Tag: sync

How to Use Owncloud Sync on Ubuntu Phone

Congrats! So you figured out the 20 steps to getting owncloud-sync on your ubuntu phone.  The problem is … now what? How do you make it work?  It took a bit of goofing around but here is what I figured out:

Sync Files

  1. Do my tutorial (if it’s not in the software center when you read this) HERE
  2. Go to ‘system settings’
  3. go to ‘accounts’
  4. then add an account and select ‘owncloud’ from the list. It will prompt you for your credentials so fill them in.

Now you have an owncloud (nextcloud works fine with it) account meshed into your phone.  Now you can actually start doing useful things.  The most exciting part, of course, is syncing calendars!

  1. go to calendar icon
  2. click that grid calendar icon in the top right area – the left most of the three
  3. add online calendar
  4. owncloud
  5. again you will be prompted for your credentials again.  enter them
  6. done. you’ll see a ‘sync in progress’ kind of notifier and boom. works.

Now you want to sync up files from your phone to your cloud.  Unfortunately the app does not yet, at the point of this post, have a ‘share to cloud’ option which is too bad.  I’m sure the feature is on the way as you read this.  For now, however, what you have to do is this:

  1. in file manager, create a dedicated ‘sync’ folder on your local phone.  you could use the folders that are already there, but in my case I needed to have a folder that did *not* sync my personal photos to my work cloud!  So I made a folder called ‘work-uploads’ on my phone
  2. open the owncloud app and in account settings choose your sync frequency. I chose 15 minutes.  I left the ‘sync on mobile data’ off because I don’t want a few gigs syncing with my mobile data..
  3. go back then go to sync folders.  for the local folder, select the one you made in step 2 above. You can also create the folder at this point by pressing the + icon, or you could select one.  If you select be sure to press the check mark in the *top right*. Not sure why but the check mark in the center confuses me…
  4. back out then in the ‘sync service’ make sure there is a file in your local folder that you made in step 2 and then press ‘sync’.  It should tell you that the sync has started.

Honestly, mine is not syncing but I bet it should be. haha  It’s definitely connecting to the cloud because I could choose the folders no problem and see all of them on my cloud.  But the files aren’t moving from my phone to the cloud now so hopefully it will work for you while I figure this out.

I think you have to follow these steps in order and not use the owncloud sync app before you add the stuff in system settings but not sure…

two theories:

  1. because i created the folders on the phone it requires root (sudo) somehow to sync.  I noticed that I cannot see the folders I created in step 2 above in the regular file manager of phone…  maybe this permission issue is restricting sync
  2. I did something in the wrong order…  calendar is working perfectly though!  weird.

To test, I went in from my laptop to the web GUI of Nextcloud to see if the file made it.  No go.  Did not.  Then I put a small file in the same directory from my laptop and sure enough the file made it to the cloud.  So the issue is definitely on the phone side… hmm… more for tomorrow..

 

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Free Android CalDav Calendar Sync with Owncloud

After a long, long, time, the solution to syncing my Owncloud calendar to Android was bloody easy.  The reason why I couldn’t get it done is because it seems that google (no surprise) blocks these kind of tools from their app place.  They like to have things like your daily schedule and whereabouts nicely available for exploiting.

If you don’t like that, until the Ubuntu phone calendar synch is up and running and a calendar is paramount, this solution worked awesome for me.  If you don’t have an owncloud set up in your own house and the calendar set up, I have some post on this site about that but my friend reported that it’s overly and unecessarily complicated.  Check it out and compare it against others and do your best.

The second assumption is that you can manually download and install a .apk file on your phone.  I’m pretty sure that all android phones can do this if you go into the security settings and force it to allow non-play apps to install.  I’m running Cyanogen mod on a rooted phone so it definitely works…

Assumptions:

  1. owncloud + calendar is up and running (or some other network-sharable calendar)
  2. you can download/install .apk files on your android mobile

How to:

1. On your mobile, Go to this link https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=org.gege.caldavsyncadapter

2.Make sure your mobile security settings are set to allow ‘install any .apk file’ or the next step might not work

3. Click and download the ‘download apk’ link which will start download.

4. Click the download complete notification and it should start install

5. in phone settings under ‘accounts’ click ‘add account’ and chose calDav Sync adapter

6. Enter your calendar credentials (ie. from owncloud) and make it do its thing

7. Done

In my case I had to reboot my phone once to make it do a full and perfect sync but hopefully that won’t happen to you. It was some kind of ‘time out error’.  After rebooting all was good.

 

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How to Privatize Your Calendar with Owncloud, Thunderbird, and Lightning

Edit 151224: I had accidentally selected ‘ics’ format instead of caldav.  Sorry about that. Now it works!

Getting your calendar off other  people’s servers should be a priority.  It’s bad enough that you’re being tracked unwillingly but throwing your daily calendar out there to be viewed is borderline twisted.

I needed a solution where the sync was happening on a machine in my house, not outside.  This tutorial got it done for me.  I refuse to say anything good about fruit phones or the fruit company, but I will say that if you are temporarily stuck with one that oddly it quite easily syncs with this tutorial as well giving you the very useful access on your mobile complete with alerts.  I have not yet figured out Android and rest assured I’ve spent many, many hours trying.  My main goal is to focus all my attention on Ubuntu for Devices (Ubuntu Touch/Mobile) but sometimes you just have to survive today…

Before beginning, you will need:

1. an Ubuntu server in your house with owncloud installed on it (that’s a separate tutorial)

2. a static IP address for that server, or at least a dyn dns service (some domain hosts offer it for free) so that when you are outside of your house you can tunnel back in.

*note: you only need one person running the items above if you trust them dearly because you could just set your calendar up on their server.  You could put countless thousands on one machine I bet.  I’m going to set up my family on mine, for example

3. A computer (preferably Ubuntu) running Thunderbird as your email client.

4. The plugin Lightning installed into Thunderbird.

5. a valid and functional email working in Thunderbird (you could use a free webmail email here but that kind of defeats our purpose of freeing ourselves from these gaffers)

Assuming all of the above is set up and ready, here is what you do:

In Thunderbird/Lightning

1. create a new calendar in Thunderbird/Lightning by going to file/new/calendar in the menu options at the top.  Don’t worry about too much and at this point we’ll choose ‘on our computer’ when you get to that point.  We will delete this calendar later anyways so don’t get too attached

file-new-calendar-2

2. from the left pane, export the calendar as .ics file to somewhere you will remember it.  We will come back to this file in a bit

export-calendar-2

Inside Owncloud logged in as Admin User

1. Make sure that the calendar app is showing up in the list of icons when you hit the top left part of the screen.  If it’s not, click the plus sign and search for it and ‘enable’ it.

add-apps-owncloud-2

2. Click the home button top left and make sure the calendar icon is showing in the drop down as per the screenshot below

owncloud-calendar-app-2

3. Go to ‘user’ under the option list on top right and add a new ‘user’ for yourself.

 

Note: if you are like me and want a very secure password for the storage of files on your owncloud server, than what I have done is created another user *just* for my calendar.  I won’t be using this ID to sync files or store them. The reason is that I found having a super strong password with lots of randomness is very difficult to deal with on a daily basis as you’ll be using it on a variety of different devices and possibly viewing it on a variety of different computers.  It’s up to you.

owncloud-create-user-2

4. Log in as your new ‘calendar user’ account and you will see an upload icon at the top.  Upload your .ics file that you made above (the one I said you’d be coming back to in a bit..)

owncloud-upload-file-2

5. You will see your .ics file appear with a nifty little calendar icon as well

owncloud-calendar-showing-2

6. Click the name part (not icon) of your .ics file as per screenshot above and an import dialogue will start

owncloud-import-calendar-2

7. Go ahead and click that bad boy called ‘import’.  Something will start.  Or does it? Or does it not? I keep getting this long pause while it seems like it’s frozen and hooped like this:

owncloud-long-pause-2

8. Joy o’ Rapture!  It eventually ends and things resume normally and give a message of success and victory

owncloud-close-dialgouge-2

9. Close that bad boy.  Now you will be able to go to the top left again to your new calendar.  If it was blank, don’t be surprised it’s blank… duh.

owncloud-calendar-app-2

 

10. Now you will get to see a share link associated with this on the left.  Click that, highlight it, and copy it to your clipboard.

owncloud-share-link-cal-2

Back in Thunderbird/Lightning

1. Go and create a new calendar yet again.  There may be a way to avoid this but I find it faster just to create a new one and delete the old one.

file-new-calendar-2

 

2. As the dialogue starts, choose ‘on the network’ as the option

tbird-on-the-network

3. Next. Now you’ll be given a place to paste in your owncloud shared link that you copied into your clipboard above.  Paste that in there.  Change the radio dial from iCalendar to CalDav

tbird-caldav-on-network

4. Name your precious new calendar.

tbird-01

5. You’re done!

tbird-calendar-finished

 

Now you have a calendar based on your owncloud server which syncs up with your Lightning running on Thunderbird.  I’ve found it to work perfectly so far.

I hope this helps you.

Perhaps if someone chides me I’ll write a blog about whether I ever find an Android option.  So far so bad. 🙁

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