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I'm using external drives and network storages for managing photos across multiple machines. Previewing them in the file browser (e.g. Thunar) is crucial for that. Furthermore, many of them are RAW files, so thumbnail generation takes time and isn't instant.

By convention (it seems, though I don't know where it's specified), thumbnails are stored either in ~/.thumbnails or ~/.cache/thumbnails, with a hash of the file as their name. While that is pretty reasonable for files on the local drive only used by one user, it's pointless if

  • The drive the files are residing on is shared by multiple machines (e.g. external drive, network share),
  • Multiple user accounts are accessing the same files.

In that case, every user on every machine needs to generate and store a copy of the very same thumbnails. While this is wasting storage, it's also time consuming.

Therefore, it would make sense to store the thumbnails of the photos alongside their original files. Maybe in a subfolder of the same directory, maybe in a folder somewhere else on the same drive, publicly accessible. I can't imagine that there's no way to do this. Any ideas on how to customize the thumbnail location paths?

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