SilverBullet currently supports two modes for its client:

  1. Online mode (the default): keeps all content on the server and only loads content to the client on-demand.
  2. Synced mode (offline capable): syncs all content to the client.

You can toggle between these two modes by toggling the 🔄 button in the top bar.

You can switch modes any time and use different modes on different devices.

Note: It is possible to switch off online mode (and allow synced mode only) by running the SilverBullet server with the --sync-only flag, see Configuration.

Online mode

In online mode, all content in your space is kept on the server, and a lot of the heavy lifting (such as indexing of pages) happens on the server as well. Content will only be loaded to the client on-demand.

Advantages:
  • Keeps content on the server: this mode does not synchronize all your content to your client (browser), making this a better fit for large spaces or for cases where you only need to quickly login to SilverBullet to check something, e.g. on a device you don’t usually use. This use case is the reason why this is the default mode.
  • Lighter weight in terms of memory and CPU use of the client.

Disadvantages:
  • Requires a working network connection to the server. You can not load pages nor successfully persist changes without it.
  • Higher latency since more interactions require calls to the server, this may be notable e.g., when completing page names.

Synced mode

In this mode, all content is synchronized to the client, and all processing happens there. The server effectively acts as a “dumb data store.” All SilverBullet functionality is available even when there is no network connection available. This requires SilverBullet to be served with HTTPS, otherwise the service worker responsible for sync won't launch.

Advantages:
  • 100% offline capable: disconnect your client from the network, shutdown the server, and everything still works. Changes synchronize automatically once a network connection is re-established.
  • Lower latency: all actions are performed locally in the client, which in most cases will be faster

Disadvantages:
  • Synchronizes all content onto your client: using disk space and an initially large bulk of network traffic to download everything.