Solution for single install in Dropbox and iCloud, single mobile and desktop setup

Hi all,
I seem to have found a solution for my syncing problem, and hope this helps someone else.

  • Problem: (1) my data is on Dropbox, but Obsidian Mobile only syncs with iCloud, (2) I would like to avoid a setup with multiple vaults as this generates all kinds of problems.
  • Setup: I have a “Knowledge base” Obsidian vault spanning my entire Dropbox, and another vault with Kanban & Day planner on iCloud as I use it on iOS. I really only work with the Kanban on the mobile as the screen seems to small for the KB.
  • Solution:
  1. Symlink from iCloud to Dropbox: ln -s “~/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~md~obsidian/Documents/My Kanban” “~/Dropbox/My Kanban”
  2. Symlink from iCloud settings to Dropbox root: “~/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~md~obsidian/Documents/My Kanban/.obsidian” “~/Dropbox/.obsidian”
  • Result:
    • Obsidian on iOS only sees the iCloud folder, works great
    • Obsidian on MacOS sees the .obsidian data in the Dropbox root and does not care about the /My Kanban/.obsidian data.
    • Obsidian on iOS and MacOS update the same .obsidian setup, with the same settings / plugins / CSS snippets / Themes, resulting in a single setup.
  • Alternative: move all data to iCloud (not ready for that yet as I have a huge free Dropbox allotment)

I dunno… I’m confused.

On Windows laptop I created my vault in a Dropbox folder.

On iPhone I signed up for syncing

On iPhone I saw the vault I had created on my Windows laptop

I made a note on my laptop and looked on my phone app. The note was showing on my phone. Success!

But I read that this can cause data conflicts, corruption. Here: Obsidian Sync and third-party services - Obsidian Help
Or am I doing it right?

I don’t want to find problems after I’ve done a load of work on it and lose everything.

  • How does my iPhone see the vault if it only works with iCloud?

  • If I shouldn’t use Dropbox on my Windows laptop, what should I use? A local C drive folder?

  • If I use a local C drive folder, does the sync subscription work with that?

What do you mean “signed up for syncing”? Do you mean Obsidian Sync?

@JollyJumper - I know it was a while ago, but did then end up working out well? I’m thinking of doing the same, wondering if you ran into problems, or found a better solution?

In case anyone else is trying this - I don’t think symlinks work this way any more with Dropbox or iCloud. Neither of them lets you link outside their own directory.

This is the solution I came up with, using Unison to sync between the two instead: Syncing iPad/iCloud and Dropbox