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Lightroom through MS Remote Desktop, Teamviewer, etc.

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Surprisingly, I couldn't find a related thread in the forum.

Does anyone have her Lightroom Classic running on a (fat, headless) server and access it through Remote Desktop, Teamviewer or a similar solution?
I'm mainly considering this for LAN usage, but experience with a real remote (Hotel etc.) use is also welcome.

Main expected benefits:
  • Thinner / cheaper clients, especially on the CPU and RAM side
  • Freedom to use whatever operating system on client machine I like instead of being restricted to the two Adobe supports
  • Bigger computing power / performance using operations and calculating previews on the (fat) server
Main expected problems:
  • Dependency on bandwidth (LAN/remote)
  • Quality of image display through Remote Desktop etc.

So, what do you think?
 
Joined
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Realise this is the classic rather than the cloudy forum, but if you use cloudy you get the web version of Lightroom which is probably a better way to address these use cases. Haven’t tried this, but presume that subject to your cloud storage, you can sync images from classic into the cloud and then edit etc. on the web version. (Or move completely to cloudy if it meets all your needs).

I’ve only got limited experience with Remote Desktop (mainly on Mac) but the user experience of that was such that I wouldn’t consider it for serious photo editing.
 
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I’ve only got limited experience with Remote Desktop (mainly on Mac) but the user experience of that was such that I wouldn’t consider it for serious photo editing.
My experience mirrors yours. Repainting a GUI interface was glacial even at gigabit bandwidths.
 
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Realise this is the classic rather than the cloudy forum, but if you use cloudy you get the web version of Lightroom which is probably a better way to address these use cases.
Just bear in mind the licensing for the Lightroom (cloud-based) product is single user on up to 5 computers.
 
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Good point re licensing. Does that still apply to the web app as opposed to desktop app usage? Even if it does, I’d be interested to know the scenario that requires more than 5 computers... I suppose if you’re planning to log in on lots of different shared pcs as you travel about (but personally I wouldn’t dream of logging into my creative cloud account from a shared PC, especially since it doesn’t offer 2 factor authentication).
 
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The point is the License is to an individual and terms state that misuse includes 'you must not enable or allow others to use the Services or Software using your account information'

It may also fall over on this term too: 'you must not access or attempt to access the Services or Software by any means other than the interface we provide or authorize'

It's a question to discuss with Adobe.
 
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Does that still apply to the web app as opposed to desktop app usage? Even if it does, I’d be interested to know the scenario that requires more than 5 computers...
Web app would be fine as long as it's you using it.

I've done a little keywording via screen share on a high speed network and it was usable but painful. I wouldn't even consider editing, because the refresh speed would be horrible and color management would be non-existent.
 
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I was also going to point out the colour management issues. You'd be viewing on the client monitor, but Lightroom would be on another computer with its own profile. Is TeamViewer colour managed so the client's profile is being applied?
 
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I was also going to point out the colour management issues. You'd be viewing on the client monitor, but Lightroom would be on another computer with its own profile. Is TeamViewer colour managed so the client's profile is being applied?
John,

If TeamViewer is color managed, then I haven't found that setting.

Phil
 
Joined
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Thanks for all your thoughts!

IANAL, but licensing is not an issue to me since I'm using the software on a single machine as a single user. The only difference to the standard use case is that I'm not sitting in front of the machine. Whatever solution I'll be using, I won't be using more than 5 machines. I don't even own that many machines that are capable of running Lightroom.

As I expected, the quality of image display seems to be the key issue. While keywording doesn't really need accurate colors, development / editing does.
IMHO, it would be an interesting test how color calibration works through Remote Desktop. Of course, you would have to use the same screen every time or you need a new profile when you switch. In theory, Remote Desktop supports 32 bit color mode, but I have no experience with it in "image critical" applications. With other remote access tools like Teamviewer, I don't have any experience at all.
 
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I spend much of my day in RDP from a laptop as I keep a lot of tools there I use for (non-photographic) clients. I decided to experiment with the color management aspect, and used this site and Chrome browser (same on both):

https://chromachecker.com/info/en/page/webbrowser

I had it directly displayed on one (calibrated) monitor, and via RDP on another (calibrated) monitor. I was a bit surprised to see them match, I could see no difference between them.

Now that's a very different statement than saying all color management will work, but it was encouraging.

I also fired up a slightly old version of LR (8.2) that was on that laptop, and it shows that it sees and is using the built in (i.e. in laptop) GPU. That is more of a surprise, and I really wonder if it can use it for display. But LR THINKS it is.

My laptop is not calibrated, and my monitors are hardware luts, so in my experiment there's no real software based calibration software in the middle. I have no idea how that would impact things, especially if the monitor on one is different color space (mine are all sRGB -- well, one is wide but calibrated to emulate sRGB). 32 bit RDP, by the way, is 8 bit color (x RGB) plus alpha.

I also use RDB over long distance WAN connections but only for simple GUI stuff, nothing photographic. I would expect things like local adjustments and brushes to be almost unusable given any significant latency, unless you go really, really slowly. But for review, culling, keywording... maybe.

Obviously if going into your home network I'd suggest a VPN and not opening RDP or VNC ports on the outside. Teamviewer is a bit different in that it is an inside-to-outside initiated connection, but it also means you are trusting their servers and systems with internal access to your home (and I've started to trust them less since they started showing ads on my PAID subscription).
 

SaraLH

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I used to do this regularly - I would sit in the living room with my laptop and could easily do stuff like keywording, sorting and metadata work while watching TV. Worked just fine for me but as said above because of the laptop screen I did nothing that required color work.
 

F. McLion

Adobe ACP/MVP
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May 19, 2019
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I use Teamviewer regularly for supporting issues. It's fine, except for developing.
 
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