Monthly Archives: August 2020

How to set up free Obsidian notes synchronization on macOS

TLDR: get SparkleShare and configure it to synchronize your Obsidian vault(s) with Bitbucket.

Add your notes to the cloud

1. Start by downloading SparkleShare from https://github.com/hbons/SparkleShare/releases

2. Register a free account at https://bitbucket.org/ if you don’t have one. Create a new private repository for your vault. The name can be “obsidian-notes”.

3. Open SparkleShare and click its icon in menu bar, select “SparkleShare -> Computer ID -> Copy to Clipboard”. Now go back to Bitbucket at https://bitbucket.org/account/settings/ssh-keys/ and add new SSH key, and paste key’s value from the clipboard.

4. Back to SparkleShare in menu bar, click “SparkleShare -> Sync remote project” and follow the wizard to add Bitbucket repository.

5. Copy your existing notes from your vault into a newly created sync folder. In Finder, click on your home folder, then “SparkleShare”, then “bitbucket.org” and finally your repository’s name e.g. “obsidian-notes” (see step 2) – this is a folder that SparkleShare watches for changes and keeps in sync.

6. Now use Obsidian to open your notes from this new folder, not the old one, otherwise SparkleShare will not be able to synchronize the files.

Add your notes from the cloud to a new computer

When you already have Obsidian vault on one computer (A) with SparkleShare set up to store notes in Bitbucket and you want to add those notes to another computer (B). Here’s what you need to do (all on computer B):

1. Install SparkleShare, start it.

2. Log in to your Bitbucket account and go to https://bitbucket.org/account/settings/ssh-keys/

3. In menu bar, click SparkleShare icon, then in menu “SparkleShare -> Computer ID -> Copy to Clipboard”.

4. Go back to Bitbucket page, add new SSH key to your account and paste it’s value from clipboard.

5. In menu bar, click SparkleShare icon, then “SparkleShare -> Sync remote project”, follow the wizard to add your repository, and don’t forget to check “Fetch prior revisions” to download existing notes.

Warning

You might want to create a totally separate account just to synchronize your notes. So you’ll create a notes repository on your main account, but add SSH keys to your notes account. Afterwards give access to your notes repository for the notes account.

This way SparkleShare’s SSH keys will not allow access to your main account’s repositories except when you specifically allow them to. Bitbucket’s free tier has up to 5 users per repository, so synchronization still should be free.