I think LR's licensing is tied to the computer on which it was installed. So you'll need a second installation of the program for the second Macbook.
Are you sure the PROGRAM is installed on the external drive. This doesn't make a lot of sense.
Ideally the PROGRAM would be installed on each machine and only the CATALOG and IMAGES would need to be on the external drive.
If you do have the second of these two setups then I would go ahead and follow the instructions of uninstall and reinstall of the PROGRAM on the second MBA.
If you have the first setup. Please explain why - Id be interested to know the advantage.
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In theory Lightroom could run on the external drive on both computers, but because you don't have the correct support files on the second computer it does not work. You have to install Lightroom on the second computer too (which you are allowed to do). After that you could move Lightroom to the external drive, but there is absolutely no reason to do that. Only place the catalog folder and the images on that drive if you want to share them between the two computers, not the application.
Lightroom works like most other Mac programs in that there are three things you need for a Mac application to work:
- The application
- The user's document(s) (for Lightroom, your catalog)
- The hidden files in the user's /Library folder, like preferences, presets, licensing, and other configuration files, which are put there by the installer. Many Mac applications store these in the /Library/Application Support folder.
On the MacBook Air where Lightroom works, it works because you ran the installer. It put both the application and the /Library files in the correct places. Then you moved Lightroom to your external hard drive.
On the second MacBook Air where Lightroom is not working, it's because you only brought the Lightroom application with you...you didn't bring all the hidden files! To put those on the second MacBook Air you need to do exactly what the error told you: run the Lightroom installer on the second Mac too.
You license provides you with two activations, so it's legal to have Lightroom on two of your own computers.
Great help, thanks!
I have my photos on an external hard drive. But I suspect LR is Catalog on my MacBook Air drive. If I File>Open>Recent Catalog in LR it points to my MacBook Air, and not to my external hard drive where the photos are. Does this make any sense to you? Should I move the Catalog to the external drive as well, and is there a place for instructions on how to do that?
Should I move the Catalog to the external drive as well, and is there a place for instructions on how to do that?
If you want to access the catalog and photos from two computers, then yes, move the catalog to the external drive. See here for details: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/how-move-lightroom-to-new-computer/
John this worked amazingly well- my thanks!
Conrad, thanks for your input- worked amazingly well and I am happy! Thank you!