Calendaring with Thunderbird and Exchange 2007/2010

Members of the Harvard community will almost certainly have encountered the Iris Project, A.K.A “let’s all move to Exchange!” What is an Outlook-fearing sysadmin to do? Our very own pdurbin has already written a helpful guide to accessing Iris mail via IMAP, but what about the glorious calendaring promised by Exchange?

The following procedure worked for me:

  1. Install and configure Thunderbird (see pdurbin’s blog entry for guidance).

  2. Install Lightning.

  3. Install the Lightning Exchange Provider.

  4. Now comes the fun part: telling Lightning how to talk to your Exchange server! These notes are specifically for Harvard folks, but users of other Exchange installations can swap in their site-specific information.

    1. In Thunderbird, select New->Calendar.

    2. Select On the Network and click Continue.

    3. Select Microsoft Exchange 2007/2010 (if you don’t have this option, you haven’t installed the Lightning Exchange Provider correctly) and click Continue.

    4. Name your calendar appropriately and set other cosmetic options. NOTE: it is important that the email address associated with this calendar is the one served by Exchange, and not some other address! Click Continue when ready.

    5. Make sure Use Exchange’s autodiscovery function is not checked.

    6. For Server URL, enter if you are on Exchange 2007, or if you have been migrated to Exchange 2010. If you don’t know, you are probably on Exchange 2007.

    7. For Mailboxname, enter your full email address (e.g. <your username>

    8. For Username, enter <your username>.

    9. For Domainname, enter fas_domain.

    10. Leave Share FolderID blank.

    11. At this point you can test your connection. Click Check server and mailbox. You should be prompted to authenticate with your AD credentials; do so.

    12. If your test succeeded, you will see two new entries in the dialog box, Folderbase and Path below folderbase. Leave these at their default values, and click Save.

At this point you’re all set!