Running Lightroom on two computers with one catalogue

I have started to use Adobe lightroom and find it a great package for editing, it provides a brilliant fast workflow for my photographs.  It takes a bit of time getting used to it but since I got to grips with it I haven’t even opened Photoshop.  However there is one problem I save all my photographs on my NAS drive on the home network and access them through Lightroom on my desktop computer, now if I try to use my laptop I can’t use the same catalogue to access the photographs.  Lightroom will not allow you to keep its catalogue (index) file on a network drive.  I have found a workable solution, put the catalogue file in your dropbox folder, this creates a valid shortcut to the catalogue file as it is updated and kept in a local drive  //my documents/my dropbox/
You need to have Dropdox and Lightroom installed.
Rough how-to guide;
1. Find your lightroom catalogue file, normally in //my documents/my pictures/lightroom/Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat file
2. Copy this accross to //my documents/my dropbox/Lightroom/
3. Allow it to sync and upload to Dropbox
4. Open lightroom and click file menu /open cat
5. Click edit menu /catalog settings/ then click file handling tab at the top, change the “automatically discard 1:1 preview” to afer one day.  This keeps the previews to a minimum and won’t clog up dropbox
This is not a fantastic solution, and can be slow depending on your internet connection speed, but it does allow a single point for all your lightroom editing.  Make sure you let dropdox sync all files each time your computer starts, you will know its done when a green tick appears on the icon in the bottom right hand corner.
Any questions, just ask.

4 thoughts on “Running Lightroom on two computers with one catalogue

  1. I’d love to see a video tutorial (screencast) of this.

    On my secondary machine (Macbook Air) I can see all the file names of the photos on my primary machine where the photos are stored (iMac), but I can’t actually see the images themselves.

    • you need to have a single (common) lightroom catalogue file called lightroom 3 catalog.lcat locate this in your dropbox folder, allow your dropbox files to sync and then open the catalgue on each computer, it should work.

      • I got it to work. I just needed to locate the folder of the images from within Lightroom.

        However, as warned and predicted, it’s slow in use over a wireless network.

        I’ll give it a trial period, but it may not work out.

        Thanks for the guide, though. Much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s