Thunderbird & Lightning

Revision as of 01:42, 16 June 2008 by Dslehman (talk | contribs)

From forum user: ddevine -Mmorse

Zimbra and Thunderbird with Lightning

I use Thunderbird for my email client. It's quite speedy and nice. Coming from various places of employment that used Outlook and Exchange, I miss being able to schedule appointments via my email client (of course, with Zimbra, I'm able to do this via the web interface..but I like using Thunderbird for its ability to sort and handle my email).

Enter Lightning, the sunbird-like extension for Thunderbird. So how does one integrate lightning with say, Zimbra? It was rather simple and easy to do so. I'm posting what I did to get this up and running so that others won't fumble through the Zimbra forums trying to piece various posts together finally arriving at a solution after banging heads against the wall repeatedly. Note that I'm assuming you use Zimbra/Thunderbird with IMAP.

Zimbra and Thunderbird Preparation

To get things rolling, install Lightning, the extension from Mozilla AND install the Provider Add on Extension for Thunderbird as well. This Provider Add on Extension also works for Google Calendar (or so it is blogged about often). I'm assuming that you know how to install Thunderbird extensions (which is different than Firefox ones) and that you've been able to install both of those plugins in the order listed.

(Note from p24t: As of 5.0RC1w/L0.5 or L0.7RC1 I did not need the Provider Addon.) (this might similarly apply to sunbird) (it might have been one of those things needed w/ L0.3)

Open Zimbra and browse to your calendar. Right click it and choose "share calendar". You don't need to actually share your calendar because you'll need to provide your login and password initially when you'll be able to login as yourself through Thunderbird/ just need to copy the URL at the bottom of the pop-up window that appears when you choose share calendar. So copy that URL and switch back to your Thunderbird email client.

Thunderbird/Lightning Config

After restarting when you installed the extensions above, you'll see the lightening calendar bar in your default view. Click on Calendars and you'll see there is one called 'home'. This is your default one. Let's add a on 'New'. Choose "On The Network" for your location.

Next, choose icalendar (ICS) and input the URL you copied from the previous step in the blank and click Next. Give the calendar a unique name and pick a color (I'm partial to green), click next, then click finish. It should prompt you for a login and password...make sure you use your Zimbra Login and Password.

(note from p24t: As of 5.0RC1 and earlier, Calendar events cannot be 'deleted' from Tbird. They must be marked as 'Status: Cancelled' through the properties dialog 'More' section (lightning 0.5) or from the menu Options -> Status -> Cancelled (lightning 0.7RC1) )

(note from dslehman: This is also true for Sunbird 0.8.)

(note from bjquinn: For at least ZCS 4.5.8, there's also a problem in Lightning with appointments created or changed on Zimbra. Once Zimbra changes an appointment, or was the original creator of an appointment, Lightning can no longer update that appointment. Changes in time, etc., revert back to what Zimbra last set it to upon reloading the calendar in Lightning, and the attempted change is never reflected on the Zimbra calendar.)

(note from cedric_galletti : For ZCS 4.5.9, same problem in lightning with appointments... why ? )

Zimbra Config

None needed...everything is ready to go.

Tidbits of Handy Information? There is one downside I've found so far. When you create an appointment in Lightning, it creates it as an ICS attached it's not completely integrated. You'll need to send out your appointments like this.

Integrate the ReminderFox extension with Thunderbird to give you reminder pop-ups for all your appointments and tasks :-)

I hooked into my google calendar so I could view my personal appointments (go to DMV, pay bill, etc) as well as my work appointments. Instructions for hooking into google calendar are here.

If you have problems connecting your Zimbra calendar, look at NAT for the problems. Think about opening up the right ports in your firewalls to allow access to IMAP and think of the proper FQDN for your server. You may have to use IP address instead if things are in a DMZ/orange zone.

Verified Against: ZCS 4.5.7, 5.0 RC1 Date Created: 7/28/2007
Article ID: Date Modified: 2008-06-16

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