Tag: Thunderbird

How to Sync a Calendar Between Owncloud/Nextcloud and Thunderbird Lightning

For some reason this is not that intuitive the first time and there don’t seem to be many/any specific tutorials out there.  I kept getting a ‘modification fail’ error message or other errors. So, here you go:

In Nextcloud/Owncloud

1. Log in to your browser-based owncloud/nextcloud page

2. Go to the top left and click the down arrow to access the calendar app

Note: this *must* be enabled first by your admin, if you happen also to be your own admin

01_nextcloud_lightning

3. Grab the caldav link from the … share icon drop down

02_nextcloud_lightning

4. Select the content of the link and copy it to your clipboard (control A/Control C)

03_nextcloud_lightning

Back in Thunderbird Lightning

Note: You must first have the Lightning add-on installed in Thunderbird if yours does not already have it.  It should come default but I recall in the past it did not…

Now skip past step #10 in this tutorial, and start at the ‘Back in Thunderbird Lightning’ steps

The key point is that it is ‘caldav’ that you select, *not* ical.

 

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How to Back up and Move from One Email Server to Another

My goal:  Move my email safely from one email service provider to another (IMAP).

I was surprised that it wasn’t that easy to find a simple step by step tutorial out there to do this.  I hope this tutorial will help someone.  If your email account is old, this process may take quite a bit of time, so please allow a few hours or have a second computer to work on while the process is happening.

Pre-Migration Suggestions

-make sure no other inboxes on other machines are being used at this time (ie. mobiles, other computers)

-assumptions are that you have already using Thunderbird email client on your computer

-tutorials always work better if Ubuntu is your operating system

-if you have created local folders in Thunderbird (folders that reside on the computer itself and don’t sync with the email IMAP syncs) then note that these will not be affected but you should consider them in your back up procedures because they also will not be backed up

1. Create your new email service with new provider
This is pretty obvious, but just make sure it’s all set up and that it is an IMAP setup.  We will assume IMAP moving forward.  Make sure your user name and password are handy

2. Create a new email account in Thunderbird, name it ‘new email server’ (or something to distinguish it as new provider), and plug in the credentials as you set it up

Most good email service providers will have a dedicated tutorial about how to set up an email account with their company using Thunderbird.  If they don’t consider ditching them as a company because they are weird and probably useless and a recipe for future pain. If you can’t track it down, this one should get you going from the folks at Mozilla

HOW TO MANUALLY SET UP EMAIL ACCOUNT IN THUNDERBIRD

3. Make sure you subscribe to all IMAP folders on *both* old and new servers

QUICK TUTORIAL ABOUT HOW TO SUBSCRIBE TO IMAP FOLDERS IN THUNDERBIRD

4. Click through each IMAP folder (inbox, sent, drafts, etc) and make sure all items are downloaded to target machine in Thunderbird

If you use multiple machines with your email, you should do this to make sure that this machine is up to date with email sync (ie. make sure that all your email machines have connected to the internet and synced up email).  Once you click through each email folder you’ll see the status bar showing progress of items downloading if any.  You may choose not to transfer your trash over (it is trash after all) but it works same way as any other folder.  Once you’ve clicked through each IMAP folder on *old/current* email provider and activity is over, proceed to the next step.  Please note the updates may take time if this machine has not been updated recently or at all.

5.  Select all items in folder

Starting with the inbox IMAP folder, press ‘control A’ which will select all the email messages in the inbox folder.  They will be highlighted so you  know they are selected.

6. Right click and ‘move to’ all the items to new server

You will see the new, nicely named server and it’s inbox when you right click.  You won’t, however, see the sub directories  like spam, drafts, etc.  Once you touch it with your mouse, however, they will appear.  Drop the inbox items into the inbox IMAP directory of new server. Please note, again, this will take time because the new email server is uploading the emails.  In my case it was about 15 minutes to do about 5000 emails.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the rest of the IMAP directories

8. Turn off old email, Turn on new

Once all the transfers are done, what I did was just change the Thunderbird password settings in my account settings to something incorrect so that my old email could no longer connect to the email server.  Then I simply started using the new email inbox as per normal.  I just wanted to make sure everything was transferred correctly before I go back and wipe everything associated with the old email inbox/account.

And that’s it. You should now have the old email server on your computer which is essentially disabled and useless and the new email server properly working.  You’ll also need to copy over your email signatures and all that stuff to the new server as a reminder.

Also note that when you are sending emails, if you don’t delete the old email server, there is a possibility that Thunderbird will default sending from the old one and receiving so you’ll have emails not working and you’ll think it’s broken.  That’s why naming the account something obvious is important because you can update those on the fly through the dropdown ‘reply-to’ field (from).  It will give you your old server and new server in the option list.

I think that covers it.  Enjoy!

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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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Getting Started with Thunderbird: Now Released to the Public!

This secret gem was hidden for a long time, but now, in it’s ‘slightly’ outdated form, please welcome:

>>>Getting_Started_With_Thunderbird_3.1_rev1.1 <<<

Just to whet your whistle, here is the table of contents:

Introduction to Getting Started with Thunderbird 3.1……………………………………………. 1
Getting Started With Thunderbird 3.1…………………………………………………………………. 2
Introducing Mary, an Email User Under Siege………………………………………………………. 2
Why does Mary want to use Thunderbird…………………………………………………………………………2
Using this guide…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3
Finding Your Way Around the Thunderbird Interface…………………………………………….. 5
Main Thunderbird window……………………………………………………………………………………………..5
Message List Pane…………………………………………………………………………………………………………5
Message Pane……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….6
Address Book……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….6
Getting Up and Running…………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
Installing Thunderbird in Ubuntu 10.10……………………………………………………………………………7
Adding email accounts to Thunderbird…………………………………………………………………………….8
Importing email messages from existing email accounts…………………………………………………..13
Importing contacts from existing webmail accounts…………………………………………………………15
A final word………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..22
Glossary………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
Index…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29

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PGP (Yeah, You Know Me): and How to Set Up New Key

PGP encryption on your email is not only awesome but it’s now mandatory if you care even the slightest about your personal privacy.  If you don’t care about your personal privacy, I invite you to strip naked and dance in front of your living room window towards the street with your blinds open at night…. unless you look like me naked in which case I strongly advise you against such behaviour.

But with all such course jesting aside, the intention of this post is to be the go-to, defacto post for setting up your PGP, and also updating your keys in the event of loss or expired key.  I found that if enough time passes I forget everything so I wanted this post to be hanging out online for my own quick and easy reference.

This post is NOT a full blown tutorial about setting up both Thunderbird and Enigmail.  I’m sure those are out there somewhere.  But, here are a few quick points to make sure you know what’s needed to get set up:

  1. Get Thunderbird email client (it’s the best anyways) here  Note: for mobile users, K9 email client works with PGP and we’ll update this when another option arrives.
  2. Install the Enigmail under ‘tools/add-on’s in your Thunderbird client
  3. Create a PGP pair by using the wizard.

This post IS intended for when you update your key (ie. starting again after losing it, expiring it, change encryption strength, etc) because you will need to make sure that you as the maker of the new key do the right steps and that the people you communicate also deal with your new and old keys accordingly.

And that’s what this post is about.  It’s the post you come back to as an already-established PGP user.  It’s the ‘transitioning from old key to new key’ post.

No, I couldn’t possibly preamble (is that even a verb?) longer if I tried…

Making/Updating the Key

1. Go to Key Managment

01-enigmail-key-management

2. Go to ‘Generate’ at the top and then ‘New Key Pair’

 

02-generate-new-key-pair

3. Fill in the details on the first page that opens.

Note 1: It might be useful to make a comment in the common line?

Note 2: Make sure your password is secure.  I use KeePassX to both generate and store my passwords.

Note 3: Before you click that generate button, make sure you consider step 4 coming soon!

03-generate-key-fill-in

4. Consider strongly using 4096 key size for today’s needs.  Then press ‘generate'(but not before strongly considering the aforementioned 4096 thing)

Note 1: Anything less you are pretty much up the creek if someone wants you bad enough.

Note 2: The generation of the key takes pretty much forever (well for kids my age and younger) so brew a coffee and tinker with your mouse a lot since it helps speed it up.

Note 3: When it’s done I think it gives an option to save your actual public and private keys to a disk.  Do this.  Do it on a safe and preferably encrypted drive.

Note 4: It will also give you the chance to create a ‘revoke certificate’.  You need this certificate to kill your key so save it also in a safe place.  Consider, again, KeePassX. I think this can save attachments with each entry.

04-generate-make-sure-4096

Making a Smooth Transition to Your New Key (Your Recipient’s Perspective)

Great! You just wowed your grandma with your skills. She’ll definitely bake you some extra biscuits.  Unfortunately, she might not understand how or why to update your keys…
We strongly recommend that you not revoke your old key just yet as you want to make sure your new key is working, plus you need to consider that revoking may hinder your ability to read your old emails that are associated with your old key.  I need to expand on this more because I forget the implications….
The next step is to let your crew of privacy-concerned folks know about your new key.  Conveniently, this post is about to make it easy to remind your crew what they need to do with your old and new key (since they too probably forgot)

1. Have Grandma go to ‘key management’ and make sure she disables your old key (right click on your key)

Note 1: Although all my stuff is blurred out below, the disabled key will be ‘greyed out’ when successfully disabled

 

02-disable-old-key

2. Send Grandma  a signed email with the new key (as .asc attachment) (not uploading using the keyserver pool yet)

Note 1: Make sure it’s signed.  Sometimes the rules may hinder it from going out signed. Force it to be signed.

3. You have already told Grandma never to sign a key unless she confirms it in person so she calls you up, confirms you are real and that you sent a new key.  Now you have her sign the new key you just sent her by right clicking on the key information in the email body as below.

07-sign-senders-key
08-i-have-done-thorough-checking

 

4. Send Grandma a test email to make sure it’s working

Note 1: Put a message like ‘this email is encrypted’ in the subject heading because subject headings are not encrypted.

Note 2: Make sure it’s actually encrypted!  Sometimes the rules are not set to do so (read up on rules as they are useful).

If your recipient gets your email, confirms it’s the new key (sometimes we goof and send the old key) and you are sure it was confirmed and he/she could read it, you are done and all is well.

5. Remove and replace any affected per-user rules

Grandma is the bomb so she already had a rule set up in her ‘per-recipient rules’ under the main Enigmail tab in Thunderbird.  However, now that you went ahead and complicated her biscuits by changing your PGP key (thoughtless so-and-so!) key a few annoying things will happen when she goes and tries to invite you over to dinner.  Never fear, Grammar!  All you have to do is delete that ol’ stinkin’ rule and add a new one with the new key.  Just go ahead and do that.  If you really need the screenshots put a comment below and I’ll think about it…

Ryuken! Finish him!!

Now at least one trusted person has confirmed your encrypted email with the new key is working.  Let’s get this done!

1. Upload your new key to the keyservers so the world will know you mean serious privacy business

09-upload-to-sever

Then you’ll see this:

10-pool-server

Finally, I suggest this refresh option.  It didn’t seem to ‘take’ until I performed this right after doing the upload.

11-refresh-to-keyserver

2. Revoke that old, dirty key you used to use.

Just follow this tutorial. It shows you how easy enough.

Note 1: I recommend, like when you upload your normal keys to servers, that you do the refresh option right after you revoke as well.

Done!

Some extra notes

  •  there must be something to write here…?
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How to Start Thunderbird and Other Programs at Startup in Ubuntu 14.04

This is a slight modification of my previous tutorial on the same topic for 13.10 since a couple of small things changed that mucked it up.  Hope this helps!

————-

I always open my email when I turn on my computer so I figured I could save a few steps and have it open automatically.  It’s easier than I thought and you could apply this to other programs/applications as well (like Firefox, etc).  It is reported this tutorial also works as far back as Ubuntu 12.04 as well.

So put on your seatbelt, kids! Here we go!

1. Press the Super Key and open your Dash and type ‘start’ and wait.  It should bring up the ‘Startup Applications’ thingy below.  Click it.

open-hud
2.Click the ‘add’ button on the first window that pops open and then the ‘browse’ button to go on the hunt for The Bird that is Most  Thunderous…
add-startup
3.Click the word ‘computer’ in the left pane.  Then double click the ‘usr’ folder in the right pane.
click-computer-and-usr
*The rest of the following bits in the tutorial should be the same as 13.10 so I’ll keep the same images.  Don’t be confused if it looks slightly different.
4. Navigate down to find the ‘bin’ folder, open it
open-bin
5. Navigate down (you might want to use your ‘page down’ button to speed this up) until you find ‘Thunderbird’ and click ‘open’ button
page-down-to-thunderbird
6. Fill in your favourite deets as I did in the most creative way below and click ‘add’:
name-it
7. In order for this to actually work you have to log out or restart your computer.  You can do that with the ‘log out’ option at the cogwheel on the top right side of your screen
You are done, son.  It’s that fun and easy.  Next time invite your friends and Gramma.
*Note: for some reason I had trouble finding Firefox but eventually it was there and I found it.
Now when you turn on your computer Thunderbird and whatever other program you want will be ready and waiting.
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How to Start Thunderbird and Other Programs at Startup in Ubuntu 13.10

I always open my email when I turn on my computer so I figured I could save a few steps and have it open automatically.  It’s easier than I thought and you could apply this to other programs/applications as well (like Firefox, etc).  It is reported this tutorial also works as far back as Ubuntu 12.04 as well.

So put on your seatbelt, kids! Here we go!

1. Press the Super Key and open your Dash and type ‘start’ and wait.  It should bring up the ‘Startup Applications’ thingy below.  Click it.

open-hud
2.Click the ‘add’ button on the first window that pops open and then the ‘browse’ button to go on the hunt for The Bird that is Most  Thunderous…
add-startup
3. Click ‘File system’ on the left pane, then find and open ‘usr’ folder on the right pane…
browse-to-usr
4. Navigate down to find the ‘bin’ folder, open it
open-bin
5. Navigate down (you might want to use your ‘page down’ button to speed this up) until you find ‘Thunderbird’ and click ‘open’ button
page-down-to-thunderbird
6. Fill in your favourite deets as I did in the most creative way below and click ‘add’:
name-it
7. In order for this to actually work you have to log out or restart your computer.  You can do that with the ‘log out’ option at the cogwheel on the top right side of your screen
You are done, son.  It’s that fun and easy.  Next time invite your friends and Gramma.
*Note: for some reason I had trouble finding Firefox but eventually it was there and I found it.
Now when you turn on your computer Thunderbird and whatever other program you want will be ready and waiting.
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How to Recover your Thunderbird Emails with Free and Open Source software

I wanted to post this post right away to make sure anyone in my boat knows there is help coming soon.  It took me almost a month to figure out how to do this so I hope you will save a month and even more important, a lot of pain and money.

The actual tutorial is coming as soon as I can finish it.  I’m trying to make it very easy so that more people can benefit but believe me it wasn’t easy.

Stay tuned and don’t hesitate to keep pushing me daily to get this blog done.

Here is the start of the blog post:

How to Recover your Thunderbird Emails from an erased hard drive Disaster

So, you’ve accidentally erased your hard drive and all your email is gone?  Perhaps you’ve already got all your photos back like I did by some simple forensics software but your emails are gone.  For some reason it seems that the forensics software (free ones) do everything except save your email.  I came across many paid pieces of software that claimed they could do it but I was convinced if open source and government level software could recover photos and PDFs that surely there was a way.  I was right, thank goodness.  I am creating this tutorial for you to follow and hopefully recover your email as well.

Before we begin, let’s take a quick look at what we need to accomplish:
1. Carve your emails out of your hard drive
2. Get those emails into an email client so you can actually read them (we’ll use the best – Thunderbird)
3. Sort the meat from the bones so that everything recovered is in an effective and searchable format.

What you need before you begin:

1. A gigantic external hard drive – at least twice as large as the total size of the drive you lost.  You should have one of these anyways to prevent this disaster from happening again in the future so it’s a good investment and much cheaper than what you would pay to have a professional recover your files (upwards of $2000.00)
2. A computer running Ubuntu 13.10.  This tutorial [insert tutorial} will help you
3. A basic understanding of Ubuntu 13.10 including how to find the terminal and how to open applications.  This tutorial will help you {insert tutorial}
4. The software Foremost installed on your computer via the terminal/command line.  This tutorial will help you {insert tutorial}

….stay tuned for more as I can…

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