I’m using Syncthing to keep several folder synced between my iMac with attached RAID and my laptop. In general it’s worked well but I have experienced a few problems with keeping my Lightroom Classic catalog (.lrcat) file properly synced. I’d like to share my setup for others and ask a couple questions.
Here is the ignore pattern I’m using:
// General purpose patterns
iPod Photo Cache
// Special to this folder with Lighroom and other photos
// I want to sync these files in case I forget to quit Lightroom, blocks opening on other computer
// Prevents sync of previews and cache files, build on local computer
// Don’t sync Mac Photos app library
I’m not syncing my previews. I build those with different settings on each computer.
Using the watcher and default scan interval seemed to be missing some changes. I’ve also noticed that the watcher can cause issues when Lightroom is building previews and the catalog files is being updated continually.
?? Is there way to tune the watcher’s sensitivity ??
For now, I’ve turned the watcher off and lowered the rescan interval to 300s.
?? Does setting the scan to low values cause problems ??
If I don’t explicitly list the Maser.lrdata file then if it’s open on one computer it doesn’t sync to the other computer.
?? Does Syncthing know that a file is in use ??
I do essentially the same as you with Lightroom, with a couple of small differences. I don’t exclude the lock files or previews. In fact syncing the lock file is a good precaution. The catalog is a database and you must never have it open in more than one place at a time. Making sure you’re in sync before starting it is essential.
I’m not sure what issues you are seeing with the watcher, it seems to handle the Lightroom catalog fine for me. Specifically, after shutting down Lightroom you’ll see it sync the last few catalog changes after a short while.
Syncthing does not know about open files and can’t do anything useful to assist there. As noted, it’s essential to quit Lightroom and let it sync to the other side before opening it there.
I’m not excluding the lock file. I’m using ! to force a sync. It doesn’t sync on my system without that in the signore file. Given that I can open the catalog file on my laptop even when it’s open on my iMac and the lock file is present in both locations.
I did it it as a test (with prior backup). I expected a warning from Lightroom on my laptop. I got no warning, the catalog opened for new input.
I try to check before opening Lightroom if it’s running on my other computer. It’s not alway easy if I’m at school or work and the iMac is home. I think this may be the cause of some instances of corrupted catalogs.
It’s also a problem when I’m at home and the other catalog doesn’t sync promptly. I may quit Lightroom on the iMac and open it a few minutes later on the laptop. Turning down the full auto scan time to 600s has helped with that second source of error.
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