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Ideally I’d like a Linux machine to automatically sync new photos whenever the iPhone is on the same network (and upload to b2 or s3). l’m not sure if this is possible or not.

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    I bought an old Mac Mini for very cheap and put a big disk in it. I let Photos sync everything there and I back up my Photos library (and the rest of my iCloud stuff, which is getting close to 2TB now) to Backblaze.

    I also let Google Photos take copies from the phone and occasionally check in on it to see if it’s working okay.

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      via cable?

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        No all of this is without physically connecting anything

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          How can the photos app sync with the mac mini then?

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            iCloud syncs it

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              Do you have to pay for an iCloud plan then? And if so, what happens when you run out of capacity in iCloud? Or is this syncing feature independent of the iCloud storage plans?

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                Yes I pay for iCloud, for a family pack that gives us 2TB. By far I’m the biggest user and the capacity is almost all photos and videos from my various cameras. I’m happy paying for this because it means I get to provide others with a copy of their photos that won’t easily get lost.

                I’m not quite near the 2TB limit yet but eventually I’ll have to come up with a way to choose what I don’t want be in my primary Photos library and that I will just leave in one place to keep it backed up.

                I probably have quite a lot of video I could move out of my primary Photos library and just keep around - but I like that I keep accidentally coming across old photos and videos, so I hope they make a bigger plan soon.

                I used to use Dropbox Photos but they killed it. That was pretty good. Apple Photos is great for always having all my photos available on my phone, laptops, etc. - all indexed and catalogued automatically in some useful ways. Just like Google Photos. I don’t trust Apple or Google alone, but I like the iOS and MacOS Photos stuff enough to use it as my primary way to handle photos.

                Syncing is because of iCloud. I don’t have a 2TB phone to keep all my photos on and sync to elsewhere! Maybe one day.

                You can of course try the ways around using the system Apple provide but it’s always going to be clunky. The closest to the same experience is Google Photos, as far as I know. I think you can still sync Google Photos to Linux so that might be a way to do similar to iCloud + Apple Photos though not necessarily cheaper.

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      iCloud Photo Library with my main MacBook Pro set to sync all content locally, then Arq backs it up into Backblaze b2. (Along with the rest of the machine, including iCloud Drive.)

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        How does this work? Does it have to go through iCloud to get to your MBP? And if so, are you constrained on iCloud capacity (we’re paying for 200GB and we’re already hitting that cap). If not, do you have to plug in a USB, or does it work automatically via the network?

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          Syncs through iCloud yes. We have the family “everything” plan (Apple Premier?) so get 2TB cloud storage to use between us. Think my photo library is just over 300GB so far.

          If I had to plug the phone in, I’d never sync it.

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          This is precisely what I do. I did recently switch from Backblaze B2 to MS OneDrive, as I needed the MS365 subscription for other (family) reasons, and it comes with 6 x 1TB Onedrive accounts. Two are used for backups.

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            I’m curious why you use Backblaze B2 and not the Backblaze Personal Backup?

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              I used to use their personal backup years ago when it first came out, switched to using Arq against One Drive and S3 I think it was, then switched to b2 because it’s cheaper (and easier to setup.) Stopped using One Drive when I left my previous job as it was the corporate account.

              I found backblaze personal backup didn’t backup system paths, which included homebrew (vague memory, might have been macports?) and I couldn’t restore a database I’d overwritten locally because it hadn’t been backed up. I understand why the client doesn’t do that, but it was a dealbreaker for me at the time. Arq also does client side encryption and multiple locations for me.

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            I tried to do something like this but I eventually caved and paid the Apple Tax.

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              Same. And thus far I am very happy with the arrangement.

              $3/mo for 200 GB of storage that I can share with my family. Even taking ludicrous amounts of pictures of our kids, we have not come even close to hitting that limit.

              I don’t have to worry about creating, managing, or maintaining backups. And every photo I take is immediately and transparently backed up and synced to all my devices.

              Forgive me for sounding like a fanboy, but my experience with iCloud storage has been very positive.

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                We’re already at the 200GB limit and I don’t think it would take long to hit the 2TB limit if we upgraded. I really just wish they would let me bring my own storage because otherwise my experiences with iCloud have been very positive.

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              I don’t know if there’s a syncthing client for iOS but I’ve had good luck with using it to sync files between devices.

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                There is (Mobius Sync) but AFAIK it doesn’t run continuously in the background like you’d expect.

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                I’ve used PhotoSync as well as Nextcloud’s Auto Upload - both dumping files to my Synology NAS (though this could easily be replaced with a custom Linux machine), and a cloud backup of some of the important photos (like Photos) - Synology has something built in, but there are plenty of options for backing up a folder to S3/B2.

                I found PhotoSync more reliable, but it’s a bit more of a manual solution. Additionally, it’s a bit of a Robe Goldberg machine, but it’s been reliable enough for me.

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                  Yeah, I use PhotoSync to my NAS with the “auto-sync at 2AM or if I return home” which seems to keep things mostly up to date (although I do notice it sometimes drifts away if I don’t leave home for a few days.)

                  I also have the iCloud syncing photos down to my Windows box. Used to do the automatic Dropbox syncing as well but my Photos storage has greatly outpaced the disk space on my laptop…

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                  I sync my iPhone and Macbook to iCloud, Photos are set to download at full resolution on my macbook which also has Backblaze and a local time machine.

                  So I end up having all my photos in their original form as well as edits in no less than 4 places, and up to 3 physical locations - in my pocket, on my desk, in iCloud, in Backblaze.

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                    I let iMazing do daily backups (usually over wifi) to my Synology NAS.

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                      Its an imperfect solution but I use Nextcloud’s Auto Upload Functionality.

                      It does occasionally need some baby sitting, as the app does not seem to always background correctly. Fortunately it backs up well. If you want to upload it to s3 you can mount it as local filesystem using s3fs.

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                        Same. Nextcloud sync + babysitting. Works better than the “get a MacBook” solution which isn’t wireless and cheaper than iCloud

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                          The added advantage of this is that it’s cross platform. You can sync iOS and Android photos to the same place and share them between family members and so on with the same tool.

                          Nextcloud uses APIs that are available to any cloud storage provider. If you have a family Microsoft 365 subscription, you get 6 users with 1 TB of OneDrive space and the OneDrive app can do the same kind of photo syncing. I believe the Google Drive app does the same thing (not sure about their pricing and capacities).

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                          I run a general purpose Nomad cluster housing all my personal projects, which also hosts my Nextcloud. While overkill for running Nextcloud in general, I find that it’s a good fit for me since the Nomad cluster is running either way.

                          The storage backing my Nextcloud instance is a mix of a small Hetzner volume (10GB – their minimum volume size) for low-latency, small file storage. For larger stuff like videos, images, music, etc. I use Nextcloud’s “External Storage” feature with a Linode Object Store, which is a S3-compatible object store.

                          These are poor financial choices, and probably not the safest place to put my data in terms of durability. And to be objective – it’s a bit of a Frankencloud. However, this is where I choose to put my data because it feels well within my control, and I don’t wonder about any product’s dubious business practices.

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                            I use Google Photos because of how good the photo search feature is.

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                              I use Infomaniak kdrive. Their app includes a photo backup/upload feature and since I use their product anyways, it was an obvious choice.

                              Infomaniak kdrive supports WebDav access, which I use for offsite backups to my NAS.

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                                Back in the past when I had iPhone I used to upload them to iCloud. I also had a python script on my home server which would download them.

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                                  I use iCloud plus Kiliaro. But I should really, really setup something better as I’d prefer to have a local backup on my NAS, which in turn is backed up to Wasabi S3.

                                  My Lightroom library is backed up with NAS to block storage, and exported pictures synced with Dropbox for ease of use, sharing et c from my phone.