How can I share the same Photos library between multiple user accounts on the same machine

I currently have my photos library on an external drive. "Ignore ownership on this volume" is set. The first user that logs into the machine and opens photos obtains a permanent lock on the database. There's a process named photolibraryd that sits and keeps a lock on the top level Photos.photoslibrary directory. According to the system log this lock is what is preventing other users from opening the library.

I get that you can't have two people accessing the same library at the same time. Is there any way to make this work? iCloud sharing seems to be limited to 5000 images (roughly a 10th of what I have)

  • I don't think Apple has a solution for that. Google photos does wonders, though. The Apple apps are simply not made to handle what you are expecting them to handle. That database lock is there because the underlying database can not handle concurrent access... Even if you manage to provide access to more than one user, you risk data corruption. Feb 2, 2016 at 5:16
  • I get the risk of data corruption when there is concurrent access. The issue is, that the library stays locked even when photos isn't running. This worked fine under aperture for years.
    – skarface
    Feb 2, 2016 at 12:56
  • Oh, now I see what is happening. Does it hurt if you terminate that daemon process manually, before switching accounts? Feb 2, 2016 at 13:00
  • Not sure. dtruss says it's quite busy. Also worth noting that I'm uploading to icloud as well. There's a chance that the daemon goes away when that finishes. Setup icloud sync without realizing that you can't share the entire library. I've got tons of disk so the duplication wouldn't have bothered me. maybe rsync will save the day. :)
    – skarface
    Feb 2, 2016 at 15:52
  • 1
    If the db is being synced with iCloud, you can be sure that the daemon is modifying it. It will do face recognition, geodata recognition, etc. Probably rsync won't be able to get a stable snapshot of the db, and will result in a corrupted copy. By the way, the limitation on iPhoto shared albums is per album. You can have 100 shared albums. That allows you to share 500,000 photos in all. Even I don't have that many photos! If you can break down the photos into separate albums (let's say one per year or one per season), you can still go with the standard sharing solution. Feb 2, 2016 at 16:00


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