After many years using linux, I decided to buy a mac. Now my main problem is: how do I synchronize pictures within my linux machines and the mac?

I have been using digikam in linux, and I like it because I can just browse the pictures directly from my directories (and it is easy for me to keep directories synchronized within mac and linux).

I have been testing iphoto and aperture, which are quite nice but if use them, my understanding is that I have to import all the pictures into these softwares, and this doesn't seem to be the ideal solution for me.
I tried picasa, but I don't find it as good as iphoto and aperture. On the other hand it allows me to browse directories, without having two copies of the same pictures.

I didn't try lightroom yet, would that be a good solution?

I would appreciate any suggestion on this.



Maybe this related thread is an answer to your question.

  • Thanks for your reply. Although I didn't see the thread before, I don't think it gives me an answer, as the OP asks how to get this done in iPhoto. I am more flexible and I am happy to use any other software, if there is a better alternative! – mrw Oct 12 '10 at 19:23
  • @MrWoody: Yes, but the 2x upvoted answer there shows that iPhoto works as well without importing (i.e. moving/copying files into proprietary database), which is the only argument you bring against it. Other kinds of software recommendation can only be vague and subjective without your providing criteria. – Daniel Beck Oct 12 '10 at 19:34
  • The solution described there is nice but it doesn't show how to use iPhoto as a file browser, as I don't think it is possible. I understand that it is possible not to have two copies of the same file (i.e. leave pictures as they are) but since I have a lot of pictures, it wouldn't be convenient to "import" all of them. – mrw Oct 12 '10 at 21:53
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    @MrWoody: Doesn't iPhoto allow mirroring of physical folders using the groups inside the application? Also, if you use a folders synchronizer, you can use Finder to browse the folders, if that structure is important to you, and the other application, such as iPhoto, for tagging, Faces, retouching etc. Please clarify what you're looking for. – Daniel Beck Oct 13 '10 at 8:37
  • How do you mirror physical folders with iPhoto? My aim is to have a nice software which can browse directories on my mac, edit them and have slideshows. What is the screenshot from ? – mrw Oct 13 '10 at 20:10

Aperture can leave your files where they were. HOWEVER If you rename a file outside of aperture, aperture can't find it, and you lose your changes.


There is no one true answer here that will work with everyone. It demands on whether you want a DAM+Editing software or a split between the two or just the latter.

I used Bibble back in the day (which is now named Corel AfterShot Pro) for Mac-Linux-Windows editing, with Picasa for DAM/overview, and then switched to Lightroom when Bibble 5 came out due to the confusing new DAM. Lightroom worked OK when sharing the same catalogue between Mac and Windows, but then I upgraded Lightroom 6 to Lightroom CC and suddenly I was forced into paying a monthly sum to access my old edits.

Corel AfterShot Pro still works cross-platform, so someone interested in cross-platform products could still use that (its 5x faster than Lightroom), but I haven't used it in many years. But I see you were using digiKam. That actually works on Mac, Windows and Linux, doesn't cost a dime and is still updated 18 years on. If you like(d) this, I'd just install it on your Mac as well. Super-simple syncing.

I am actually pondering whether to start using that instead of my slow old Lightroom install. If you see my experiences above, the one general thread is that vendor lock-in for DAM has been hurtful. Software dies, gets slow or not updated or turns into something else. Open Source software can still die (see F-Spot), but at least it's usually available for most platforms and it's possible to fix it.

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