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Obsidian (software)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Original author(s)
  • Shida Li
  • Erica Xu
Developer(s)Dynalist Inc.[1]
Initial releaseMarch 30, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-03-30)
Stable release
1.6.3 / June 8, 2024
Written inElectron, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
PlatformWindows, macOS, Android, Linux, iOS

Obsidian is a personal knowledge base and note-taking software application that operates on Markdown files.[3][4] It allows users to make internal links for notes and then to visualize the connections as a graph.[5][6] It is designed to help users organize and structure their thoughts and knowledge in a flexible, non-linear way. The software is free for personal use, with commercial licenses available for pay.[3][7]


Obsidian was founded by Shida Li and Erica Xu while quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic.[8] Li and Xu, who had met while studying at the University of Waterloo, had already collaborated on several development projects.[9] Obsidian was initially released on 30 March 2020.[10] Version 1.0.0 was released in October 2022.[11][12] Version 1.1, which added the Canvas core plugin, released in December 2022.[13] In February 2023, Steph Ango joined Obsidian as CEO.[14]


Obsidian is built on Electron.[7] It is a cross-platform application that runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS, as well as mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS.[7] There is no web-based version of the software.[9] Obsidian on all platforms can be customized by adding plugins and themes, which enable users to extend the software's functionality with additional features or integration with other tools.[7] Obsidian differentiates between core plugins, which are released and maintained by the Obsidian team, and community plugins, which are open-sourced through GitHub and are contributed by users.[15] Examples of community plugins include a Kanban-style task board and a calendar widget.[4] There are over 200 community made themes to use with the app.

Obsidian operates on a folder of text documents; each new note in Obsidian generates a new text document, and all the documents can be searched from within the app.[7][4] Obsidian allows internal linking between notes and creates an interactive graph that visualizes the relationships between notes.[7][9][4] Text formatting in Obsidian is achieved through Markdown, but Obsidian provides the instantaneous previewing of formatted text.[7]

An Internet forum and Discord channel are hosted by the developers.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Terms of Service - Obsidian". obsidian.md. Retrieved 12 December 2023.
  2. ^ "Pricing". Obsidian. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  3. ^ a b Eastman, David (24 April 2022). "Obsidian and the Case for Using More Markdown". The New Stack. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Myrick, Andrew (15 September 2021). "Obsidian is the best note-taking app that you've never heard of". Android Central. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  5. ^ Pyne, Yvette; Stewart, Stuart (March 2022). "Meta-work: how we research is as important as what we research". British Journal of General Practice. 72 (716): 130–131. doi:10.3399/bjgp22X718757. PMC 8884432. PMID 35210247. Today, we are familiar with interlinked pockets of information in the form of hyperlinks on webpages such as Wikipedia. However, in the context of personal knowledge systems, the last year has seen an explosion of 'Personal Knowledge Graph' (PKG) tools such as 'Roam Research', 'Obsidian', and 'Notion', which digitise and personalise this powerful concept.
  6. ^ Hastings, Robin (September 2022). "Linked data tools to help users create webs of personal knowledge". Computers in Libraries. 42 (7): 19–22. The two main recent entries in the linked data PKM field are Roam and Obsidian
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Pot, Justin. "Obsidian Review". PCMag. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  8. ^ Le Cunff, Anne-Laure (6 August 2021). "Exploring the power of note-making with the co-founder of Obsidian". Ness Labs. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d Ionescu, Stefan (4 August 2022). "Obsidian". TechRadar. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Obsidian Release v0.0.1". Obsidian. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  11. ^ Rudra, Sourav. "Notion-like Markdown Note-Taking App 'Obsidian' is Out of Beta". It's FOSS News. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Obsidian Release v1.0.0". Obsidian. 13 October 2022. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  13. ^ "Obsidian Release v1.1". Obsidian. 20 December 2022. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  14. ^ "I'm joining Obsidian full-time as CEO". Obsidian. 6 February 2023. Retrieved 31 May 2024.
  15. ^ "Plugins". Obsidian. Retrieved 12 January 2023.

External links[edit]