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:

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

Mozilla Lightning users need to this URL scheme:

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?

8 comments

  1. For me, while thinking of things I could host on my fibre at home, other calendars just don’t cut it, unless I build a bridging app to alert myself on my mobile device of upcoming tasks or events.

    • Hisham, there are plenty of CalDav apps that you can use to connect to Owncloud. Some of them do provide notification. You can try them out.

      If you ever build a bridging app, do let me know. :)

  2. I use a work around system with dropbox. I only use calendar services that save calendars in the .ics format and simply sync from that file. There are quite a few PIMs or Calendar apps that use that format. One could do the same with any cloud service including “Owncloud”.

    • Caldav allows any client to add, modify or delete calendar events. With .ics files, it is only one-way (readonly), or need to access a certain app each time you want to modify, add or delet an appointment, and, of course upload the new .ics. If you managed to do two-way sync for different calendars and devices, wow!. but caldav was the right way to do it, so you can do all operations from any device.
      I put my owncloud server at home, and stopped using dropbox, google calendar, etc. Pretty happy with it. Not difficult to set up, not difficult to configure, not difficult to use. Regards.

      • I agree caldav and server would be a less clumsy way to sync calendars.
        But you can certainly use ics files synced with a cloud service:

        1. create a calendar and save to a cloud – synced folder.
        (you can use either Evolution, Thunderbird / Seamonkey with lightning or Sunbird)

        2. With Thunderbird or Seamonkey with Lightning installed.. or Sunbird:
        Simply open the file. thats it.
        Evolution requires a couple more steps. you can set Evolution update a calendar after a certain amount of time.

        The Mozilla clients will save and ovewrite the ics file when they are closed.
        You have will have to manually save with Evolution, each time.

        This is a work around, its not as good as Caldav, but it certainly can be done.
        I do it everyday.
        -Cheers.

  3. I’ve used it for a while, but sadly it is still quite beta, e. g. you can’t make exceptions on recurring events. However I haven’t found a better open source alternative. I was hoping Owncloud 6 would fix this and tested the beta version, but no luck.

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