I've got a colleague who keeps sending me attached calendar items from an MS Exchange server. Thunderbird and Mutt can't even see the attachment, but if I view the raw message source, it is there, encoded:

Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
MIME-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


Content-Type: text/calendar; charset="utf-8"; method=REQUEST
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

I can run the text/calendar portion through base64 -d and read it just fine, but now I have an external text file that looks like ...

PRODID:Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
TZID:Eastern Standard Time

Obviously, this isn't my problem. Exchange is turning out poorly formatted email messages. Nonetheless, the nature of this exchange is such that my life will be muuuch easier if I can just figure out a reliable way to read these invites.

Is there a tool I can use to actually read the calendar file? There seem to be a few different date fields and I can't tell which is which. Is there an automated way to push the file to evolution?


You can install ThunderBird Lightning extension.

It installs a calendar tool inside ThunderBird, from which you can import **.ics* attachments as appointments.
You can find the "Import" tool under the Lightning menu inside ThunderBird.
By the way, browsing Mozilla forums, I would say Lighting (and Sunbird) have no option to directly import calendar files.

  • Part of the problem is that once it is decoded, what I have is an external file, not an attachment. I need a straightforward way to read the external calendar file. I don't see a way to import an external calendar item into lightning, unfortunately. – Amanda May 23 '11 at 19:51
  • Lightning gives you the possibility to import external calendars. You can find the "Import" tool under the Lightning menu. By the way, are you looking for something to import calendars data into Thunderbird from command line/desktop environment? – igi May 23 '11 at 21:51
  • I'm already in the command line, since I have to decode the base 64 content anyhow, so it'd be awesome to shove it into Lightning from the command line. Saving it and manually importing it into Lightning is an improvement over launching Evolution, though. – Amanda May 24 '11 at 12:57
  • @Amanda, browsing Mozilla forums, I would say Lighting and Sunbird have no option to directly import calendar files (developer.mozilla.org/en/Command_Line_Options#Calendar). I'll update my answer. – igi May 24 '11 at 18:43

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