Getting to your iCloud calendar from iCal 4 (OSX10.6) or a CalDAV client

// October 13th, 2011 // Rambling, tech

UPDATED 10/15/11 with new instructions!

I work in an environment where all the machines are tied to a single sign-on system and all the users, be they Mac, PC or Linux, have their home directories mounted from a server at login. Right now, OSX Lion won’t work in that environment, so all our Macs are running 10.6 or 10.5.8.

But what if I want to use my iCloud calendar from work via iCal (or another CalDAV capable client**)? It’s pretty damned easy, actually, I’m happy to say.

Maybe this is published somewhere, maybe not. But I figure a couple of my peeps might benefit from me posting this up. So here goes.

  1. Get your calendar set up and up to date in iCloud first. Don’t monkey with doing that after the fact.
  2. It just got easier. Skip to step 10 and ignore the steps below that says [SKIP]
  3. [SKIP] Open in a web browser and go to your calendars. Click on the circular ‘wireless’ icon to the right of the name of the calendar you want to use. The calendar you want to use must be shared.
  4. [SKIP] Note the name of the server right after webcal:// (example:
  5. Open iCal 3. (I’ll be referring to iCal from here on, I can’t say for sure how other CalDAV clients will respond).
  6. In iCal, go to Preferences -> Accounts and click the add account button (+)
  7. Select CalDAV as the account type.
  8. Enter your iCloud username (for instance, and password
  9. [SKIP] For server address you need to slightly modify that server name you jotted down in step 3
    If the server was, you would replace www with caldav and enter
  10. For the server address simply enter “” (I don’t know when this started working, but it does.)
  11. Click create. If presented with a choice of two possible servers, choose the one that says, not — IF YOU GET AN ACCESS NOT PERMITTED ERROR then you’ll need to use the greyed out instructions instead.
  12. Live large. Your now have your iCloud calendar and reminders in iCal. You might want to change how it refreshes, if you’re like me and want control over that. Push may not work as well in iCal 3. Otherwise, it’s a full CalDAV implementation; add, delete, modify, etc.

** Update: I haven’t been able to get it working in Lightning/Sunbird yet. But it’s most likely a matter of forming the URI correctly. It should be somehting along the lines of:[unique ID]/principal/
or some variation thereof. I’ll try to work on this more tomorrow.

Update 2: It appears they’re also using CardDAV for contacts (hooray for standards!). The path for that would start[unique ID]/carddavhome (Thanks MacRumors forums!)
As of 10/15 6:30pm EDT I have NOT been able to get this working in Address Book 5. If you want to take a stab at it, I do know that Address Book 6 uses a URI like:

https://[username][unique ID#]/carddavhome/card/[long srting].vcf
(The %40being necessary as you can’t have two @ in there but need to include an email address as a username.)

Update 3: So they’re not using a SRV record to do it as far as I can tell (but they are using Akamai so there’s at least one layer of abstraction). Next…

Yours in nerdery,


67 Responses to “Getting to your iCloud calendar from iCal 4 (OSX10.6) or a CalDAV client”

  1. jo says:

    Has anyone got the icloud calendars working on Leopard (10.5.8) at all?
    I have tried everything – but I just get error messages.
    Looking through these forums, there does seem to be someone (Cam) who was asking about Leopard and then said he’d got it working. Cam, can you tell us how you did it?

    • jeff says:

      I also am having trouble with iCal version 3.0.8 on OS X Leopard (10.5.8)…Have updated iOS on my iPhone 4 and can see calendar at, but cannot link iCal for some reason! Any help?

    • CAM says:

      I’m sorry for the late answer.
      I wrong:It didn’t work.
      I found the UniqueID via Terminal, so I have the entire path.
      iCal recognizes the path, but It gives to me an error.
      I think there is a different version of CalDAV in the Leopard’s iCal.
      I sent an email to the CalDAV website to have an hint to fix the problem, but no answer.

  2. Debbie S says:

    Go, Jody. I do not have the patience for removing the duplicates. I think I am going to start by removing all of the contacts that are in my address book so that it is clean to begin with.

    I am also hoping that Apple simply comes out with 10.6.9 which would solve this issue. Not everyone wants or can go to Lion. I have an Intel Core Duo which can no longer be upgraded.

    Off to try and will post back.

    • Debbie S says:

      Well, I tried Jody’s suggestions and all was fine at first. I found 6 contacts, all family members weird enough, that are continually duplicated. I did the iCloud trick and it even dupes those. So I am stuck again.

      Thanks for any help in advance.


  3. Jarrett K says:

    Thanks for this writeup. I’m quite happy to have iCal syncing with iCloud.

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