Here Is How I Retrieve iPhoto Library From A Local Network

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Here is how I retrieve iPhoto Library from a local network.  This requires me to run a Linux box, backup iPhoto Library to Linux box by using rsync, and then rsync iPhoto Library back to my Mac whenever I need to retrieve all of my iPhoto photos.  Of course, you can too have Windows box holds the backup photos of iPhoto, but you need to run FTP server on Windows box to allow the backup and the retrieval of iPhoto photos; FTP client has to be installed on Mac so one can retrieve iPhoto photos from the backup iPhoto Library on Windows box.  The best free FTP server and client programs for Windows and Mac I know of are Filezilla.  To clarify, Filezilla server might support only Windows, but Filezilla client might support all platforms which includes Mac.

If you are using my method to backup and retrieve iPhoto Library, here is what we need to do:

  1. Fire up your Linux box and let it churns away
  2. Backup process:
    1. Fire up a terminal in Mac
    2. Type in the command [rsync -avz -e ‘ssh -p 22’ –stats –progress –delete /Users/username/iPhoto\ Library/ username@Linuxbox-ip-address-number:/home/username/Mac-backup/iPhoto\ Library/] (Make sure you do not type in the square brackets inside the terminal, because the square brackets are not part of the command line.  Also, please insert appropriate texts for the parameters such as location of the backup folder of iPhoto Library.  For your information, do not use –delete parameter if you don’t want rsync to delete the Linux box’s backup iPhoto Library photos that do not exist on your Mac.  To make it even more clear, the –delete parameter is to allow you to make sure the backup destination has exact the same files and folders and structure of the machine you want to do a backup for.  Here is also another useful tip, always make sure to include a / at the end of both the original folder on Mac and the backup destination on Linux box so the rsync won’t be confused of the actual source and destination and will not screw up your backup files and folders and structure.)
  3. Retrieval Process (if you haven’t yet done a backup in step 2, then there isn’t a point of retrieving a backup):
    1. Fire up a terminal in Mac
    2. Type in the command [rsync -avz -e ‘ssh -p 22’ –stats –progress username@Linuxbox-ip-address-number:/home/username/Mac-backup/iPhoto\ Library/ /Users/username/iPhoto\ Library/] (Most likely you want to not use –delete parameter in the retrieval process to avoid files and folders on Mac be deleted by accidents.  Notice how I left out the –delete parameter in the command line.  Don’t forget to include the / at the end of the source and destination in the command line.  Don’t forget to insert appropriate parameters for the command line such as username.
  4. Most likely you’ll be asked of entering a password before the rsync would begin for either the backup or retrieval process.
  5. When done retrieving original iPhoto Library’s photos onto Mac, just open up the iPhoto app and you will notice all of your backup photos are now reappeared as before.

You can always make sure iCloud is turning on for all of your Mac devices so your photos can also be saved in the cloud.  It’s possible to retrieve certain amount of photos in the cloud of iCloud, but I doubt that you can retrieve everything from iCloud considering you cannot really browse the iCloud manually.  Also, iCloud may not automatically recognize the photos that you took before you had iCloud enabled.  Sometimes, iCloud might not be able to do automatic backup and you had not done an iCloud backup for your mobile devices, photos that you took might not be uploaded to iCloud and so you won’t be able to retrieve them if your mobile devices got wiped (i.e., corrupted data on mobile devices).  This is why backing up your iPhoto Library to local computers such as Linux box is so important for people who do care about their photos very much.