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I have a webcal url, something like webcal://myservice.com/foobar. When my "Windows friends" click on such a link in their browsers, or paste the url into the address bar, there is an open dialogue, where they can choose Outlook.

What is the equivalent on Ubuntu? I have installed Thunderbird, and then the Lightning extension. But I can't find a way of adding the webcal/ical url from within Thunderbird/Lightning, and Firefox does not offer opening the link in Thunderbird.

It does offer opening it with "30 Boxes". Apparently this is a webservice, which is somehow offline today, and therefore I can't use it.

Launch Application - 30 Boxes

Please let me know the easiest way of opening this webcal/ical thing, to see what appointments and stuff is in there.

  • What if you "Choose an Application" and select Thunderbird? – Jos Jan 30 '15 at 12:09
  • Good idea. I tried opening with "/usr/bin/thunderbird". If Thunderbird is already running, nothing happens. If Thunderbird is not running, still nothing happens, it does not even open. – Mads Skjern Jan 30 '15 at 12:26
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    In this discussion, the following actions are recommended: - open Lightning - in the calendars list: right-mouse click -> new calendar - select 'on the network' - select 'iCalendar' - then paste the URL to your .ics – Jos Jan 30 '15 at 12:52
  • That worked! :) – Mads Skjern Jan 30 '15 at 13:10
  • Good! Allow me to state this as an answer then. – Jos Jan 30 '15 at 13:17
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Thunderbird does not know how to open a Webcal link from the command line (which is the same as what "Choose Application" does). However, once you have Lightning open, you can retrieve the contents of a Webcal link and paste it into a calendar. In this discussion, the following actions are recommended:

  • open Lightning
  • in the calendars list: right-mouse click -> new calendar
  • select 'on the network'
  • select 'iCalendar'
  • then paste the URL to your .ics
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In case someone is wondering, this is also possible with Evolution (tested in version 3.10.4).

You can create a new calendar by choosing the "on the network" option and use that webcal URL.

I tested that with Facebook's birthday calendar. It will then allow you to either use it as it is (and get the updates), or transfer the data to another calendar, or export it as a static file (like .csv).

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Jos' answer worked well for me with one problem: it created a new calendar but I really wanted was to import the event into an existing calendar.

Here's what I did:

  1. Replace webcal in the URL with http and download it as a file. So using the URL from the question (webcal://myservice.com/foobar) as an example, you should be able to go to http://myservice.com/foobar in your browser and it will download the calendar file. Or if you prefer the command line:

    wget 'http://myservice.com/foobar' -O webcal.ics
    

    Use https:// for webcals:// URLs:

    wget 'https://myservice.com/foobar' -O webcal.ics
    
  2. In Lightning, go to Events and Tasks > Import

  3. Select the file you downloaded

  4. Select the existing calendar to import into

If you've already done the steps in Jos' answer or if you no longer have the original URL:

  1. In Lightning, right-click the calendar with the events from the webcal URL > Export Calander

  2. Repeat the steps above starting with step 2 to import the events into another calander

  3. (Optional) Unsubscribe from the calendar with the events from the webcal URL (right-click > Unsubscribe Calander)

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