Hosting Your Own Contacts and Calendar

Those of you who have been around for a while, know that I live in the Apple ecosystem. I like having all my devices synced up automatically and Apple does that pretty seamlessly and, I believe, reasonably securely. Still, I like to have a go-bag packed and ready for the time that disaster strikes and I have to leave the comfort of Appleland. That’s the reason all my data is either plain text or, in the case of things like pictures, in an open format that can be read with easily available open source tools. If Apple disappeared, I wouldn’t lose any data and could easily go back to a Linux based environment.

Part of my exit plan involves having a way of dealing with my calendar and address book. Apple handles those in a particularly pleasing way and keeps everything synced between my devices. What would I replace those with? I certainly don’t want to share my information with the world through Google so Google calendar and contacts is not an option.

Happily, Nick Touran has a nice solution. He has an interesting post in which he shows how he self hosts his calendars and address book. His setup includes syncing to both his Android phone and his wife’s iPhone so it’s a pretty comprehensive system. Take a look at his post to get the details.

I probably wouldn’t use the same clients as he does. As you know, I try to keep as much as possible in Emacs so I’d probably use bbdb or perhaps one of the Org solutions for my contacts and I’d import my calendars from the CalDAV server into my Org agenda and perhaps calfw. Touran’s setup allows him to share a calendar with his wife so my shared calendars wouldn’t be a problem. About the only thing I’d really miss is the wonderful Fantastical.

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