Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 23:41

Do you know that Thunderbird can be a calendar app? Just add Lightning addon, you will have a decent calendar app with CalDAV + online calendar capability. This tutorial explains how to sync your Thunderbird to Google Calendar account via CalDAV so you can read-write your calendar. You can then read calendar offline and sync them once you online again. Thunderbird + Lightning combo is great for productivity!

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This article is about Thunderbird. If you use another calendar app, we have tutorials for KOrganizer and Evolution.

1. Install Lightning Addon

Visit menu > Addons and search for Lightning addon and then install it. Once installed, you'll have two new buttons on top-right corner "Calendar tab" and "Tasks tab".

2. Get CalDAV URL

You don't need to login via browser to Google Calendar. Instead, you just need this special CalDAV URL of your account:

Generic URL:
Your URL (assuming your email is

3. Create New Calendar

Go back to Thunderbird, add new calendar > choose 'On the network' > choose 'CalDAV' > paste the URL > give it color you like.

Then, Google will ask you to login using email and password:

WARNING: I find that this login (OAuth2) doesn't work on Thunderbird 42 on Ubuntu 16.10, but it works on Thunderbird 52 on Ubuntu 16.04 or Neon 5.10.

4. Sync

Once you pressed Finish, Thunderbird should sync all your events from Google Calendar to the local one. You should see all your events there.

Create & Edit

All events will be downloaded so you can read them offline. Still, you can create or edit any event from Thunderbird and it will save all changes to Google Calendar server. Very handy!


When the due time comes, Lightning reminds you your events/tasks with a dialog and a sound. Well, Thunderbird + Lightning is a great combo for time management.