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EteSync - Secure Data Sync

This is a CalDAV and CardDAV adapter for EteSync

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This package provides a local CalDAV and CardDAV server that acts as an EteSync compatibility layer (adapter). It's meant for letting desktop CalDAV and CardDAV clients such as Thunderbird, Outlook and Apple Contacts connect with EteSync.

If all you want is to access your data from a computer, you are probably better off using the web app.

Note: This software is still in beta. It should work well and is used daily by many users, but there may be some rough edges.


The easiest way to start using etesync-dav is by getting one of the pre-built binaries from the releases page.

These binaries are self-contained and can be run as-is, though they do not start automatically on boot. You'd need to either start them manually, or set up autostart based on your OS.

Note: For Linux and Mac you may want to rename the binaries to etesync-dav for ease of use.

Configuration and running

If you are self-hosting the EteSync server, you will need to set the ETESYNC_URL environment variable to the URL of your server. By default it uses the official EteSync server at The commands below all use this environment variable to determine which server to connect to.

You need to first add an EteSync user using etesync-dav manage, for example:

etesync-dav manage add

Substitute “” with the username or email you use with your EteSync account or self-hosted server.

and then run the server: etesync-dav

Please note that some antivirus/internet security software may block the CalDAV/CardDAV service from running - make sure that etesync-dav is whitelisted.

Setting up clients

After this, set up your CalDAV/CardDAV client to use the username and password you got from when adding your account to EteSync DAV before, or alternatively run etesync-dav manage get to get them again.

Depending on the client you use, the server path should either be:

  • http://localhost:37358/
  • http://localhost:37358/

On most clients this should automatically detect your collections (i.e. calendars and address books).

If your client does not automatically detect your collections, you will need to manually add them. You need to find the “collection URL” for each collection you want to add. Currently, the simplest way to do this is to log in to the web interface provided by the internal Radicale server. Just open http://localhost:37358/ in your browser (or substitute “localhost” for the hostname or IP address of the etesync-dav instance). Then you will need to log in using the username and password given by the etesync-dav manage tool as described above (run etesync-dav manage get to get them again). The Radicale web interface shows the collections with their names and URLs. You can just copy and paste the URLs into your client. You will most likely also need to manually copy and paste the collection names as well, and select a color manually.

Client support

The following clients have been tested:

  • Thunderbird
    • CardDAV: Works.
      • Notes: requires the CardBook add-on, path should include the username as above, and vCard version should be set to v4.0 when prompted
    • CalDAV: Only works when providing full collection path.
  • OSX
    • CalDAV: Works. Setup instructions:
      • Internet Accounts->Add Other Account->CalDAV account
      • Account Type: Advanced
      • Username:
      • Password: generated etesync-dav password
      • Server Address: localhost
      • Server Path: /
      • Port: 37358
      • Uncheck Use SSL (does nothing under macOS Mojave, SSL is always enabled)
    • CardDAV: Works. Setup instructions:
      • Internet Accounts->Add Other Account->CardDAV account
      • Account Type: Manual
      • Username:
      • Password: generated etesync-dav password
      • Server Address: http://localhost:37358/ (under macOS Mojave: https://localhost:37358/)

macOS Mojave

macOS Mojave enforces the use of SSL, regardless of whether you enable the checkbox for SSL or not. So to use EteSync, you have to enable SSL.

You can do so by either using the etesync-dav-certgen utility, or follow the instructions below. Following these instructions will generate a self-signed SSL certificate, configure etesync-dav to use that certificate, and make your system trust it.

Automatic SSL setup

You can automatically setup SSL by running the following command:

etesync-dav-certgen --trust-cert

You will be prompted for your login password. This is because --trust-cert imports the certificate into your login keychain and then instructs the system to trust it for SSL connections.

Once you have run etesync-dav-certgen, you need to restart etesync-dav for the changes to take effect. Then proceed to configure CalDAV and CardDAV as described above.

If you have already configured etesync-dav to use SSL, etesync-dav-certgen will use your existing settings; in won't reconfigure etesync-dav. It also won't overwrite existing certificates. --trust-cert works on macOS 10.3 or newer only. See etesync-dav-certgen --help for details.

Manual SSL setup

Alternatively you can generate and configure a self-signed certificate manually with the following steps:

  1. Generate a self-signed certificate (valid for 10 years)
cd "~/Library/Application Support/etesync-dav"
openssl req -new -newkey rsa:4096 -days 3650 -nodes -x509 -subj "/C=US/ST=Denial/L=Springfield/O=Dis/CN=etesync.localhost" -keyout etesync.key -out etesync.crt
  1. Using open command triggers macOS "add to keychain" dialog (equivelent of double-clicking that file in Finder):
open etesync.crt
  1. In the dialog confirm adding to "login" keychain.
  2. Open Keychain Access app, find and open etesync.localhost (under Keychains: login, Category: Certificates), expand "Trust" and pick "Always trust" for SSL.
  3. Edit ~/Library/Application Support/etesync-dav/radicale.conf, under [server] enter the following to make it use the certificate:
    ssl = yes
    certificate = ~/Library/Application Support/etesync-dav/etesync.crt
    key = ~/Library/Application Support/etesync-dav/etesync.key
  1. Restart etesync-dav


By default, iOS only syncs events 30 days old and newer, which may look as if events are not showing. To fix this, got to: Settings -> Calendar -> Sync and change to the wanted time duration.

Alternative Installation Methods

This methods are not as easy as the pre-built binaries method above, but are also simple. Please follow the instructions below, following which follow the instructions in the Configuration and running section below.


Run one time initial setup to persist the required configuration into a docker volume. Check out the configuration section below for more information.

docker run -it --rm -v etesync-dav:/data etesync/etesync-dav manage add USER_EMAIL

Run etesync-dav in a background docker container with configuration from previous step (this is the command you'd run every time)

docker run --name etesync-dav -d -v etesync-dav:/data -p 37358:37358 --restart=always etesync/etesync-dav

After this, refer to the Setting up clients section below and start using it!


To update to the latest version of the docker image, run:

docker pull etesync/etesync-dav

Note for self-hosting:

If you're self-hosting the EteSync server, you will need to add the following before the -v in the above commands:

--env "ETESYNC_URL="

Arch Linux

The package etesync-dav is available on AUR.

Windows systems

You can either follow the Docker instructions above (get Docker here), or alternatively install Python3 for windows from here.

Python virtual environment (Linux, BSD and Mac)

Install virtual env (for Python 3) from your package manager, for example:

  • Arch Linux: pacman -S python-virtualenv
  • Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install python3-virtualenv

The bellow commands will install etesync to a directory called venv in the local path. To install to a different location, just choose a different path in the commands below.

Set up the virtual env:

virtualenv -p python3 venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install etesync-dav

Run the etesync commands as explained in the Configuration and running section:

./venv/bin/etesync-dav manage ...
./venv/bin/etesync-dav ...

Please note that you'll have to run source venv/bin/activate every time you'd like to run the EteSync commands.

Advanced configuration

Config files

etesync-dav stores data in the directory specified by the CONFIG_DIR environment variable. This includes a database, credentials, and Radicale configuration file. This directory is not relocatable, so if you change CONFIG_DIR you will need to regenerate these files (which means reconfiguring clients). It may be possible to manually edit these files to the new path. Note that the database will just mirror the content of your main EteSync database so in most cases you should not lose anything if you delete it.

CONFIG_DIR defaults to a subdirectory of the appropriate config directory for your platform (~/.config/etesync-dav on Unix/Linux, see appdirs module docs for where it will be on other platforms).


This depends on the radicale_storage_etesync module and the Radicale server for operation.

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