, facial recognition, etc. I have established a folder "new stuff" for NB files that I create/modify in the field. I can integrate these new files NB->desktop. Then I work on the imported and maybe resident files on my desktop machine. How do I keep my versions of the Lr catalogs exact clones of the other?

Maybe this isn't possible, but I decided to post here before making determinations. I know that one option is to keep ONE catalog on an external HDD (the portable catalog option). But I prefer not to lug around an EHD, so I've created a partition on my laptop data HDD that I've dedicated to Lightroom.

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

Lee
 
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#2
I have successfully established my Lr catalog on both my laptop and desktop machines. I would like to keep them both the same with updates that I do with keywords, photo edits, facial recognition, etc. I have established a folder "new stuff" for NB files that I create/modify in the field. I can integrate these new files NB->desktop. Then I work on the imported and maybe resident files on my desktop machine. How do I keep my versions of the Lr catalogs exact clones of the other?

Maybe this isn't possible, but I decided to post here before making determinations. I know that one option is to keep ONE catalog on an external HDD (the portable catalog option). But I prefer not to lug around an EHD, so I've created a partition on my laptop data HDD that I've dedicated to Lightroom.

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

Lee
Hi:

1. I use Lightroom Classic CC on my laptop, but have placed all of my original digital photos (all RAW, some DNG, and any original JPEG or scanned photos inside 12 or more folders on a tiny external SSD specially named and identified by me as my main image data drive (let's call it A). The Lightroom Catalog resides on drive A inside a parent folder, called 'Pictures', in a sub-folder called 'Lightroom'). This subfolder also contains all Previews and the backups Lightroom creates when it closes (if you so instruct it). When images are imported to Lightroom from anywhere, thereafter Lightroom knows where the images can be found. Lightroom has been instructed by me to save .xmp sidecar files in the folder containing the worked-on original images and is informed that the catalog is located as mentioned above. Even after doing this I know there are other folders and files residing on my Windows 10 laptop which are crucial to the operation of Lightroom. See below.

2. When I perform a complete backup of my Lightroom support files to a different, larger backup external drive, lets call it drive X, I copy a disk image of Drive A to Drive X. In addition, I copy some other data folders and files that the Lightroom installation on the laptop's C drive requires, such as presets and templates, any plug-ins that have been installed, as well as Settings shared with Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), including Develop default settings, custom point curves, lens profile default settings and any other custom lens or camera profile I have created (this follows the advice of The Lightroom Queen) which can be found at the following website: Which Lightroom files do I need to back up? | The Lightroom Queen

3. I use Acronis True Image Home when I backup the entire external drive A as a disk image, as mentioned above. Then, using Acronis, I 'restore' the disk image to a new external drive the size of drive A and test it to ensure that it can be used in place of drive A. I also use Acronis to make an image copy of my C:\ drive so I can restore the OS and the other files mentioned above needed by Lightroom to the replacement for Drive C:\ should it fail.

4. As an extra precaution I copy everything from Drive A and the files mentioned in paragraph 2 to an additional backup drive.

5. Since I do not use a desktop computer, I don't need to replicate all of this on a second computer, but do not see why this would not work to allow me to swap Drive A between 2 computers as long as I take care to ensure that the files mentioned in paragraph 2 reside in the same locations on each computer. All the rest of the files are on Drive A. Of course, I have never tested this latter scenario.

6. As a further backup I also copy the entire contents of drive A and the files referred to in paragraph 2 to another large external drive, but not as a disk image.

It would be useful to discover if anyone else does the same thing and if it works well in the scenario described by Lee Beck.
 

Victoria Bampton

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PhilBurton

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I have successfully established my Lr catalog on both my laptop and desktop machines. I would like to keep them both the same with updates that I do with keywords, photo edits, facial recognition, etc. I have established a folder "new stuff" for NB files that I create/modify in the field. I can integrate these new files NB->desktop. Then I work on the imported and maybe resident files on my desktop machine. How do I keep my versions of the Lr catalogs exact clones of the other?

Maybe this isn't possible, but I decided to post here before making determinations. I know that one option is to keep ONE catalog on an external HDD (the portable catalog option). But I prefer not to lug around an EHD, so I've created a partition on my laptop data HDD that I've dedicated to Lightroom.

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

Lee
Lee,

I use a very different approach than the one Myron uses.

You don't indicate whether you have a Mac or a Windows system. I have Windows, and I use a utility called GoodSync. www.goodsync.com. Absolutely worth the money. If you use a Mac, they have a Mac version. My approach is to consider all the Lightroom files that are involved in moving Lightroom to a new computer. Victoria has an excellent tutorial on this topic. I set up GoodSync with several "backup jobs" that taken as a whole, completely "move" (actually copy) all those Lightroom files from my desktop to my laptop, or the other way around. It takes only a few minutes each time I run those jobs. If you keep all all your image files on an external HDD which you plug into either desktop or laptop, the process would take even less time. In my case, all my various "photo" files are more than can fit onto the external HDD I used with my laptop, so the backup job copies only selected folders from desktop to laptop. But in practice, it works 100%.

I discovered by accident that when I installed some plug-ins in my desktop Lightroom, after the next backup, they appeared automatically in my laptop Lightroom. I have deliberately stayed away from LR 7.3 and 7.31 because of all the preset issues, but I am confident that if I worked on the folders and names for presets on my desktop, they would also be set up the same way on my laptop after the next backup jobs run.

The only reason I need three backup jobs for Lightroom is that I have my settings on Drive C:, my catalog on Drive D: (along with all my other data files), and my photos (and music) on Drive E:. Drives C: and D: are on an SSD, but drive E: is an old-fashioned spinning HDD. A GoodSync backup job allows only one "source drive" for each backup job.

There you have it, a blueprint that you can adapt for your own usage.

Phil Burton
 
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Not really... well, maybe. I'm continuing to work the same scenario but with some significant changes and thoughts - much of which I learned from the cited post:

* I learned from the expertise offered in the earlier thread that I can't really sync as covered in Victoria's book without the cloud. That option now is off the table.
* I found that my original trial of partitioning my laptop drive with an "F" letter was fraught with problems. My EHD is "F" because that was the first available letter when I installed it. Moving my "New stuff" from my EHD to my partition it automatically assigned "F" to the thumb drive which created problems moving those files to the partition because 2 "F" drives on the same computer isn't allowed. Changing drive letters after-the-fact resulted in "Missing files" issues that required some remapping paths. I eliminated this by renaming both my EHD and the NB partition to "L"
* I have purchased a data transfer/sync cable and software while working on this, thinking that may facilitate moving directly [laptop <-> desktop] without the need for a 3rd device (EHD, thumb drive etc.).

So I guess that I really did inadvertently double-post this issue. But my primary objective in the other post was to determine if there was some way to sync without cloud storage. That question was answered by continuing to address the cloud options and recommend the portable catalog (EHD) option. I'm now moving on to non-cloud options and still wanting to wean myself away from a tethered EHD.

In any event, I believe that all of my questions have been adequately addressed by these 2 threads - and forgive me if it appears that I was asking questions already answered. Thanks for your patience - I'm learning.....
 
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Victoria Bampton

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It's fine Lee, it's just worth linking back to or continuing the previous thread so we know what we've already said on the subject. It sounds like all we need to do is clarify certain options? Are you clear now, or are some bits still a bit fuzzy?
 
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No. I'm fine. With the help and comments provided here I believe that I now understand all of my options. I'm now working through my preferences.

You guys are great!
 
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Where is metadata located?

I'm progressing with my little project of having duplicate catalogs located on my laptop and desktop. I’m about to integrate my LT catalog with my master DT catalog.

I want to preserve my work on edits that I have made to my LT photos in the field. In other words, I want to be sure not to destroy the work accomplished. So I want to copy the files necessary to return to my catalog – the one prior to adulterations – before I start messing with the files.

I won’t be altering the actual photos, so there’s no risk in that arena. I’ve decided to make a second lrcat catalog with only the photos that have been changed on my LT. Then merge that catalog with my master (DT) catalog. Can I overwrite the unchanged DT photos in a way that they will incorporate the new keywords and faces?

In other words. Which of the lrdat/lrdat/data.db/backups, etc. do I need to copy to enable return to today’s saved information?
 

LouieSherwin

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Lee,

I suggest that you look at Multi-Catalog Workflow for Lightroom 5 by Peter Krogh. Although originally based on LR5 it still applies to LR Classic CC as nothing has really changed in the ways to manage catalogs. He covers many different workflow scenarios each with multiple video tutorials to explain and demonstrate the techniques.

-louie
 
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