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Mobility: Sharing your contacts, calendar and all others on Linux with your tablet/smartphone using funambol and evolution

Par Gaël Pegliasco publié 04/04/2012, édité le 04/06/2015

Mobility is now driving our lifes.

This is the new revolution of the computer science: Voice, music, video, Internet everywhere at everytime.

This is possible with the progress in wireless communication 3G/4G/Wifi/Bluetooth and the high development of smartphone and tablets that most of people are enjoying, providing great business opportunities by the while. I am one of these happy consumers, in a way.

The first reason for having a tablet, was, in my case, to get the possibility to consult and update my agenda and contacts everywhere.
I am an abstracted person, always wondering, when outside my computer, where I have put this phone number that my contact has forgottent to put in is email signature - I really think this is unfortunate - or what are my dates tomorrow, and some times, today ?

The tablet was THE SOLUTION: big enough to properly display my unbounded agenda, and smart enough to fit into my backpack.

But I am using the heavy Linux evolution software that I greatly enjoy. So how to synchronise my agenda and contacts list between my tablet and this software ?

After searching on the web, I found a lot of solutions, but few were really satisfying my needs:

  • I don't want to store my dates and contacts using Google or any other external services:
    • Today being anonymous is a luxury, and I want to live richly !
    • I, sometimes, no, all the time - should have been a secret agent - work on secured and confidential projets: I cannot take the risk to see my customers information being accessible through the web or by government of their competitors. Industrial espionage is also a reality.
    • I like the idea that I am mastering my private data.
  •  My tablet is not a smartphone and some nice tools like wammu do not identify it using bluetooth. Worst, it does not allow to insert a SIM card ! How can I have missed this point when I've bough it !? Degenerated primate that I am ! How can you speak about mobility when you cannot connect through the web from a boat or a field of grass ? One solution to work around this lack of insight is to use a smartphone as a router or a wifi router supporting 3G. Even if this is not the point of this bill, it requires that I get another equipment. Boss, dear and venerable chief, are you here ? I would like to suggest you investing in a new and source of opportuneness equipment...
  • I refuse to use a proprietary solution

The answers to my needs have been provided by two links of ubuntu documentation:

Here is a summary of the actions to execute to achieve this goal.

Installing funambol

Download funambol from and unpack it:

mkdir funambol
chmod a+x funambol-10.0.3-x64.bin
sudo ./funambol-10.0.3-x64.bin


Then follow the instructions and start the server. We suppose that you have accepted all the default choices.
You can test it using this url: http://<your ip>:8080/funambol/

Creating a user account to share your contacts and agenda with funambol

Now that you have installed funambol, you need to create an user account that will be used by funambol to share your personnal data:

sudo /opt/Funambol/admin/bin/funamboladmin

Then click on menu File/Login and connect to the administration interface using the default login and password.
Unfold in the left pane your computer, select users and with right mouse button click on "add user"
Fill all the required fields, select role "user" in user details and validate.

Now you can go back to the webdemo application and try to connect using this user.
The first difficult part of the configuration has been done.
We are now going to synchronize evolution calendar with funambol.

Installing evolution-synchronisation

We now need to install evolution synchronisation application.

sudo apt-get install syncevolution sync-ui libapache2-mod-dnssd

I am no more confident in the fact that libapache2-mod-dnssd is required for sync evolution, but in the high number of tried software, one of them was requiring it.

Then, run:


In the list of proposed synchronisation solution, you can try to directly connect to your smartphone using bluetooth, in this case funambol should not be required, but this was not working in my case.
So in the list of synchronisation solutions, choose Funambol.
Unfold its contents and entry the user and password you just have created using funambol administration interface.
Then unfold server parameters and entry this server address: http://<your ip>:8080/funambol/ds
And click save and use.
For the very first time, it may suggest you to do a slow synchronisation, just refuse and ask to delete all data on funambol and replace them with your evolution data.

Now your funambol account should be up to date with evolution calendar and contacts.

Installing funambol client on your smartphone/tablet

We now need to synchronise your tablet/smartphone.

Goto and download Funambol from your tablet/smartphone.

Launch the application and provide the same serveur URL, login and password, then click on each element you want to synchronise.

And you should be now up to date!
You can edit your contacts or calendar from both applications and use sync-ui or the funambol client to synchronize each of them from your laptop or tablet.

Isn't it great ?
I like this new world full of mobility and connectivity !

Of course, read more on funambol documentation to complete your funambol installation and deployment, adding secure connections, ciphering of information and others.