Lightroom in Ubuntu

Lightroom in Ubuntu

This guide shows how Adobe Lightroom can be run in Ubuntu through a virtual machine, courtesy of Oracle’s VirtualBox.

This video illustrates the functionality and responsiveness of Adobe Lightroom 6 running on the following hardware, native operating system and virtual machine:-

  • Dell XPS420 – Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz × 4  and 4GB RAM.
  • Host Operating System: Ubuntu 14.04LTS (64 bit)
  • Guest Virtual Machine: Windows 7 (64 bit) Home Premium.

The video also illustrates the seamless integration of Windows 7 with the Ubuntu desktop environment, allowing both Linux and Windows programs to be run side-by-side.

In today’s terms, the Dell XPS420 is an old desktop machine. Newer PCs, with faster processors and more RAM are likely to perform much better than shown. But it is worth noting that I have had success in getting Lightroom to run adequately on an even older Acer Aspire laptop with a slower dual core processor and less RAM.

Video Details:

  1. Browsing a webpage with Mozilla Firefox in Ubuntu. Re-sizing the browser and moving it around the Ubuntu desktop. Browser then minimized.
  2. Clicked Start on the VirtualBox Manager to launch the virtual machine installed with Windows 7 (64 bit) Home Premium.
  3. Typing password to logon to Windows 7.
  4. Windows START > Calculator and then maximize Mozilla Firefox from Ubuntu.
  5. Windows START > Adobe Lightroom.
  6. Showing the speed of Adobe Lightroom 6 Library by double-clicking a few images to maximize them.
  7. Folder removal then imported back to demonstrate the import speed: 20 x RAW NEF image files totalling 380MB.
  8. Chosing a RAW image to develop.
  9. Zooming in 1:1 then spot removal tool use to conceal sensor dirt.
  10. Image to black and white and various adjustments made.
  11. Zooming in 1:1 and out a couple of times to look at detail.
  12. Pressing F on keyboard to view adjusted image in full screen.
  13. Exporting image: 18MB NEF file exported to 795KB 1060 x 1600 jpg (95% reduction).
  14. Exported image then displayed with Windows Photo Viewer.
  15. Back to the Ubuntu Firefox browser to demonstrate that it is still responsive.
  16. Closing down Lightroom.
  17. Shutting down Windows 7 to return the Ubuntu desktop.

Getting Lightroom to Run in Ubuntu

Check the specification of your PC. It needs to outperform the minimum requirements of your Ubuntu operating system AND the version of Adobe Lightroom you wish to use.

Minimum System Requirements: Ubuntu | Adobe Lightroom 6

Take note of the operating systems that are capable of running your version of Adobe Lightroom and make sure you have an appropriate installation CD/DVD and licence key to hand.

Please follow my guide on How To Install VirtualBox in Ubuntu. It describes how to install Oracle’s VirtualBox; make a virtual machine and install the Windows 7 (64 bit) Home Premium operating system; how  to install Windows Guest Additions CD Image and how to integrate the two environments of Ubuntu and Windows 7 seamlessly to make one unified desktop. The article shows you how to share files and folders between the two operating system and install Windows software.

Once you have Adobe Lightroom installed on your virtual machine it is time to tweak the settings of that virtual machine to make it snappy. These tweaks made Lightroom more responsive for my hardware.

Base Memory: As much as you can afford. 2GB is the minimum requirement for Adobe Lightroom. Leave at least 2GB for Ubuntu.

Processors: From a Quad Core Processor I dedicated 3 of those cores to the Windows 7 operating system.

Execution Cap: Reduced from 100% to 90%. This prevented Windows 7 from stalling programs in Ubuntu.

Video Memory: From a 256MB GeForce Graphics Card, half of that memory given to Windows 7.

Acceleration: 2D & 3D switched on. Made little difference. Lightroom reported that it could not find a GPU to assist in processing.

Virtual Machine Settings for Adobe Lightroom | VirtualBox

Virtual Machine Settings for Adobe Lightroom | VirtualBox

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