UPDATE: This has turned into a discussion on CalDAV/CardDAV installations, namely a server called CaliDAV


I currently have a box running the following:

Ubuntu 12.04
Pentium D 2.8GHz w/ 2 cores
4GB DDR2 memory
(2) 2TB hard drives

I use this exclusively as a plex media server and it's been absolutely flawless while functioning as this.

However I have decided that I need to get my contacts under control. Prior to them shutting down I had used a service called sync2em to organize my contacts. They provided an exchange server and I could update my contacts real-time with any of my devices and my desktop client.

Alas they turned off their service and my contacts have turned into a big mess. I have various contacts on my ipad, iphone, windows 7 box, and a couple web email providers. It's really become quite annoying and hampering my ability to get stuff done always having to dig around to find an email or a phone number. I've decided enough is enough.

My goal is to consolidate all of my contacts into one central server that I can use for not only emails, but address book, birthday, notes (for the contact), etc. I do -NOT- want to use google, apple, or any of those companies to hold this data because -- well -- does this really require an explanation? I want to do this locally on my own server.

Here's my questions:

  1. Is an LDAP server appropriate for this?
  2. If so what kind of applications would I install? Is this difficult to do?
  3. Will this LDAP server conflict with this machines plex server functions?
  4. If not, what kind of resources will it take up as basically just used for a address book?
  5. Will I be able to update the LDAP server from all my devices provided I use a desktop client? The webmail provider I use is yandex.com. The way they handle contacts is absolutely horrendous.
  6. Can you think of any other type of way to accomplish this that may be a better solution than an LDAP server?

Thanks for your help.


LDAP is not what you are looking for. You want a CardDAV / CalDAV server, which will store address cards and calendar info. DAViCal is available through the Ubuntu repositories and seems to suit your needs. You can get more info on it on their project website. To install in Ubuntu, open Terminal and run sudo apt-get install davical


The installation instructions provided on the davical website for do not work. The instructions provided at http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/DAViCal_tips are much more thorough and got me to a working CalDAV / CardDAV server. The one error I found in them is the path for adding calendars or address books to your clients; the path should be http://somedomain.example.com/caldav.php/username/calendar/ and .../username/addresses/ The calendar and addresses for each user or group need to be marked as Public for them to be shared out to other clients.

I did remove the original davical postgres database and re-installed it. Originally, it did not provide an admin password on the first attempt, but again following the directions on ubuntuguide worked and I got the admin password for the davical database.

In my case, I have a registered domain and use dyn.com for dynamic DNS services for my domain. I added a domain entry for the DAViCal server there and set up a virtual Apache server using the parameters provided in the ubuntuguide instructions, as well as creating the configuration file for the domain. Once that was complete, I pointed my browser to that domain and was presented with the DAViCal login page.

I have been able to add the calendars on both my Mac (in iCal) and Thunderbird on my Ubuntu box without problem. I was also able to add the CardDAV entry into Address Book on the Mac, but it is proving to be more difficult in Thunderbird since it seems there is no built-in capacity for CardDAV server subscriptions, but I will continue working on seeing if there is a solution to that issue.

  • Awesome. Do you think this will eat up many resources that my plex server needs? Or will they behave well together? – wardr Sep 7 '13 at 21:50
  • 1
    @HeadSnow If your system is within the requirements for running a plex server, you should be fine. If you read the requirements for davical, it requires Apache and a postgres dbase installation - neither of which require much in the way of CPU resources. – douggro Sep 7 '13 at 22:42
  • great I'll check it out. Do you utilize this system to maintain your own contacts? – wardr Sep 7 '13 at 23:35
  • OKay I just spent 4 hours trying to install this with absolutely zero success. I get a 500 error when trying to connect to localhost/davical – wardr Sep 8 '13 at 2:28
  • I'm working on installing it now, but my configuration is different than yours in that I have public domains hosted on my server. It's not functioning fully yet, but I am getting a page displayed on the domain that I set it up for at this point. – douggro Sep 8 '13 at 4:11

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