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7 free calendars for linux

Everyone needs a calendar application on their computer and they help you to organise your time whether it is for work or leisure. They remind you when events are about to take place and you will never miss another appointment, birthday or meeting.

There are a wide range of features in calendars and some are quite simple, but others are more sophisticated. A few can invite other people to meetings and events using email, they can send text reminders to your mobile phone, and sync with the calendar on your mobile. Whatever your requirements there is sure to be a calendar that you will like. Here are seven to choose from


Sunbird

Mozilla SunbirdSunbird is a calendar program from the same people as Firefox and Mozilla should be a name that is familiar to you. As you might expect, Sunbird is an excellent calendar program and you can use it to store your appointments, events, projects and anything else you want to remember. The main part of the window is taken up by the calendar itself and there are day, week, multi-week, and month views. A very useful feature is the event list above the calendar that shows the apppointments that are coming up in the near future. Appointments can be entered by double clicking in the calendar and you can set a reminder from five minutes to one week before. You can even invite other people by entering their email addresses. Sunbird can publish calendars to a web server and you can subscribe to calendars that others have posted on the web - the common .ics file format is supported. Sunbird is one of the best calendar programs around and it is well worth considering. It works with many distros and you can download directly from the Mozilla website or use Add/Remove in Ubuntu or something similar in your distro. Just search for 'Sunbird' in the package manager.

Price: Free. Works with: Most distros


Rainlendar

RainlendarIf you want a calendar program that stands out from the crowd then take a close look at Rainlendar. Instead of displaying a calendar in a window as usual, the calendar is on the desktop. There are two skins and there's a smart blue one and one with a transparent background. When the latter is enabled the calendar appears on the desktop and looks to be part of the background. However, it's fully interactive and you can double click dates to create events and appointments, browse the months, add tasks to the To Do list and so on. Events can have a title, location, a web URL, start and end times, and notes. An alarm will alert you in plenty of time before the event, provided the program is running, and events can be assigned to categories like business, personal and so on. Multiple calendars can be created too. It's a great program, but there are a couple of irritations. When switching skins you can end up with a desktop full of calendars (they can be closed though), and you don't get day and week views. The lack of day and week views means that it isn't as easy to see when you are free or busy as with Sunbird. It's still pretty good and it's well worth trying.

Price: Free and Pro versions.


Google Calendar

CalendarGoogle Calendar is, of course, an online calendar that is accessed through a web browser and this makes it a bit different to the others covered here. However, it is not just a web-based calendar and one of its best features is that it can be accessed on a wide range of devices. For example, some mobile phones - Smart Phones - are able to sync with Google Calendar, so appointments that you enter on your PC appear on your mobile phone automatically. When you enter an appointment on your phone, you'll find it in Google Calendar when you log on with your PC. The big issue with it is offline access. A web-based calendar is fine if you always have an internet connection, but this isn't always true if you have a laptop. However, click the Offline link at the top of the calendar and you are prompted to install Google Gears. It's a Firefox add-on and after doing this, return to Google Calendar and click the Offline link again. This time you'll be offered the option to enable offline access. When you are offline you can open Google Calendar in read-only mode by clicking the icon on the desktop. It's a shame you can't add appointments, but you have to be online to do this.

This is an excellent calendar application and it has all the features you need. Being web based and part of Google, it can be shared with friends you invite or the whole world, you can invite people to meetings by sending them an email, you ca schedule multi-day events, you can be alerted by reminders - even SMS text to your mobile phone. There are multiple calendars, so you can have work and personal ones, and they can be colour coded. You can subscribe to other people's calendars that they have shared. There are tasks too. If you have internet access most of the time, it is the best calendar around.

Price: Free.


Borg

CalendarBorg is written in Java, so you'll need to install Java before you can run it. Java runs on everything, so that means Borg does too. After downloading the file you can right click it and choose Open with Sun Java Runtime to install it. It didn't make a menu item or desktop shortcut in Ubuntu, but it can be started by right clicking the program and selecting Java or you can make your own link on the desktop.

It is not quite as nicely designed as Sunbird and it's probably because it's written in Java. However, it has lots of useful functions and features for organising your time. There are month, week, and day views of your schedule and there is even a year view, which is great for planning long projects and holidays. You can click in the calendar to create an event, such as an appointment and once created they can be dragged around to reschedule them and resized to change the time span. All day events can be added, but there isn't an obvious way to make multi-day events apart from adding them to every day. There is a to-do list, memos, and tasks. Events can be organised into categories.

The popular iCalendar file format isn't supported, so you can't subscribe to calendars on the web or publish calendars unless you use the Borg's own XML format. It's not the best calendar, but many people could find it adequate for their needs.

Price: Free.


Day Planner

CalendarDay Planner runs on a variety of distros and it is a very simple and basic calendar. In the top right corner is a small calendar that just shows the day numbers and it doesn't show appointments like Google or Sunbird. You can browse through the months and years and display any month you want. Below the calendar at the bottom right is a list of upcoming events. It lists your appointments and meetings for the next seven days and this is quite useful. Select a day and on the left is a list of that day's events. It shows the time and name. There are fewer options when creating an event that some rivals, but if your requirements are straightforward then it is probably OK. You can add normal or all-day events, set the time and description, and set to to repeat. There isn't a day view and you can't even specify the length of an event. It is just too limited for many people, but try it for yourself.

Price: Free.


Others worth considering

  • SimpleAgenda: A very basic calendar, only up to version 0.38. Needs more work.
  • pal: Now here's a bizarre concept - a command line calendar application. Not sure why you'd want this, but maybe some people might.

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