New Mac mini...2 iCloud Photo Libraries..Need Help :)

drew051

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 22, 2015
12
1
I just ordered a 2018 Mac Mini. I went for the 6 core,10 gigabit, 16gb ram and the 256gb ssd. It is going to run as a home server and last me for a while :) I am going to buy either one or two large external SSDs.

My wife and I both have our own iCloud accounts and iCloud photo libraries. I want to use this machine as the place where we will download the originals, which is where the HDs come in as they will have the photo libraries on them. This would be very easy to do with just one user but since both of us have separate accounts, will fast user switching work? The Mini will run headless a lot of the time

I hope that makes sense, it is hard to try and describe what I am exactly trying to do!
 

NaimNut

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2017
101
40
Toronto
If you don’t find the solution you are looking for take a hard look at LR imo.

There are many advantages and library control is one of them.
 
Last edited:

astrorider

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2008
457
11
I just ordered a 2018 Mac Mini. I went for the 6 core,10 gigabit, 16gb ram and the 256gb ssd. It is going to run as a home server and last me for a while :) I am going to buy either one or two large external SSDs.

My wife and I both have our own iCloud accounts and iCloud photo libraries. I want to use this machine as the place where we will download the originals, which is where the HDs come in as they will have the photo libraries on them. This would be very easy to do with just one user but since both of us have separate accounts, will fast user switching work? The Mini will run headless a lot of the time

I hope that makes sense, it is hard to try and describe what I am exactly trying to do!
If I'm understanding correctly, two user accounts on the Mac, each with their own iCloud account, should work great. When initially setting it up, you can point the Photos.app to a photo library on your external drives by holding the Option key when Photos launches. Then use fast user switching to switch between the two Mac accounts.
 

drew051

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 22, 2015
12
1
Thats what I thought I could do, thanks for clearing that up
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,092
2,565
I am doing the same for 4 people. Each user has iClould Photo Library on and the photos app is open full time for each login. I have Photos setup as a login item so it starts on login. I have the Mini running headless and on a UPS. Once Photos was setup, I moved the photo library file to a folder on the internal backup drive (two in the mini) and deleted the original on the SSD. I told photos to make it the primary photo location and turned iCloud Photos back on. Photos are backed up in the background without doing anything else.
 

drew051

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 22, 2015
12
1
I am doing the same for 4 people. Each user has iClould Photo Library on and the photos app is open full time for each login. I have Photos setup as a login item so it starts on login. I have the Mini running headless and on a UPS. Once Photos was setup, I moved the photo library file to a folder on the internal backup drive (two in the mini) and deleted the original on the SSD. I told photos to make it the primary photo location and turned iCloud Photos back on. Photos are backed up in the background without doing anything else.
Thanks for the detailed help, this helps a lot!

You said you have internal drives, will this work the same if I attach a large external SSD? I was thinking of buying a bit external drive and then setting a photo library for my and then one for my wife
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,092
2,565
Thanks for the detailed help, this helps a lot!

You said you have internal drives, will this work the same if I attach a large external SSD? I was thinking of buying a bit external drive and then setting a photo library for my and then one for my wife
It will work fine. In my case I have room on the internal spinning drive. The drive is simply called “Backup Drive”, on it I have a folder for each person in the house. In each folder is the Photo Library file. Once copied there, go back to Photos, preferences, tell it what folder to use, set as main folder, turn on iCloud photo with fillzise photos and done.
 

drew051

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 22, 2015
12
1
It will work fine. In my case I have room on the internal spinning drive. The drive is simply called “Backup Drive”, on it I have a folder for each person in the house. In each folder is the Photo Library file. Once copied there, go back to Photos, preferences, tell it what folder to use, set as main folder, turn on iCloud photo with fillzise photos and done.
Thanks again!

And by selecting download originals, it still keeps your photos in the cloud too right?
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,391
329
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
And by selecting download originals, it still keeps your photos in the cloud too right?
It does. Just keep in mind that the Mini will have a current copy of whatever is on iCloud. If you delete a photo from iCloud - it gets deleted from the Mini too, just as automatically as it will download a new photo. So it's important to keep the Mini backed up separately (e.g. Time Machine) to prevent losses from accidental deletion.
 

drew051

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 22, 2015
12
1
It does. Just keep in mind that the Mini will have a current copy of whatever is on iCloud. If you delete a photo from iCloud - it gets deleted from the Mini too, just as automatically as it will download a new photo. So it's important to keep the Mini backed up separately (e.g. Time Machine) to prevent losses from accidental deletion.
That is great advice. Thank you!
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,114
572
Oregon
I don't know about multiple accounts but I have iCloud family share set up on all devices. On the Mac mini, I open Photos and drag photos from iCloud family share to a directory (usually named year - month) on my external drive connected to the mini. The external also holds the Photos library. I then drag photos that I like into the appropriate Photos album. I have Photos setup to import using references - not actually copying the photos into the Photos database. This way I can right click on a picture in Photos and "Show referenced file in finder" to copy or drag the photo in order to use it in facebook or whatever. I can also copy my folders to a thumb drive to give to my sister or niece. this is also how I'm able to clean off my iPad and iPhone every so often. I like all my pictures in one place and organized. Still working through all my scanned photographs and negatives. Oh boy.
 

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
552
124
Sqornshellous
I am so relieved to find this thread, since I'm hoping to do exactly the same – and figured I would need to be searching waaaayyyy more for answers!

I have started running Backblaze on the Mini – which will presumably backup everything to the cloud.
I already have a 4TB RAID-5 DAS where TM backups of the Mini are being kept.
And I will also use a physical Lacie HDD external, as an offsite backup TM backup (might run it as a CCC clone instead – still deciding).

One quick question, that someone can hopefully assist with:

If I understand this thread correctly, I will have my account with my Photos library, and iCloud Photos active.
I will then create a second account for my wife, with the same set-up as mine.
I will then use 'fast user switching' to jump between the accounts, so I never actually "log-out" from either, correct?

Assuming that to be the case, do the two Photos libraries, on the different accounts, keep syncing/downloading in the background, or does that only happen to whichever account is 'active'?

In other words, would I need to frequently switch between the two accounts to ensure that the Photos library of each, does its thing?
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,391
329
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
do the two Photos libraries, on the different accounts, keep syncing/downloading in the background
Yes, assuming both accounts are signed in. I presume the Photos app also needs to be running on both; at least that's how I have mine set up (Photos is in the Login Items on each account). But the non-active account (my wife's) remains up to date, it's easy for me to see since I have both Photos Libraries on an external disk that is visible to either user.
 

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
552
124
Sqornshellous
Yes, assuming both accounts are signed in. I presume the Photos app also needs to be running on both; at least that's how I have mine set up (Photos is in the Login Items on each account). But the non-active account (my wife's) remains up to date, it's easy for me to see since I have both Photos Libraries on an external disk that is visible to either user.
Many thanks. Will give this a go.
 

drew051

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 22, 2015
12
1
I got my mini a week or so ago and I set up myself as the main user, set the photo library up on the external HD and then set it to download originals. I let it do it’s thing for a while and then did the same for my wife and set fast user switching. As long as the HD is mounted, and photos app is running on both logged in users. It is working, I check periodically just to be sure!


I am so relieved to find this thread, since I'm hoping to do exactly the same – and figured I would need to be searching waaaayyyy more for answers!

I have started running Backblaze on the Mini – which will presumably backup everything to the cloud.
I already have a 4TB RAID-5 DAS where TM backups of the Mini are being kept.
And I will also use a physical Lacie HDD external, as an offsite backup TM backup (might run it as a CCC clone instead – still deciding).

One quick question, that someone can hopefully assist with:

If I understand this thread correctly, I will have my account with my Photos library, and iCloud Photos active.
I will then create a second account for my wife, with the same set-up as mine.
I will then use 'fast user switching' to jump between the accounts, so I never actually "log-out" from either, correct?

Assuming that to be the case, do the two Photos libraries, on the different accounts, keep syncing/downloading in the background, or does that only happen to whichever account is 'active'?

In other words, would I need to frequently switch between the two accounts to ensure that the Photos library of each, does its thing?
Many thanks. Will give this a go.
 
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