Preferred app to replace Apple's Calendar with a move from USB to cloud syncing too

Doug, Thank you for your note.

You are giving me a good argument to consider “moving on” to cloud syncing for such things as Calendar/Contacts syncing, although generally I do not want to rely on the cloud.

At any rate, if I do make the plunge to cloud syncing, I may move to BusyCal, instead of using Apple Calendar. I believe I may be better off with BusyCal.

I second your vote on BusyCal, especially when paired with its partner BusyContacts on the Mac (iOS version is BusyCal only but it works well w/iOS Contacts). I’ve used them for over a decade; reliable, customizable in many ways, responsive support, and very quick to fix issues when they crop up.

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Concerning calendar sync. I agree that it’s a travesty that Apple have broken calendar sync via USB so thoroughly, but as it’s clearly nonfunctional, it’s probably time to move on. If you don’t want to use the cloud—and I perfectly understand that people choose not to use the cloud, for a variety of reasons—then have you considered a self-hosted CalDAV server? You could run one on a NAS or, if you have the knowhow, directly on a machine you control on an operating system of choice and with your preferred server software. Apple’s own server, calendarserver, is free and open-source, if you need bug-for-bug compatibility.

Funny you should ask…I did run my own CalDAV server, on a Mac Mini I bought specifically for that. On software that took less than hour to set up, but then Apple discontinued macOS Server. I don’t know anyone who successfully setup the open-source calendarserver from the “directions” provided. Furthermore, it is no longer supported and the site is read only. I personally spent two days on three separate occasions trying to get it to work.

I would welcome recommendations for either a LINUX installation that includes CalDAV or an affordable, NAS w/ CalDAV and adequate performance.

Sorry, huh?

(Adam, I thought about moving this side-thread back to My Mac Apple-Calendar went berserk-I need help! - #73 by Shamino but wasn’t sure how to do it, sorry)

Good point. That topic is already pretty unwieldy, so I’ve moved the conversation to a new one.

I run Baïkal on my Mac and it’s pretty easy to setup (if you are even mildly familiar with dealing with web servers, I’m no expert). I use it for the CardDAV server, but it includes a CalDAV as well. It can be run on pretty much anything. I think the underlying code is based on Apple’s original open-source CalDAV and CardDAV servers.

Last time I looked at Baikal, I wasn’t clear on the whole Fruux-sabre/dave-Baikal relationship. I think I had the impression it was subscription, but I’ll take another look.


CalendarServer is python vs Baikal is php, but otherwise…?

It really is a shame about macOS server. One of the funniest occasions I’ve seen it most heavily endorsed in Apple circles was with the release of Mavericks which, if you remember, removed USB contact/calendar syncing entirely. It took pushback to get that reinstated, but in the meantime there was this neat little Server you could get from Apple, and it provided a much nicer experience to boot …

I did get calendarserver to work, yes, once upon a time, but that was when it had support for “flat” file storage; when they moved to a mandatory SQL backend, I gave up interest. It was never a piece of software I was entirely happy with, and its being very large and written in highly dependent Python only increased the difficulty for me in overcoming the messianic hellscape that is Python package management to get it working properly. So I quite understand if you couldn’t get it to work as it really wasn’t very friendly. The other server I used and really liked, radicale, is also written in Python and yet could not be more lovely to set up and use in contrast, at least at the time. Maybe try that one.

It depends on your needs and skillset, but here’s as good an article as one could hope for enumerating the options on Linux, many distributions of which will provide packages, and many of which are cross-platform:

As alluded to in that article, CalDAV also features as a part of other offerings. So if, for instance, your Synology NAS were to let you install NextCloud, and I can’t imagine a more plausible candidate for a NAS (but as I myself don’t own or want a NAS I cannot speak to a good choice personally, but Synology keep getting all the rave mentions because of all the packages available for it), then you’d get CalDAV/CardDAV as a feature of your Internet file sync/share service. It’s also often the case that CalDAV is a part of a mail stack. I use Cyrus IMAP in my mail server VM, which is a closed-box email server, that happens to implement CalDAV and CardDAV in the box; other options are Sogo (CalDAV/CardDAV/ActiveSync front-end to other servers) and Kopano (big email stack). As long as any distribution, container or virtual or physical appliance bundles that stuff, you get it automagically. So Mailcow includes Sogo, and MailInABox includes NextCloud. If you only wanted CalDAV these would be very heavy, but I mention it since for me and many CalDAV is just a feature of your mail setup. I apologise that this is potentially now a very bewildering topic, in general, but this is actually pretty close to what MacOS Server offered in the past, so some amount of exposure is inevitable.

The (mis)features, quirks and backward-compatibility. Unless you know that you absolutely must have, for instance, push notifications, IMIP, or support for particular legacy Apple extensions or workarounds for bugs in older clients, don’t worry about it and be happy; you’ll almost certainly be absolutely fine as long as the server advertises support for macOS/iOS.

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Thanks for all the references. That should keep me busy awhile…

Did you run Radicale under macOS or a VM?

I think that Fruit funds or maintains sabre/Baïkal (which they presumably use in their product). But Baïkal itself is completely free, documentation on the website I linked to. Essentially all you have to do is put a folder on your web server.

By default Baïkal uses SQLite, which is essentially just a file in a folder. I’ve never interacted with it – just copy the main folder to the server (which is my Mac in my case) and do a bit of configuration as explained in the docs.

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Bare metal Linux, at the time. A quick look at the docs says this should still work in essentially the same way for macOS, using pip to install privileged or unprivileged. Just make sure python3 and pip is installed and it will do the rest. Or, at your option, install such dependencies from the ports system you use instead of relying on pip. Instructions here:

The hardest part really is going to be writing a launchd task to start the server up as an agent/daemon in the background, so you can use it as a “server” with no GUI. The configuration file is read for all the options. If you get stuck, let us know.

Thanks. That’s fine. SQLite is fine. SQL servers do my head in, but SQLite soothes aching sysadmin hearts everywhere. :smiley:

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