Install Radicale CalDAV Server

3 minute read

Description:

So like many of my peers, I’m trying to move to self-hosting as much as possible. This post will outline how I went from Google Calendar to CentOS Radicale Server with Thunderbird client as the replacement.

To Resolve:

  1. If you haven’t already, create a CentOS 7 VM that you use as a “base” image that you can clone. I have one with MATE installed that I spin up every now and then to run updates. We will start by making a clone and logging in.

  2. The first thing we need to do is setup a python environment, I used this guide:

    • Type:
    sudo yum -y update
    sudo yum -y install yum-utils
    sudo yum -y groupinstall development
    sudo yum -y install https://centos7.iuscommunity.org/ius-release.rpm
    sudo yum -y install python36u
    
    # Check
    python3.6 -V
    sudo yum -y install python36u-pip
    
    # To install a package: sudo pip3.6 install package_name
    sudo yum -y install python36u-devel
    
    # Setting up environment
    mkdir environments
    cd environments
    python3.6 -m venv my_env
    # To use, we have to activate: source my_env/bin/activate
    # NOTE: Within the virtual environment, you can use the command python instead of python3.6, and pip instead of pip3.6 if you would prefer. If you use Python 3 on your machine outside of an environment, you will need to use the python3.6 and pip3.6 commands exclusively.
    
  3. To install Radicale, we issue two commands:

    sudo python3.6 -m pip install --upgrade radicale
    sudo python3.6 -m radicale --config "" --storage-filesystem-folder=~/.var/lib/radicale/collections
    # Open http://localhost:5232/ in your browser and create a calendar. I called it home.
    
  4. We could just be done here, but the problem is that anyone can get to your server without a password (any password works!). So the next step is to increase security by using bcrypt.

    • Type:
    sudo yum install httpd-tools
    sudo htpasswd -B -c /home/gerry/apps/users gerry
    
    # This does two things, it creates a file called "users" and sets an encrypted password
    sudo python3.6 -m pip install --upgrade passlib bcrypt
    sudo mkdir /home/gerry/.config/radicale
    cd /home/gerry/.config/radicale
    sudo touch config
    sudo vi config
    
    # Paste the following:
    [auth]
    type = htpasswd
    htpasswd_filename = /home/gerry/apps/users
    # Encryption method used in the htpasswd file
    htpasswd_encryption = bcrypt
    [server]
    hosts = 0.0.0.0:5232, 192.168.0.15:5232
    [server]
    max_connections = 20
    # 1 Megabyte
    max_content_length = 10000000
    # 10 seconds
    timeout = 10
    [auth]
    # Average delay after failed login attempts in seconds
    delay = 1000
    [storage]
    filesystem_folder = /home/gerry/.var/lib/radicale/collections
    # Save and exit - Now Radicale requires a password!
    
  5. Now you can run Radicale by just typing “radicale”. The website has a way to set it up as a service using systemd, but I couldn’t get it to work because I’m a newb with linux. Instead, I just set it as a startup application using MATE’s Startup Applications as “/usr/bin/radicale”. Only downside is I will have to login after each reboot. I’m sure I will create a cron for this later o_O

  6. Next step is to import your google calendar. Download it via the web and then edit it with Notepad++. We need to remove the UID’s that Google uses or Radicale won’t import properly. This is the error you will get: Muliple VEVENT components with different UIDs in object: "p64bb8045e8sdfskv90ean9gesi6vggoogle.com", "o1vl26smvm4vdfs7oed9h155kb598google.com" or something to that effect.

    • Do a find and replace in Regular Expression mode and set it like:
    find = UID:.*
    replace = UID:whateveryouwant
    # save the file and exit.
    
  7. Now we just import it to your radicale profile:

    • Copy your .ics to file to /home/gerry/.var/lib/radicale/collections/calendar.ics – it will start to create multiple events – that’s okay.
  8. Now would be the time to open port on router and forward to your new CalDAV server if you want to access it out of your home. Make sure to create a firewall rule to allow port 5232 open on your CentOS vm.

  9. Once you have your login info, login and copy the URL to your server, it should end in a random GUID.

  10. Install Thunderbird and set it to that path using Lightning. It should prompt for a username/password.

  11. Profit! As a benefit, you can always go back to any other application that imports .ics files by logging into Radicale via your web GUI and just downloading the calendar.