Phone + Cable as detachable vault (no cloud!)

Use case or problem

Picture the following: your hobbies are quite similar to your job, and you collect knowledge inside a vault synced by a cloud service, available on your phone. At work, where you can’t just install whatever you want on your machine, let alone cloud services, you find yourself needing some knowledge that you know you have in your vault, up to date on your phone. It would be so helpful to just fire up a local instance of Obsidian, plug in your phone via USB and access your vault completely offline on your machine at work. It’s far more efficient, secure and explainable to higher ups to install Obsidian (which from a security standpoint is a text editor) than a cloud service.

Unfortunately, paths to external devices like phones via USB are invalid to Obsidian, at least from what I tried with my Teracube 2e. A stale Reddit post asks the same, and another post claims that keeping a vault on a “stupid” drive is possible as well.

Proposed solution

Make file paths to vaults on external wire-connected devices (not just simple USB drives but smartphones) valid for Obsidian running on a host machine.

Current workaround (optional)

None that don’t involve the cloud or moving files from device to device.

If this works in general but just doesn’t on my devices, I apologize.

The media interface provided by phones is not enough for obsidian to work. If you can make the phone act like a USB drive, you can give it a shot.

I still think for performance it’s better if you use a USB3+ drive with fast IO. Smartphones are generally terrible at this.

Thanks for the (unfortunate) news, I really hoped that it would be possible. I thought that turning on file sharing via USB is essentially the same as making the phone act like a USB drive. At least that’s what OSs like Windows or Linux make it look like, as accessing a phone’s files looks the same as accessing an external USB drive.

That sounds like something a lot of workplaces wouldn’t love, anyway.

It sounds like you want the files on the work machine itself, but if a bigger screen and controls would be good enough then maybe an external monitor and Bluetooth keyboard & mouse for the phone would do. (Personally I’d use the phone on its own.)