Obsidian In Sync, Anywhere Any Device

Published on October 17, 2022 at 5:55 pm by LEW

Obsidian icon Nextcloud IconIntroduction

In my last post about the Obsidian note taking application, I pointed out that it was available on almost any device; Windows, MAC, Linux, I phone, and Android. In this post I am going to discuss how to use a hosting service and a Nextcloud server to sync your Obsidian vaults across multiple different devices.Doing so will ensure no matter what device you use, it always has the latest files available.

This type of setup will require a little planning. There are also multiple ways to go about setting this up. None of it is really hard. The problem comes with the number of options, which can get a little confusing to beginners.

We will first discuss setting up a Nextcloud server instance, then talk about how to use the Nextcloud client (which is available across the same operating systems as Obsidian) to sync your vaults across multiple devices.

Nextcloud Server

There are a couple of choices for setting up a Nextcloud server. If you have a public IP address (static or dynamic) available, you can set up your own server on a spare PC. Unfortunately in my current situation, I am behind CGNAT, so that option is not available with my current ISP. If you have this option, you can review the series of posts on setting up a basic Debian install, then turn it into a LAMP server. If you have a public static IP address you are good to go. If you have a dynamic IP address, you can also setup DDNS. You can then setup some security with Lets Encrypt.

Assuming you do not want to go through all that, you can just use a web hosting company (because of CGNAT that is what I am doing). You do not need anything really fancy, and can get away with a low end shared hosting plan. I would recommend staying with major hosting companies, but don’t let that stop you form shopping around. Most of the time there is some promotion going on at one of the major hosting companies. With a good promotional plan you can get everything you need for less than $5 dollars US a month. And speaking of needed features, see the below list. Just remember to check the fine print for how long it lasts.

Some hosting companies have some nice add-on features. For example the one I am using had a one button Next Cloud install.

I am not going to go into details on installing Nextcloud in this post. Mainly because there are a lot of variables, depending on where and how it will be installed. I do recommend reading the documentation on the Nextcloud web site. I will list some things you need to think about and write down before the install though.

Next Cloud Client

Installing the Nextcloud client program will depend on your device.

When using the application for the first time, you will go through a setup. You may be given the opportunity to use a virtual file system during this process. If you will be working offline at any time, then I strongly suggest turning this feature off!

The Setup

Lets assume you have your Nextcloud server installed, your Nextcloud Client application installed, and obsidian Installed.

Android tips

On android devices your Nextcloud sync folder should be located at the following; android/media/com.nextcloud.client/nextcloud/username. I do not use I Phoes or Macs, so have no clue where the files would be located on those platforms.

Minor issues

Note that if Obsidian is working on a file, you may get a sync error due to a locked file. Once you exit Obsidian, you can force a sync with Nextcloud, or just restart the client.


At this point, you should have Obsidian setup, and your vaults should sync though Nextcloud. I have been running this setup for about a month now, with only minor issues when trying to sync a file being worked on.

Overall I am pleased with he performance. Since Obsidean uses text files they sync very quickly, even over a slow connection.

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