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How do I do that? (including what I need to do to iPhoto on all my apple computers) Are there any disadvantages?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can do it, but do it with caution. I've run network home directories before, which is essentially what you're describing, and iPhoto supports it fine. On your standard Desktop OS, simply create alias to the iPhoto library on your network share in your User home directory photos folder. You can also set iPhoto to use a new library in a new location by opening iPhoto with Option (Alt) held down, where it will then prompt you to locate the new library (which would be on your network share).

The biggest issue you'll have to address is ensuring it's not open and being edited by two iPhoto instances at the same time. I'm not 100% sure how it will behave, but you can bet not well. You could get situations where photos become orphaned, etc.

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3  
iPhoto implements a locking mechanism to help prevent two copies of iPhoto from opening a given library at the same time. If you try to open a second instance of iPhoto, you'll get a message saying that the library can't be opened because it's locked, and iPhoto will automatically quit. –  Brian Webster Sep 10 '10 at 21:20
    
Ah, good to know. Didn't realise it did that. Handy. –  pauldunlop Sep 13 '10 at 11:16
    
But how should I move the iPhoto Library to the network device (NAS)? If I try to copy the library, it says that im not allowed to... –  Dave Jun 9 '11 at 20:00
    
Same thing works for Aperture and iTunes libraries too. I run all three from a Drobo that is mounted locally on my machine, but shared across the network so the laptops can get to them too. –  Alex Aug 8 '11 at 20:26

To answer your question:~ You should be able to drag the iPhoto Library from the pictures folder in your home directory straight to the networked drive. If it's refusing to do that then you might have to re-check ur permissions from GET INFO.

It will be easier for you to share your library by going into iPhoto preferences and and sharing tab, assuming you are using 10.6 Snow Leopard. iPhoto Preferences

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You should note that iPhoto needs to have the Library sitting on disk formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Users with the Library sitting on disks otherwise formatted regularly report issues including, but not limited to, importing, saving edits and sharing the photos.

Recent versions of iPhoto will not allow you to move or create a library on a NAS.

Workaround: Put the library on a Disk Image formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and store that on the NAS

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