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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

By Andrew Min on December 04, 2007 (9:00:00 PM)

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Recently, Gmail added IMAP support, giving the powerhouse email host the ability to interact better with third-party clients. And Google, being the friendly neighborhood do-gooder that it is, provided instructions on how to use IMAP with a variety of third-party clients. However, it forgot one popular client: KMail, the email portion of the KDE Kontact personal information management suite. Google also neglected to mention that several of its other services, such as Google Calendar and Google Reader, can work well with Kontact. Here's how you can integrate them.

Let's start with KMail. Go to Settings -> Configure KMail, select the Accounts tab, and click Add to create an incoming account. Select "IMAP" as the type. Type in a descriptive name for your account name (I chose Gmail), your email address as your login (e.g. johnsmith@gmail.com), your password, imap.gmail.com as your host, and 993 as your port. Switch over to the Security tab and check "Use SSL for secure mail download." Click OK, then click on the Sending tab and click Add to create an outgoing account. Make the type "SMTP." Enter a description under name, smtp.gmail.com under the host, and 465 as the port. Then check "Server requires authentication" and make the login your email address (e.g. johnsmith@gmail.com) and your password. Switch over to the Security tab and make the encryption "SSL" and the authentication method "plain." You're done!

Now, KMail should log you in to Gmail, and all your labels should be displayed under [Gmail]. You may want to make KMail's trash sync with Gmail's trash. To do this, go back to Settings -> Configure KMail, click the Accounts tab, and modify the Gmail account. Change "Trash Folder" to [INSERT YOUR GMAIL ACCOUNT NAME HERE]/[Gmail]/Trash.

Calendaring: Google Calendar and KOrganizer

Once you have your mail application and server working together, you can move on to your calendar. Unfortunately, Google hasn't officially announced a two-way sync for Google Calendar, but you can still use KOrganizer with Google Calendar if you use a Java runtime environment and GCALDaemon. Download the Unix/Linux/AIX/Mac OS X compatible ZIP archive from the GCALDaemon download site. Log in as root and unzip the archive to /usr/local/sbin (if that directory doesn't exist you can create it). Allow all users to access the daemon by running the command chmod 777 /usr/local/sbin/GCALDaemon. Then run /usr/local/sbin/GCALDaemon/bin/standalone-start.sh (you may want to add it to your startup process by adding a shortcut to it in ~/.kde/Autostart/).

Now you have to find your private iCal URL by going to Google Calendar and clicking Settings -> Calendars -> Your Calendar and clicking the ICAL button at the bottom. Create a new KOrganizer calendar by going to the Calendar tab, clicking the Add button, selecting "Calendar in Remote File," giving it a name (e.g. Andrew's Calendar), and pasting the private URL in the "Download to" and "Upload to" fields -- but you must replace http://www.google.com with http://localhost:9090. Click OK, and your calendar should load. When asked for your user name and password, enter your email address (e.g. johnsmith@gmail.com) and your password.

KOrganizer and Google Calendar work well together, with one odd exception: when you delete an event in Google Calendar, it won't delete in KOrganizer, and vice versa.

Feeds: Akregator and Google Reader

Unlike the other two apps on the list, Google Reader has no way of syncing read and unread feeds with third-party clients. However, it is extremely easy to switch your feed reader from Google Reader to Akregator, Kontact's RSS reader. Grab your feed list from https://www.google.com/reader/subscriptions/export, then open up the Feeds section of Kontact, click File -> Import Feeds, and select the file you downloaded. Give your subscription a name (e.g. Google Reader) and wait for it to import. All your feeds should then show up.

Conclusion

After this little exercise, Kontact can easily manage all of your Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader information. In the future, it may be able to do still more. GCALDaemon has a feature that will allow users to sync their contacts using LDAP, but it doesn't work with Gmail 2.0 for now. However, it looks like LDAP might become a built-in feature soon.

Syncing Google Calendar with KOrganizer will probably also get easier as time goes on, probably with the help of Google. And eventually, Google may update Google Reader to let it sync with third-party programs like Akregator. It's a good time to be a KDE/Google user.

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on How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.61.26.191] on December 04, 2007 10:48 PM
Just wanted to add that you can also export contacts from GMail and import them into kontact as well! So let's see...we've got contacts working in addition to kmail, akregator and calendar. Nice.

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.235.68.83] on December 05, 2007 10:22 AM
Excellent! Thank

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.196.59.155] on December 05, 2007 12:41 PM
Absolutely wonderful. I've struggled with this endlessly. Now it works perfectly. Thank you.

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.212.231.5] on December 05, 2007 03:07 PM
Many thanks for this article. Kontact is by far my favourite PIM suite and it is nice to have this information on how to integrate Google services with it.

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.56.161.110] on December 06, 2007 02:27 PM
Will it work with Evolution?

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Permissions

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 158.111.4.26] on December 06, 2007 05:32 PM
Allow all users to access the daemon by running the command chmod 777 /usr/local/sbin/GCALDaemon.


Surely this should be 'chmod 755 /usr/local/sbin/GCALDaemon'? Otherwise, any user will be able to overwrite this file with whatever malicious (or benign) executable he chooses.



Vance

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: ggvrsn on December 06, 2007 07:26 PM
An utter waste of column space. Is this like a fill-a-buster thing? Do not get me wrong, I love linux.com articles, but this one takes the cake. I have had Kmail working with Gmail since 2006 and I have imported and exported contacts quite easily. Since Gmail has IMAP, I have switched over to IMAP than use pop3. The title is quite misleading when you say kcontact working with google apps, when all you talk about is getting email and a half baked solution to get calendar working. Come on people, we need better in depth articles which gives us more knowledge than tell us what we already know. And which google Apps are we syncing to? only Gmail ?



To answer one of the commenter, yes Evolution will sync well with Gmail. Even though I am a KDE lover, I do have Evolution as my default email client.



One other thing with Evolution, its built in Calendar can sync with online Google Calendar. All you have to do is to create a new Calendar (on the web) and check the box for offline reading, which will download all the entries to your local computer. Also you can setup the interval to sync with the online calendar.



Linux.com, please come up with better articles which gives us insight into this which we might have over looked or shows us one more reason why we need to switch over to Linux and support it.



I switched over to Linux on my desktop at home in 2003, after waiting for a good desktop since 1995.



-GGR


Registered Linux User #305688.


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Re: How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 90.203.240.131] on January 01, 2008 07:41 PM
Maybe you feel everyone is up to your obviously impeccable standard for people like me who have only been playing a round with GNU/Linux for a few months this is extremely helpful and user friendly. Maybe you should take note of the author's style before posting about your own excellence.

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.104.2.66] on December 06, 2007 07:48 PM
I found the article useful and very nice.

GGR, if you don't like it, fine-- write a better one instead of complaining.

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Re: How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: ggvrsn on December 07, 2007 12:07 AM
Maybe I should write articles for Linux.com. I have been around Linux and UNIX like OSes in general for quite some time, so I might have a few tricks up my sleeve.



You know what would have been really insightful?, talking about pros and cons of using different email clients with Google Mail/Calendar. Or at least a good indepth research in to using Google Apps (Gmail, Notebook, Calendar to synchronise with our Linux desktop.



I do not want to put down anyone here, or tell anyone how to write an article, all I am saying is that this article does not shed any new light that is already not there. I have read quite a bit of good articles on Linux.com where I learnt something after reading it.



But this case what is that I gain? Everyone who has Linux as their desktop already knows how to sync Kmail/Evolution/Thunderbird with Google, infact Google Gmail settings tab gives you these settings for different Email Clients.



And how does running a java program help us to sync with Google Calendar? (Quote: Not supporting Gmail 2.0) I already have "read-only" access to my Google Calendar using Evolution Email Client (Not that I am a great fan for Gtk applications, but it works so I use it). And Downloading Contacts is a breeze as Google lets you export to different kinds of file.



And what I am trying to do here is not "complaining" it is constructive criticism.



-GGR

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.37.190.237] on December 09, 2007 12:16 PM
Great article, thank you. I had been forwarding all of my GMail to AIM so that I could get it on both my PDA and laptop. One recommendation, OK; actually two. If you use a laptop then cached IMAP is useful so that you can read email when you are not connected. The second is related, if you do use cached IMAP, clean out GMail first, gong on two hours now to sync my folders for the first time.

-j

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.68.238.117] on December 14, 2007 05:08 PM
Thank you, it works fine to syncronize Google and Kontact!
Have a nice Christmas time!

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.151.217.188] on January 11, 2008 05:16 PM
Is there any way to safe your contacts online?

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.236.67.11] on January 24, 2008 05:51 PM
Thanks a lot, GCALDaemon + KOrganizer + google cal worked like a charm, at least for a small test I did.
Deletes from both sides (google and korganizer) worked fine for me, though! -regards http://the-shaolin.blogspot.com/

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How to make Kontact work with Google Apps

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.8.152.68] on February 11, 2008 12:03 AM
Thank you very much. I use kubuntu and Google stuff, but my job has nothing to do with IT so I can't put too much time into setting up my computer and apps. Your article is clear, complete and concise -- exactly what it takes to help someone like me do my nonIT-related job with Linux.

I don't know why you put so much of your time into helping people like me, but I really appreciate it. Thanks again.

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