Host Your Own Calendar Server With OwnCloud

OwnCloud is more well-known as a self-hosted Dropbox alternative. It allows you to host your own cloud storage server and synchronize all your data to the cloud and across multiple devices. One thing that most people do not know a Calendar feature has been added in the recent version. This means that you can now host your own Calendar server, rather than using third party service, like Google Calendar.

As compared to Google Calendar, OwnCloud’s Calendar feature is not as comprehensive, but it is completely functional and usable. If you are using an older version of OwnCloud, simply upgrade to the latest version and you find the Calendar feature.

If you have not started to use OwnCloud, here is the installation instructions (Windows users, click here)

Once you are logged into your OwnCloud account, you will see the Calendar button on the left menu. Click on it and it will show the Calendar. You can change the view to Month, Week, or List.

owncloud-calendar-view

To add an entry, simply double click on any date. You can add the title, category, access permission, and the time of the event. Opening the Advanced option allows you to add location and description.

owncloud-ceate-new-calendar-event

At the moment, there is no means for you to invite other users to your event, but you can Share, or Export the event after it has been created. You can also export the whole Calendar app, and import it to another OwnCloud’s installation.

If you are using email clients like Thunderbird or outlook, you will be glad to know that OwnCloud supports CalDav, so you can easily view the calendar in your desktop client, and even sync to it.

For most CalDav compatible client, like Kontact, Evolution, Thunderbird, you can connect to your OwnCloud Calender server via the URL:

http://owncloud-installation-url/remote.php/caldav

For Apple iCal, use the following URL (including the trailing slash) instead:

http://owncloud-installation-url/remote.php/caldav/principals/username/

Mozilla Lightning users need to this URL scheme:

https://owncloud-installation-url/remote.php/caldav/calendars/USERNAME/CALENDARNAME

Being an open source project, it is great to see that OwnCloud is progressing to be more than just a simple cloud storage service. As more and more features are added to it, you will soon be able to get rid of the third party cloud services and host (almost) everything on your own server. This will at least ease some of the privacy issue that has been rampant recently.

What do you think? Will you switch to OwnCloud’s Calendar feature or continuing with Google Calendar, or any other third party Calendar service provider?