Use Lightroom on a mapped network drive (on Linux with VirtualBox)

If you try to open a catalog stored on a network drive, Adobe Lightroom will complain about “Lightroom can not be opened on network volumes, removable storage or read on read only volumes.” You can easily overcome this by assigning the network drive to a drive letter using the subst command:

C:\Windows\System32\subst.exe L: \\ERITHACUS\IMAGES

This is especially useful if you want to run Lightroom on Linux in a virtual Windows machine with VirtualBox, but want to keep your photos on a mounted drive (in my case /media/simon/IMAGES).

Setup folder sharing in VirtualBox

First you need to add your mounted image folder to VirtualBox as a shared folder:

Setting up folder sharing of our photos in VirtualBox on Linux Mint.

After starting Windows, the shared folder will show up in Explorer:

Mounted network folder holding the photos in Windows Explorer

Next, create a lightroom.bat file that executes the subst command before starting lightroom:

Contents of the lightroom bat file to execute the subst command and then start Lightroom.

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