Sync w/ 5+ vaults

I work in an educational facility and we’d like to use Obsidian for our work. Here’s how we visualize the workflow:

  • we offer one-on-one lessons to each student
  • we use Obsidian for note-taking and progress-tracking during and outside of class
  • we use one Obsidian vault per student
  • we allow the students to view all the notes from their devices (i.e. we use some form of sync)

However, we’re aware that Obsidian Sync only allows 5 remote vaults per account. This means that, in order to scale beyond 5 students, we need to create a new Sync account, and to go beyond 10, we need to create another one, and so ad infinitum.

Financially, this isn’t a big deal and is well worth it. The problem for us is technical. To make this work, we’d have to keep creating new accounts, with new email/password combinations, and tracking all the subscriptions based on the number of students we have, creating new ones and cancelling old ones when necessary.

The above approach sounds iffy to us for obvious reasons (i.e. what emails to use, how to track, etc.). Is there a smarter solution to our problem?

Nested vaults might work, assuming that the size of each student’s vault isn’t too big.

Sheesh, that sounds a little scary. So, one huge vault that is synced via Obsidian Sync, with sub-vaults within it? Has anyone actually done this? Is it technically possible?

Read the threads on nested vaults. Not scary if circumstances fit and you ensure backups. You could have them in one vault or five. But you do need to make sure circumstances fit.

Depending on what you want, you might be able to use Publish instead of Sync.

Interesting. Can Publish sync up the contents of the .obsidian folder? I.e., settings, styles, plugins config, etc.? Or is it just the notes?

I would guess it syncs .obsidian but I don’t know. But that reminds me that Publish either can’t use community plugins or can only use an extremely limited set of them.

Publish does not sync .obsidian files as those are desktop/mobile only files. When using collaboration mode, it pulls the data from the publish website to be edited by a collaborator. Collaboration mode also does not allow fine tuning what published files and folders a person has access to.

That said, I think a Publish site may be the better approach here as far as scaling and affordability, provided that you are teaching students relatively similar content, willing to put in some elbow grease, and you find an alternative way for students to submit their work in return.

The Publish navigation panes can be turned off or hidden. And you can create permalinks for notes. This give you a powerful ability to give each student their own “” section by having each child note be under that students permalink.

And so on.

Going back to Sync:
Are you also aware of the 40% educational discount for both services? That might open up the idea of every student having their own sync subscription. A remote vault that is shared with you do not have the sharing limitations that creating a remote vault does (see Share remote vaults - Obsidian Help). So the student makes the vault, shares it with you, and then you go in and drop the files that need to be in there.

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