Sync Mobile app through Syncthing (Android-Windows 10)

Platform: Android

Obsidian Mobile version: v1.0.3
Obsidian Desktop version: v0.12.10
Installer version: v0.12.4


This an alternative to Obsidian sync paid service, using SyncThing, a windows computer and an android phone. I will explain the process step by step so that you can see your Obsidian vault on both your phone and computer. It could be confusing at times and we will be turning between your laptop and phone throughout the steps, so it is important that you have both laptop and phone with you.

  1. Click on this link to open the page where you will find multiple downlods: Release Version 1.1.29 · canton7/SyncTrayzor · GitHub. You will scroll down and click in “SyncTrayzorSetup-x64.exe”.
  2. Then it will start downloading. Once it finishes, open the file. It will ask for some permissions. As long as you follow the instructions from the installer and you will be just fine.
  3. Once it is installed, the app wil open. You are going to have a section that is called “Folders” right in front of you. Click on the “+ Add Folder” Button.
    image
  4. Assign a name to the folder, and it will create a file path for you.
  5. Now place the folder of your obsidian vault within this new Syncthing folder that you just created.
  6. Now go to your phone, opne the play store, search for SyncThing and install it. It will ask, again, for some permissions like storage and location for the syncing. Once you finish this setup, go to “Devices” and click on the “+” button in the right upper corner in your phone to add a device, and it will directly ask for the device’s ID. Click in the code-QR icon in the phone, it will open your camera to scan the ID of the device you want to add. Now in your computer go to “Actions” and select the option that says “Show ID”. Scan it, and a few moments later the computer will show you a message that ask your for permission to add this new device. Accept it. Now you have you computer and phone syncing!
  7. Go to your phone’s files and create a new folder with the name that you want.
  8. Remember the folder that we created for syncthing in your computer in step 4? Click on it in the syncthing computer app. it will display multiple options, it will look like this:

    Clcik on “Edit” and go to “Sharing”. Select your phone as a device that you would like to share this folder with. Finally, click “Save”.
  9. In your phone, a notification will pop out asking for permission to accep the folder that your computer is sharing. Click on it and it will ask a folder within your phone to save this syncthing folder that the computer is sharing. Select the folder that you created in step 6.
  10. Go to the Obsidian app in your phone, select the option that says “Open folder as a vualt”, and search for your vault’s folder within the shared folder from Sycnthing.
  11. And there you have it! Now you have a secure option to sync your notes across devices.

Feel free to ask any questions that you have, I will be active in the forums waiting for any doubts. And also check out my guide to sync android-windows 10 with google drive if your are interested in a more simple way to sync, tho it could be less secure because … it’s google.

8 Likes

I am new to using Obsidian on my cellphone, and wonder if the following performance patterns are as expected:

  1. The paid Obsidian Sync only works when the Obsidian Android app is standing in the Foreground and that the vault linked to the remote vault is opened?
  2. With SyncThing, a vault with 3000+ files is synced down to the phone in one minute or two. With all the restrictions mentioned above, the paid Sync service may take up to 8 minutes for the initial download??
  3. Though, to be fair, the Paid service does sync newly edited files through pretty fast. Here is a subjective example when I added a new line on the phone:
    • With the paid Sync service, it is rendered on my desktop machine in a second or two (after clicking on the three-dot icon to reveal the sync status, which may also “save” the file locally)
    • With the SyncThing setup, it takes some 10 seconds or so to render the newly added text on the desktop machine (with syncing eventually handled by Dropbox). I would assume a pure SyncThing setup can cut this time in halves.

One clarification question about the Obsidian app, though - when does the app save the file to the phone?


@Jose_T Thank you for posting your solution. Per my setup, I am using a cheap VPS that costs $70/year to host my SyncThing server instance. Here are more details about my setup.

  1. On all my computers (Linux/Windows), the Vault is synced by Dropbox.
  2. On the VPS, I used Maestral as the Dropbox client. (The official Dropbox client simply won’t work on the cheap VPS with dated filesystem.)
  3. Lastly, I installed SyncThing on the VPS by following this guide.

Since I have a large Dropbox folder, Maestral may crash from time to time. Here is a script that is executed every minute on the VPS to make sure Maestral keeps running 24/7.

if /home/<username>/.local/bin/maestral status | grep "Sync errors:  0"; then
    echo  $( date ) - Maestral-Syncing just fine. No need to stop and start. >> ~/check_dropbox_sync.log
else 
    echo  $( date ) - Maestral-Sycning broke. Stop and start afresh. >> ~/check_dropbox_sync.log
    /home/<username>/.local/bin/maestral stop
    /home/<username>/.local/bin/maestral start
fi
1 Like

It worked perfectly (on Ubuntu 20.04 and an Android mobile phone), I just had to add some hidden android folders to ignore patterns in Syncthing configurations (".obsidian/", “.stwritetest”, “.stfolder*,”) Thank you very much