[HOWTO] Setting up Lightning (Calendar) in Thunderbird for /e/ (Should work for any OS)

Plain Thunderbird install

Using either this link Thunderbird Site to download , or your favorite OS application store/repository please install Mozilla Thunderbird. Connecting your /e/ email to Thunderbird is beyond the scope of this document. If I get the gumption up, I will write a HowTo on that one also.

Suggestion : Follow my Adding Contacts to Thunderbird first.

Link to “[HowTO] Use Thunderbird Contacts with /e/ Contacts (Should work for any OS)” . . Something was broken in the syncing of Calendars with Lightning. Syncing Contacts (CardBook) fixed it for me.
If you decide not to install CardBook first ,get to the end of this HowTO and Calendars are not syncing for you, follow the above linked HowTO and it should fix the issue.

(I experienced this issue under Ubuntu 19.10 and have not replicated it in Ubuntu LTS, Windows 10 1909 or OS X Catalina. It may be specific to Ubuntu 19.10 , to the way I needed to add and remove plugins to Thunderbird, the fact that Thunderbird in Ubuntu 19.10 is currently classified as beta , or add and remove my account/connections in Thunderbird. Eventually, I may do further confirmation. But until then,this warning applies.

Thunderbird in Ubuntu 19.10 Application Store, as of Jan 2, 2020 :


Getting & Installing Lightning (Calendar plugin for Thunderbird.)

The default install of Thunderbird in Ubuntu 19.10 comes with Lightning pre-installed.

You can skip down to “Linking /e/ calendars to Lightning in Thunderbird” otherwise, we start with a fresh install of Thunderbird without lightning installed :

Click on the Hamburger Menu (Once you see the McDs Hamburger, you will never unsee it):

Should get you to a fly out menu similar to :

Click on/Highlight “Add-Ons” in the fly out :

This should bring up another flyout that says “Add-Ons” with a list of installed Add-Ons, if any. Click on the Second Add-Ons.

You should now be here (Add-ons Manager). :

Type in “Lightning” in the search box :

hit the Enter/Return key and you should be taken to a search results tab in Thunderbird:

Click on the “+ Add to Thunderbird” and note the restart requirement.

You may get a scary prompt like :
After it is done counting down, Click on “Install Now”

Thunderbird should be asking for a restart. Please click on “Restart Now” .

Linking /e/ calendars to Lightning in Thunderbird

If this is your first run of Lightning, regardless of following the above steps or an inclusive install, there should be a message on the bottom of your Thunderbird stating : “Thunderbird now contains calendaring functionality by integrating the Lightning extension.” - like one of the two following screen shots. Please click on the “Keep” button.

If you are on the “Add-Ons” / “Lightning :: Search…” tab, please click on the “Home” Tab so Thunderbird looks like the top picture. Close the tabs that are not “Home” .

Log into /e/ so that you are on your “Files” screen. Use your browser of choice, I am using Firefox.

Click on the “Calendar” on the navigation bar.

This is the step that we “start at”/repeat to add multiple calendars. This is the way it works in Lightning.

Now we should be on the /e/ calendar.

I need to have “Secret Squirrel” in Lightning. I click on the three dots following the calendar I want.

Which brings up a fly out .

Click on “Link” in the Fly Out.

Which will open up a text box with a URL that is too long for the box.

Triple click (Double click + 1, quickly) on the URL. It should highlight.

If you highlight part of the URL. This is fine.You double clicked. Just attempt to triple click again.

If you cannot triple click, highlight the entire text of the URL in any manner you know how to. Once highlighted, use “Ctrl + C” to copy.

Back to Thunderbird.

Click on the “Create a new Calendar”

Which brings up :

Change the radio button selection to “On the Network” and click “Next”

We are going to make two changes on this dialog. We are going to change the selection of iCalendar(ICS) to CalDav and Paste the URL we copied (when we Ctrl-C a URL a few steps back) into the Location box. Go ahead and make these changes. Use the paste method you are most familiar with (right click past or Ctrl-V or …) to paste the URL into the location box.
Initial “Locate your calendar” box : (Why Mozilla put the wording three lines down, I don’t know. QoL Paper cut. Actually I do, it is debugging info and relevant to troubleshooting but not User Friendly.)

My final “Locate your calendar” box. (Your Location will be different than mine). Click Next when you are done:

Name your calendar something relevant to you (I suggest what you called it in /e/ when you created the calendar) and select a color. The e-mail will be pre-populated with the email you setup when you initially installed Thunderbird. If you have multiple emails in Thunderbird, I suggest changing this to your /e/ account. Click Next when done.
Initial “Customize your calendar” box:
Completed “Customize your calendar” box. Click “Next” when you are done:

You should be prompted for your password. If you are not because you attempted to setup calendars before, please close and reopen Thunderbird.

Filled Out (Hey, you know my password. All dots!). I strongly suggest checking the “Use Password Manager to remember this password.” :

And Viola , bidirectional calendar sync. Note, I did add a second calendar manually to see what was going on with Calendar Sync.


Tasks in Thunderbird sync bidirectionally with no further setup, once you have Calendars working.

Copyright/Copyleft and other notes

Exclusive to /e/, descendant organizations, and their agents while acting for /e/ or its descendant organizations CC:BY-SA .

Quick edits in the reply.
Constrictive Criticisms, please e-mail me.

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone


I utilized Ubuntu 19.10 as my documentation system, GNOME Paint and Krita to edit screen shots, GNOME Screenshot to take screen shots, and began to learn Markdown. GNOME Paint is beginning to grow on me like a fungus, but if you have suggestions for a better , simple photo editor PLEASE let me know. I need crop, the ability to add ovals, arrows (either outline or straight line) and text. Krita and GIMP are overkills for what I am doing. And GNOME Paint is, well, still very rough.

thanks for this! v helpful!!