Calendar:Using Lightning with Google Calendars

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Using Lightning with Google Calendars

You can use Google Calendar in two ways. You can have read-access to public calendars or you can use a calendar bi-directional, with both read and write-access. Most of this is valid for Sunbird too though it isn't currently possible to receive or send invites to people with Sunbird.

read access

If you only need read-access to a google-calendar, you can use the link of the public ics-file which is provided by google such as:

read- and write access

If you need both read and write access to your calendar, you have two options. You can either install the Provider for Google Calendar from or access it via CalDAV.

Provider for Google Calendar

The Provider uses a slightly different method of accessing the Calendar. It is more reliable w.r.t Alarms and some people say its also faster when refreshing. Get the extension from Download the file by right-clicking on the link and choose save-as. Then in Sunbird or Thunderbird with Lightning installed, choose Extras/Tools > Addons and click on the install button. Point it to the downloaded file and install the extension.

To access your calendar data, you need to retrieve your private XML URL from the Google Calendar UI.

  1. Open your Google Calendar
  2. Click "Settings - Calendars" 
  3. Click on the Calendar you would like to use in Sunbird or Lightning
  4. Click on either of the two XML buttons and copy the link that is shown. 

Note that the provider does not directly use your private url. The Calendar is still accessible when you reset your private url. You may now use this url as the Location in the new remote calendar wizard.

The private link will look something like: The ICS Link should also work, but to be safe we suggest sticking with the XML link.

Google requires an authentication token on each request. To ensure the privacy of your data, change "http" to "https" in the link before adding the calendar.

After installing you can create a new calendar and choose "On the network". Then pick "Google Calendar" and paste or enter the URL to your calendar. Click "next" and choose a name and color. If you click "next" a popup appears in which you have to enter your login (with or without the part) and password and choose whether you want Lightning/Sunbird to save your password. Choosing "next" creates the calendar and provides you with two-way access to the google-calendar.

There are some limitations with using the google-calendar, please see the [ gdata-page on mozilla.


Please see Google's support page. It works very similar for Thunderbird/Lightning. Note that the support page has outdated URLs in some places, so also read this blog post about new CalDAV URLs.