Using the CS Calendar
If you’re just getting started, skip this section for now.
- On the web interface if you enter your username and password and it shows the dialog box again without saying anything, it means your account info was correct but you don’t have permission to access that calendar or group.
- Some calendar clients are buggy with regards to how they store events and won’t be able to edit events created by other clients. The web interface has this bug! If you create events in Sunbird for example, you won’t be able to edit them via the web interface. You will be able to see them and edit other events though. If you stick to one access method, for example the web site, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Methods of Access
You can access your calendar in a number of ways (but see the gotcha about using more than one):
- The web interface- https://calendar.cs.columbia.edu/. Know that it only supports very basic usage, for example you can’t work with recurring events.
- Mozilla Sunbird. We recommend using Sunbird (version 0.8 or higher).
- Apple iCal.
- Any other CalDAV/iCalendar client.
- Make sure your CS (unix/linux) account is enabled for the calendar server. You can request access by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All faculty are automatically enabled. Others can request access by emailing email@example.com. –>
- Create a group to host the calendar. You can use the “group” command on a linux machine. Your group can contain only yourself if you don’t want to share your calendar. If it will primarily be a personal calendar, we recommend you create a group with the same name as your username. You can use an existing group for this but you’ll need to edit it using the group command or ask us to convert it to a calendar group; newly created groups and old groups edited with the group command will automatically be set up for this.
- Access your calendar.
If you want to use the web interface, go to
If you want to use a desktop client other than iCal, point it at the CalDAV server
Detailed Setup Tutorials
This tutorial is for Mozilla Sunbird 0.9. Earlier versions of Sunbird are probably similar.
To get set up, you’ll need 3 pieces of information: your cs account (linux/unix) user name or login, the password, and the group your calendar is associated with. I’ll be using my user name, dbenamy, and the tech group.
- Verify that your account is set up for the calendar by logging into the web interface- https://calendar.cs.columbia.edu/groups/YOUR_GROUP_NAME/.
- Download and install Sunbird from http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/download.html if you don’t already have it installed.
- Run Sunbird.
- If you get a screen asking if you want to import data, click cancel.
- Click File and then Subscribe to Remote Calendar.
- Click On the Network and then Next.
- Select CalDAV. For the location, enter https://calendar.cs.columbia.edu:8443/calendars/groups/YOUR_GROUP_NAME/calendar.
- Give your calendar a name you will recognize. We recommend using the group as the name. Then click Next.
- A box will pop up asking your for your user name and password. Enter your cs account information. If you are on a computer you trust, you should probably check off the box to have it save your password.
- If everything works, you’ll get a message that the calendar has been created. Click finish. If you get stuck at this point, you can contact us and we’ll help you out.
- Click on the Calendars tab and you should see your new calendar with a checkbox next to it.
- You should delete the default Home calendar if you just installed Sunbird or you haven’t been using it. DO NOT delete it if you have been using Sunbird and have created events which may be stored there. To delete it, right click on Home and click delete.
Congratulations, you’re all set! Don’t schedule too many meetings 🙂
This was written using iCal 3.0.6 on OS X 10.5.6. If you are using a different version, it may not match the directions perfectly, but the idea should be the same.
- Run iCal.
- Click iCal (on top) and then Preferences.
- Click on Accounts.
- Click the + button in the bottom left.
- Fill in a description and your CS account information.
- Click the arrow next to Server Options and enter something like: https://calendar.cs.columbia.edu:8443/principals/groups/YOUR_GROUP_NAME/ Make sure you have a ‘/’ at the end! Then click Add.
- It may prompt you for your keychain password so it can store your account information.
- Set Refresh calendars to Every minute.
- Close the accounts preferences window.
- If you don’t see a list of calendars to the left of the calendar itself, click View (on top), Show Calendar List.
- Uncheck the default calendars Home and Work if you don’t use them.
- NOTE: When you create a new event, it will be part of whichever calendar is highlighted. To create events in your new CS calendar, make your you click on in on the left, before creating the event.
You’re off to the races!