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Lightroom catalog: can it be automatically backed up while open?

Hi My Name Is

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Hey there!

I'd want to set up a Chronosync task to copy the LR catalog to my NAS every 30 minutes.

I want to do so because I tend not to close my apps on my MacBook Pro for days. I forget, plus the laptop works perfectly fine without needing to close apps in general.

So, while I always backup on exit, I may lose days of work if anything happens.

Question: will LR freak out if the catalog gets copied while it's open, or do other people do this without issues?

Thank you!
 
Solution
While the catalog file is open (i.e. Lightroom Classic is running), the database (what's inside the catalog can be in an unstable state and the result could be a corrupt backup catalog. It is for this reason that Adobe chose to make a copy of the closed catalog file at the end when you exit.

That said, You can use TimeMachine to backup any file including an open catalog file. I don't know about Chronosync. Some backup apps won't backup a file (like the Lightroom Catalog) that is open for writing by another application. Some one that uses Chronosync might be able to clarify that. In either case, Time Machine or Chronosync, the result of backing up such an open file could result in a corrupt catalog backup file...
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While the catalog file is open (i.e. Lightroom Classic is running), the database (what's inside the catalog can be in an unstable state and the result could be a corrupt backup catalog. It is for this reason that Adobe chose to make a copy of the closed catalog file at the end when you exit.

That said, You can use TimeMachine to backup any file including an open catalog file. I don't know about Chronosync. Some backup apps won't backup a file (like the Lightroom Catalog) that is open for writing by another application. Some one that uses Chronosync might be able to clarify that. In either case, Time Machine or Chronosync, the result of backing up such an open file could result in a corrupt catalog backup file.

The best advice that I can give you is to get in the habit of exiting Lightroom Classic periodically for a backup of a safe file and then let your backup app (Time Machine in my case) also backup the Backup file created by Lightroom Classic.
 
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The best advice that I can give you is to get in the habit of exiting Lightroom Classic periodically for a backup of a safe file and then let your backup app (Time Machine in my case) also backup the Backup file created by Lightroom Classic.
Second that advice. I exit LR every evening when I'm done working, specifically to allow my backup system to get a consistent snapshot of the catalog.

(Technically, the problem with backup programs is that when the catalog database is open, there is also an associated temporary transaction log file ending in .lrcat-wal. Backup programs typically copy files one at a time, and so it's very possible that after the backup program copies the .lrcat file, LR modifies the .lrcat-wal file, and then the backup program copies that .lrcat-wal file. So the backup ends up with an inconsistent snapshot of the two files. If you have a backup system that creates true point-in-time snapshots, such as available on Windows from third parties, then this isn't an issue, and you don't have to exit LR to get a consistent snapshot.)
 
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Another advantage of letting Lightroom backup the catalog is that it verifies it first and optimizes it afterwards.
 

PhilBurton

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Another advantage of letting Lightroom backup the catalog is that it verifies it first and optimizes it afterwards.
It would not be difficult for the programmers to implement a File > Backup function within Lightroom that would close the catalog first and then do the backup. That approach would be faster than having to shut down Lightroom to do a backup, and then waste the time for Lightroom to start up again.
 
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It would not be difficult for the programmers to implement a File > Backup function within Lightroom that would close the catalog first and then do the backup. That approach would be faster than having to shut down Lightroom to do a backup, and then waste the time for Lightroom to start up again.
The closest I have seen to this suggestion is the Re-Launch script that was written for Lightroom v2.
It still takes two mouse clicks (Relaunch / Backup) and a wait while the catalog saves and LrC reboots.
 
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