How to automatically synchronize your Lightroom Classic settings between several computers?

You may have said to yourself one day that it would be good to find the same Lightroom Classic settings between your different workstations. Maybe between work and home. Maybe by the way, between Windows and macOS. You have found it convenient that, regardless of the system, you can open the same catalog. But, apart from that, you cannot find your filters, your texts and above all, your presets. What if you could do it within the entire team or the entire studio?

All you need is a subscription to a free cloud storage provider like Amazon Prime, Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive or your own owncloud or NAS. But, you must have installed their automatic synchronization tool.

In this article, I will explain how to synchronize all of this, automatically and live, regardless of the system of your computers, macOS or Windows and regardless of the number of computers.

Click below on “Page 2” to read the tutorial content.

You may have said to yourself one day that it would be good to find the same Lightroom Classic settings between your different workstations. Maybe between work and home. Maybe by the way, between Windows and macOS. You have found it convenient that, regardless of the system, you can open the same catalog. But, apart from that, you cannot find your filters, your texts and above all, your presets. What if you could do it within the entire team or the entire studio?

All you need is a subscription to a free cloud storage provider like Amazon Prime, Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive or your own owncloud or NAS. But, you must have installed their automatic synchronization tool.

In this article, I will explain how to synchronize all of this, automatically and live, regardless of the system of your computers, macOS or Windows and regardless of the number of computers.

Prerequisites

You need:

  • An account with an online storage provider: Amazon Prime, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or a NAS space accessible to all computers
  • Have installed and configured the synchronization program corresponding to the service you wish to use

Watchfulness

Be careful of the data that you might want to synchronize with these services. For security, I can only tell you to be extremely careful with cloud storage providers. They are generally American and fall under the scope of the Cloud Act and Patriot Act, even if they say they are hosted in France or in the EU.

Covenant

In my example, I will take a OwnCloud synchronization tools. I will create at the root of the storage a directory dedicated to the synchronization of parameters which I will name “X_SyncSettings” (so that it is at the end and does not interfere in alphabetical order. It will be necessary to replace in the paths <YOUR_ACCOUNT> by the true name of your user account on the machine, so it will be in the following location:

  • macOS: /Users/<YOUR_ACCOUNT>/OwnCloud/X_SyncSettings
  • Windows : c:\Users\<YOUR_ACCOUNT>\OwnCloud\X_SyncSettings

Principle of operation

2 directories are to be synchronized. The one that contains all the Lightroom parameters and the one that contains the presets which is associated with the “Camera Raw” application. We will use the symbolic link system available on each system to redirect these two directories in a completely transparent manner for LIghtroom to synchronize. Thus the Lightroom program will have the impression of working in the same directory as usual while the files will be written in the synchronized part in the cloud. For its part, the synchronization tool will only see fire as it will be content to do what it knows how to do perfectly: synchronize files in the cloud between X computers

Note: Lightroom loads its files at startup. It will not update with the files received until the next start.

Note: this principle works for a whole bunch of other programs

The next page will describe the technical implementation of the solution

Implementation

It is first necessary to implement synchronization on the first computer which contains the most successful parameters after having made a backup of the 2 directories which will be re-directed to the cloud. We will rename the 2 original directories and create the symbolic links. Finally, we will copy the original files to these new directories in order to put everything back in place for Lightroom.

Once implemented, the files will start to synchronize.

On the second computer (and the following ones), we will rename the 2 original directories, make the symbolic links and thus recover the files coming from computer 1. It will remain to delta the parameters that were present on this computer and may be missing what was recovered from computer 1.

Implementation tutorial on macOS

Start the terminal application on macOS (It is in Application / Utilities). To simplify the reading, the explanations will be given in the code, preceded by #. Remember that you must adapt the path to your user account name, here noted<YOUR_ACCOUNT> and to your synchronization folder called here <CLOUD>:

Attention, on the capture the paths are adapted to my real organization 🙂
# If you are on the first computer, you will have to create the directories
# to synchronize in the cloud (Watch out for capital letters!)
cd /Users/<YOUR_ACCOUNT>/<CLOUD>/X_SyncSettings/
mkdir Lightrooom
mkdir CameraRaw
mkdir CameraRaw/Settings
# End of the action to be carried out on the first computer

# ---- Copy for the Lightroom Settings
# Go to the Lightroom settings directory
cd /Users/<YOUR_ACCOUNT>/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/
# The directory to synchronize is the entire Lightroom directory
# We will first make a backup copy
mv Lightroom Lightroom_Backup
# Then, we will make a symbolic link to the cloud directory
ln -s /Users/<YOUR_ACCOUNT>/<CLOUD>/X_SyncSettings/Lightroom Lightroom

# If you are on the first computer, you will have to copy the original files to the new location which is now pointing to the cloud
cp -R Lightroom_Backup Lightroom

# ---- Copy for the CameraRaw Settings 
# Go to the CameraRaw settings directory
cd /Users/<YOUR_ACCOUNT>/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/CameraRaw
# The directory to synchronize is the entire directory Settings
# We will first make a backup copy
cp Settings Settings_Backup
# Then, we will make a symbolic link to the cloud directory
mv -s /Users/<YOUR_ACCOUNT>/<CLOUD>/X_SyncSettings/CameraRaw/Settings Settings

# If you are on the first computer, you will have to copy the original files to the new location which is now pointing to the cloud
cp -R Settings_Backup Settings

Implementation tutorial on Windows

Start the “Command Prompt” application in administrator mode (It is in the start menu at “Windows System”). To start it in administrator mode, right-click on the program name and pull down the “More” menu.

To simplify the reading, the explanations will be given in the code, preceded by #. Remember that you must adapt the path to your user account name, here noted <YOUR_ACCOUNT> and to your synchronization folder called here <CLOUD>:

# If you are on the first computer, you will have to create the directories
# to synchronize in the cloud (Watch out for capital letters!)
cd c:\Users\<YOUR_ACCOUNT>\<CLOUD>\X_SyncSetting\
mkdir Lightroom
mkdir CameraRaw
mkdir CameraRaw\Settings
# End of the action to be carried out on the first computer

# ---- Copy for the Lightroom Settings
# Go to the Lightroom settings directory
cd c:\Users\<YOUR_ACCOUNT>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe
# The directory to synchronize is the entire Lightroom directory
# We will first make a backup copy
move Lightroom Lightroom_Backup
# Then, we will make a symbolic link to the cloud directory
mklink /D Lightroom c:\Users\<YOUR_ACCOUNT>\<CLOUD>\X_SyncSettings\Lightroom

# If you are on the first computer, you will have to copy the original files to the new location which is now pointing to the cloud
copy -R Lightroom_Backup Lightroom

# ---- Copy for the CameraRaw Settings
# Go to the CameraRaw settings directory 
cd CameraRaw
# The directory to synchronize is the entire directory Settings
# We will first make a backup copy
move Settings Settings_Backup
# Then, we will make a symbolic link to the cloud directory
mklink /D Settings C:\Users\<YOUR_ACCOUNT>\<CLOUD>/X_SyncSettings/CameraRaw/Settings

# If you are on the first computer, you will have to copy the original files to the new location which is now pointing to the cloud
copy -R Settings_Backup Settings
Attention, on the capture the paths are adapted to my real organization 🙂

Feel free to leave your comments and share this article with your contacts who use Lightroom

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