How do you sync your vaults?

How is everyone syncing their vaults? I haven’t found a good solution yet.

What I’m trying to do

I’m trying to keep an (iMacPro, MacBookPro, and my iPhone) in sync and am not having much luck.

The sync service doesn’t seem to be working. I purchased the full year and have had to restore ‘deleted’ files from two vaults/repeatedly. I also end up w/ Nested Vault folders, and syncing happens at somewhat random times ranging from instant to hours. I don’t know if there is a better way to get the ball rolling w/ the built-in sync but it’s not really working for me. What’s the best way to connect to the sync service?

Right now I moved back to an iCloud common Vault and even this is pretty wonky. I keep getting multiples of the same file, It doesn’t seem to update at all if I don’t close Obsidian on my other devices first.

All in all, is kind of a mess.

I’m curious as to what processes others are using and or tips to help things sync better.

Ideal sync probably needs to use some kind of Pub/Sub service along with w/ living document features.

I am using iCloud with a Parent Obsidian folder/vault with nested “child folders/vaults”. Everything is syncing perfectly on my MBP, iPad Pro and iPhone.

To get this work, you do need to follow the iCloud syncing instructions exactly. There are instructions on this forum.

Additionally, here are two posts in the Mac Power User’s forum that you may find helpful.

I hope this helps!

Yeah, those are the steps I originally took.

Are you closing out Obsidian on your other devices when you’re done w/ them? This is a PITA, but it seems to solve most of my issues.

Do you use the open to Daily Notes feature? The main issue I seem to have is moving from one device to another before iCloud has pushed or written a daily note, then the other machine generates one as soon as I open the app there.

Might need to stop using that feature and wait for the daily note to sync when switching machines.

If I open Obsidian to a note that is open on another machine, in a perfect world, I’d see a cursor there w/ that machine name/user. (similar to gDocs) even if it’s not 'real-time

I’ll try rebuilding these vaults from scratch in iCloud and see if that helps me at all.

Thanks.

Sorry you are having those difficulties!

I do not close Obsidian on any of my devices. I routinely switch between them. I don’t use the Daily Note

Huh. I am using Syncthing between four devices and haven’t had any conflict issues or duplicates yet.

I did see the FAQ warns against using their sync service and iCloud as it will lead to both duplication and deletions - are you sure you didn’t have both enabled on one of the devices?

I don’t know, but I would back up my notes then uninstall all instances and then reinstall on one device, open my vault, and set up the native sync feature. Then once it’s done install the other instances of Obsidian.

2 Likes

Never had them both going at the same time. Clean install for the sync service. Clean for iCloud too, letting each device ‘catch up’ before working.

I’m going to try a completely fresh sync service install later today. I will report back.

I use the auto daily note, and experience the exact same problems you are describing (thanks btw).

I use Synology device to synchronize these data, but there is no good solution on the mobile terminal.

Interesting. I’ve been using Obsidian sync for months without any of these problems. I sync a mac mini, a mabook pro, a windows 10 home machine, a windows 10 work machine, an iPad and Iphone (in fairness, I have not used the iphone much).
Two points I’d make: 1) early on I ran into serious issues because my vault was in a location being synced by other services, for Obsidian sync you really want the files on your local drive and synced only by Obsidian, and 2) to resolve those early issues I built the sync connections carefully - deleted the files from all the devices except one, set it to be a sync vault then added empty vaults on each of the other devices and connected them to the sync vault.
Prior to using Obsidian sync I used iCloud, also with few issues. I moved to Obsidian sync because I wanted to support the devs and because the Windows 10 iCloud app sucks.

6 Likes

I’m using Syncthing, also. Not sure if it will work for you, but it works seamlessly. Good luck solving your issue.

Using Syncthing, and noticed that changes don’t sync until I close (desktop) Obsidian. After that, no issues whatsoever.

The only problem I have is with Apple’s d*mn sandboxing which keeps me from selecting any folder as an Obsidian vault on an iOS device. This makes me copy files & folders manually after they are synchronised.

Aside from that, pretty fine overall.

I’m using syncthing too but I’m seeing there are a lot of sync conflict files in the .obsidian folder having files such as workspace.sync-conflict-20210811-000000-0AAAA0A . How should I de-clutter it?

This happens if you make changes on one device and then another or before Syncthing has had time to fully synched. I usually only sync once a day and this will not happen. If this happens to me and I am working on my desktop, I delete the conflicts, because I know what is on my desktop is the most current file.

Hope that helps.

I have similar question raised in another part of the forum, posting the link here for information. [question] how to avoid double sync on mobile? - Help - Obsidian Forum

My conclusion is that I shall continue to use Obsidian Sync but have to give up storing the vault in iCloud (or other Cloud services such as dropbox, Google Drive, etc). This means each device has to have a local vault placed on them but I prefer Obsidian Sync due to the additional features it brings, especially that I can use my own strong password for E2EE

Hope this helps

I added .obsidian to the Syncthing ignore list

I’m testing sync via Dropbox and DropSync at the moment. No issues so far.

I haven’t been closing the vault on my computer consistently at all, but I do close it on my phone regularly. I don’t use daily note. This is just a test vault. I do plan to go a different route once I finish prepping my files for the big Evernote escape.

Could you tell me what to add in the ignore patterns in syncthing? I typed !/.obsidian in the ignore pattern of the syncthing web GUI but it doesn’t seem to work.
Also I’m wondering, wouldn’t that cause an issue if I use the calendar and dataview plugins?

Edit: putting it as .obsidian works and I feel extremely stupid for putting the negation before. I’d still like to know if this unsynced folder can cause issues with plugins like calendar, dataview and templater.

I use Box to keep my vault synced between my Macs. Unfortunately, you can’t hook up Obsidian on your phone to point to an external service like Box, so I have to use Blockquote to view my notes on my phone (there are other apps that can do this too). Not an ideal solution, but I rarely look at my vault notes on my phone, so it works well enough for me.

I look at the vault folder, date/time, file type, often this gives me a clue if I can delete the conflicts.

99.9% of the time, I can delete with no issues. If I am unsure, I leave the conflict. In a week or so, it usually is obvious it will be okay to delete the file.

Keep in mind these are text files, they are most likely not hurting anything if they remain in my vault folder.

I do not have Syncthing automatically start on log in. This helps decrease the number of conflicts. I sync at the end of the day or end of working on Obsidian. This is a conscious choice.

Additionally, I do not sync every day. Even though I work on Obsidian almost every day. If something is mission critical or I need to review files in the evening, I sync. If these aren’t true, I don’t. I still have my vault folder.

Hope this helps a little.

Good job figuring that out! However I do think that if you exclude this folder, it will not sync your plugins. It’s likely that your plugins were already synced to your device and that’s why you see them. However any new plugins you install will not be carried over, as far as I know.

I’m not sure what data those plugins use. Where is the calendar data stored - in notes? For dataview, all the data is in notes, I believes, so it shouldn’t matter.