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How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

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How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Chris Green
I have an owncloud server that I have been using happily from my Linux
systems for a few years.

My wife now want to use my owncloud server from her android tablet for
calendar and contacts.

This appears to be far from straightforward!

First question:-
    Is it better to use the browser interface to owncloud or are there
    specific Android owncloud calendar and contacts apps?

Second question:-
    Is there any 'Help' for the browser interface on Android, it
    doesn't seem work the same as the browser interface from Linux.
    We couldn't (for example) work out how to create a new event in
    the calendar, just tapping a date does nothing.

Third question:-
    Where does any created calendar or contacts get saved?  There's a
    calendar with a couple of events (we don't really know how we
    created them) in owncloud but I can't find any trace of
    corresponding files on my server.  I *can* see my own calendar and
    contacts files.

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Matthew Caron
Add it as a calendar source via a caldav connector. I use "caldav sync free beta". For contacts, the process is similar and I use "CardDav-sync free". Once you have the connectors installed, you just point them at the appropriate URL.

I can't comment on the browser stuff from android as I don't use them, given the above. That said, you can always tick the "request desktop version" button to get the standard interface.

On October 15, 2016 6:34:04 AM EDT, Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:

>I have an owncloud server that I have been using happily from my Linux
>systems for a few years.
>
>My wife now want to use my owncloud server from her android tablet for
>calendar and contacts.
>
>This appears to be far from straightforward!
>
>First question:-
>    Is it better to use the browser interface to owncloud or are there
>    specific Android owncloud calendar and contacts apps?
>
>Second question:-
>    Is there any 'Help' for the browser interface on Android, it
>    doesn't seem work the same as the browser interface from Linux.
>    We couldn't (for example) work out how to create a new event in
>    the calendar, just tapping a date does nothing.
>
>Third question:-
>    Where does any created calendar or contacts get saved?  There's a
>    calendar with a couple of events (we don't really know how we
>    created them) in owncloud but I can't find any trace of
>    corresponding files on my server.  I *can* see my own calendar and
>    contacts files.

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Carsten Schiefner
In reply to this post by Chris Green
Hi Chris -

On 15.10.2016 12:34, Chris Green wrote:

> I have an owncloud server that I have been using happily from my Linux
> systems for a few years.
>
> My wife now want to use my owncloud server from her android tablet for
> calendar and contacts.
>
> This appears to be far from straightforward!
>
> First question:-
>     Is it better to use the browser interface to owncloud or are there
>     specific Android owncloud calendar and contacts apps?

not that I'd be aware of.

However, you resp. your wife would/should/could be fine with Android's
on-board calendar and contacts apps: these can be easily hooked onto
ownCloud with e.g. Marten Gajda's CalDAV-Sync resp. CardDAV-Sync app.
They run silently and equally flawlessly in the background on my Android
tablet.

You can find CardDAV-Sync here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.carddav.Sync (to
be paid for)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.carddav.sync (free)

Difference according to the description is:

"The paid version of CardDAV-Sync equals the free version except that it
syncs more fields. Visit my website for details.

Please uninstall the free version before you install the paid one (and
vice versa)."

And CalDAV-Sync here:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.caldav.lib

The current total is 4,49 EUR - IMHO worth every cent.

> Second question:-
>     Is there any 'Help' for the browser interface on Android, it
>     doesn't seem work the same as the browser interface from Linux.
>     We couldn't (for example) work out how to create a new event in
>     the calendar, just tapping a date does nothing.

Can't tell - never used the ownCloud web interface with my Android browser.

> Third question:-
>     Where does any created calendar or contacts get saved?  There's a
>     calendar with a couple of events (we don't really know how we
>     created them) in owncloud but I can't find any trace of
>     corresponding files on my server.  I *can* see my own calendar and
>     contacts files.

Wouldn't calendar or contact data sit in the *SQL database rather than
in specific files? I wonder what your calendar and contacts files would
look like...

Best,

        Carsten
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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Andrea Croci
Hello Chris,


On 15.10.2016 13:49, Carsten Schiefner wrote:

> Hi Chris -
>
> On 15.10.2016 12:34, Chris Green wrote:
>> I have an owncloud server that I have been using happily from my Linux
>> systems for a few years.
>>
>> My wife now want to use my owncloud server from her android tablet for
>> calendar and contacts.
>>
>> This appears to be far from straightforward!
>>
>> First question:-
>>      Is it better to use the browser interface to owncloud or are there
>>      specific Android owncloud calendar and contacts apps?
> not that I'd be aware of.
>
> However, you resp. your wife would/should/could be fine with Android's
> on-board calendar and contacts apps: these can be easily hooked onto
> ownCloud with e.g. Marten Gajda's CalDAV-Sync resp. CardDAV-Sync app.
> They run silently and equally flawlessly in the background on my Android
> tablet.
>
> You can find CardDAV-Sync here:
>
> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.carddav.Sync (to
> be paid for)
> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.carddav.sync (free)
>
> Difference according to the description is:
>
> "The paid version of CardDAV-Sync equals the free version except that it
> syncs more fields. Visit my website for details.
>
> Please uninstall the free version before you install the paid one (and
> vice versa)."
>
> And CalDAV-Sync here:
>
> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.caldav.lib
>
> The current total is 4,49 EUR - IMHO worth every cent.
An alternative to using CalDAV-sync and CardDAV-sync is DAVDroid. It
syncs both with just one account setup. The only issue I had with that
is that it wouldn't recognize my self signed nonCA certificate. I'm
using https to connect to my ownCloud and made the certificate myself. I
had to redo the certificate as a CA-certificate (changing it in all the
configuration files where it was pointed to) and import it in my Android
device in order to make it digest it. It was quite a bit of work and
googling around and I couldn't reproduce it now without redoing the same
googling. So I don't know if you use https, if you want to go through
the exercise. Advantage is, it's free.

>
>> Second question:-
>>      Is there any 'Help' for the browser interface on Android, it
>>      doesn't seem work the same as the browser interface from Linux.
>>      We couldn't (for example) work out how to create a new event in
>>      the calendar, just tapping a date does nothing.
> Can't tell - never used the ownCloud web interface with my Android browser.
>
>> Third question:-
>>      Where does any created calendar or contacts get saved?  There's a
>>      calendar with a couple of events (we don't really know how we
>>      created them) in owncloud but I can't find any trace of
>>      corresponding files on my server.  I *can* see my own calendar and
>>      contacts files.
> Wouldn't calendar or contact data sit in the *SQL database rather than
> in specific files? I wonder what your calendar and contacts files would
> look like...
>
> Best,
>
> Carsten
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Regards,

Andrea.
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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Chris Green
OK, thanks all, I think that should sort it.

... and I'm not as stupid as I thought I was, it *isn't* all that
simple.  :-)

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Greg Troxel
In reply to this post by Andrea Croci

I am also using DAVDroid, and it works well.   It's also Free Software
and available in f-droid, so it works for those of you that decline to
have a google account.

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Matthew Caron
In reply to this post by Chris Green


On 10/15/2016 08:50 AM, Chris Green wrote:
> OK, thanks all, I think that should sort it.
>
> ... and I'm not as stupid as I thought I was, it *isn't* all that
> simple.  :-)
>

Yeah, I don't know why google doesn't have the DAV stuff builtin. It's
pretty standard...

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

~Stack~
In reply to this post by Greg Troxel
On 10/15/2016 08:12 AM, Greg Troxel wrote:
>
> I am also using DAVDroid, and it works well.   It's also Free Software
> and available in f-droid, so it works for those of you that decline to
> have a google account.

Add another for F-Droid + DAVdroid! It works REALLY well. Some of the
others mentioned, I had issues with but never an issue with DAVdroid.

Also, I would like to throw in a shout to Etar (also found in F-Droid)
as a calendar. I personally like the lay out and it hasn't been nearly
as flaky as the built-in-calendar*. I like it quite a bit more than the
built in one. I and my wife are quite happy with the setup.

* Yeah, I know. The default calendar I have is *ancient* and supposedly
most of my problems are fixed in the new versions. Except my Android
device doesn't get updates from the vendor and I _can't_ get the default
one to update due to not being able to root the device. The Android
eco-system sucks bad! And the answer isn't to buy a new device either!!
OK. That is all the rant I have for now. :-)



~Stack~


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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Carsten Schiefner
In reply to this post by Carsten Schiefner
All -

On 15.10.2016 14:10, Andrea Croci wrote:
> An alternative to using CalDAV-sync and CardDAV-sync is DAVDroid. It
> syncs both with just one account setup. The only issue I had with
> that is that it wouldn't recognize my self signed nonCA certificate.
> I'm using https to connect to my ownCloud and made the certificate
> myself.

one would not (avoiding the "must not" as I can only but strongly
recommend, but cannot give any real orders) use anything else than https
to connect to one's ownCloud server resp. service.

> I had to redo the certificate as a CA-certificate (changing
> it in all the configuration files where it was pointed to) and import
> it in my Android device in order to make it digest it. It was quite a
> bit of work and googling around and I couldn't reproduce it now
> without redoing the same googling. So I don't know if you use https,
> if you want to go through the exercise. Advantage is, it's free.

As soon as your have created your own certificate: get yourself a bonus
and get it signed by a CA that has its root certificates in the ring
that is usually shipped with browsers and OSes - an be hazzle-free.

My experience of getting my certificate signed (for free, BTW! :-) by
StartSSL (https://www.startssl.com/) was good, but there are others as
well such as Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) - which I haven't
yet checked out, though.

On 15.10.2016 14:50, Chris Green wrote:
> ... and I'm not as stupid as I thought I was, it *isn't* all that
> simple.  :-)

But is *MUCH* handier once properly set up - I see the web interface of
my ownCloud service only for configuration purposes. :-)

On 15.10.2016 16:11, Matthew Caron wrote:
> Yeah, I don't know why google doesn't have the DAV stuff builtin.
> It's pretty standard...

Barking up the wrong tree here a little, huh? ;-)

Anyhow: all the best,

        -C.
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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Chris Green
On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 11:32:51AM +0200, Carsten Schiefner wrote:
> My experience of getting my certificate signed (for free, BTW! :-) by
> StartSSL (https://www.startssl.com/) was good, but there are others as
> well such as Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) - which I haven't
> yet checked out, though.
>
I (OP) use LetsEncrypt to get a certificate for my server, it's worked
well so far though renewing first time was a little messy.  I've
written down the procedure for myself so it shouldn't be so bad the
next time.


> On 15.10.2016 14:50, Chris Green wrote:
> > ... and I'm not as stupid as I thought I was, it *isn't* all that
> > simple.  :-)
>
> But is *MUCH* handier once properly set up - I see the web interface of
> my ownCloud service only for configuration purposes. :-)
>
I'm about to get DAVDroid and see how it goes.

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

~Stack~
On 10/16/2016 04:45 AM, Chris Green wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 11:32:51AM +0200, Carsten Schiefner wrote:
>> My experience of getting my certificate signed (for free, BTW! :-) by
>> StartSSL (https://www.startssl.com/) was good, but there are others as
>> well such as Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) - which I haven't
>> yet checked out, though.
>>
> I (OP) use LetsEncrypt to get a certificate for my server, it's worked
> well so far though renewing first time was a little messy.  I've
> written down the procedure for myself so it shouldn't be so bad the
> next time.
I got in on the beta. It was /really/ rough then. The last time I went
though it manually it was super simple. They really mean it when they
say that they want this to be an automated procedure. I am now
comfortable enough that it runs once a week (It won't renew until it
gets within a certain time window; you can force it manually if you need
to).

I highly recommend LetsEncrypt with their certbot for automation. I also
agree that https should _really_ be paired with owncloud.

~Stack~



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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Chris Green
On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 08:05:01PM -0500, ~Stack~ wrote:

> On 10/16/2016 04:45 AM, Chris Green wrote:
> > On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 11:32:51AM +0200, Carsten Schiefner wrote:
> >> My experience of getting my certificate signed (for free, BTW! :-) by
> >> StartSSL (https://www.startssl.com/) was good, but there are others as
> >> well such as Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) - which I haven't
> >> yet checked out, though.
> >>
> > I (OP) use LetsEncrypt to get a certificate for my server, it's worked
> > well so far though renewing first time was a little messy.  I've
> > written down the procedure for myself so it shouldn't be so bad the
> > next time.
>
> I got in on the beta. It was /really/ rough then. The last time I went
> though it manually it was super simple. They really mean it when they
> say that they want this to be an automated procedure. I am now
> comfortable enough that it runs once a week (It won't renew until it
> gets within a certain time window; you can force it manually if you need
> to).
>
> I highly recommend LetsEncrypt with their certbot for automation. I also
> agree that https should _really_ be paired with owncloud.
>
My fundamental problem with LetsEncrypt renewal was that it needed
more memory than my virtual machine had with the result that the
renewal crashed with a totally misleading error message.

So my renewal procedure is now:-
    Increase memory on virtual machine
    Run renewal
    Decrease memory on virtual machine


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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Charles Curley
On Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:33:25 +0100
Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My fundamental problem with LetsEncrypt renewal was that it needed
> more memory than my virtual machine had with the result that the
> renewal crashed with a totally misleading error message.

My physical machine with 226 MB physical and 451 MB swap does just fine
with LE. Try those settings and see how it goes.

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Re: How to actually use an Owncloud calendar on an Android device?

Chris Green
On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 06:55:19AM -0600, Charles Curley wrote:

> On Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:33:25 +0100
> Chris Green <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > My fundamental problem with LetsEncrypt renewal was that it needed
> > more memory than my virtual machine had with the result that the
> > renewal crashed with a totally misleading error message.
>
> My physical machine with 226 MB physical and 451 MB swap does just fine
> with LE. Try those settings and see how it goes.
>
Well my virtual machine with 256Mb crashes, as I said.  It costs me
more to have more memory and 256Mb is fine for all the things I
normally do.  I just move it up to 2Gb for the LetsEncrypt upgrade and
then move it back down again.

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