Level of difficulty: [rating=3]
State of Linux Email Clients
I run Linux on my desktop. Doing so allows me some freedoms I can’t get on my Mac or (gasp!) a Windows PC. However, Linux isn’t perfect. One of the biggest drawbacks I find is a lack of a good (and free) email client. GMail spies on me, and Thunderbird — well, Thunderbird just sucks.
Rainloop Webmail Client
Rainloop (http://www.rainloop.net/) is a webmail email client that runs on a server (you can install it on you local computer). It has a fast, modern interface that works well right out of the box. Read the docs on how to install it. It doesn’t yet support CalDAV, which means no calendars (a big drawback), but what id does it does well, and for now that works for me.
Syncing Rainloop with iCloud Contacts
To configure your iCloud Contacts to sync with Rainloop you must first find your iCloud contacts server URL. The only way I know of doing this is from a Mac where you have your iCloud account already installed for the AddressBook app. If someone knows another way, please leave a comment with the information.
Retrieving Your iCloud Contacts Server URL
To get your iCloud contacts server URL, open up a terminal window (Applications->Utilities->Terminal) and type the following two lines:
cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook/Sources grep contacts.icloud.com */Configuration.plist | grep 'card/<'
In the text that follows, look for a line that reads something like this:
Where “user%40your-domain.com” will be replaced with your email address and “pxx” will be replaced with p01, p02, etc. The final group of “xxxxxxxx” will be replaced with a long numeric string.
If you made it this far, the hard part should be over.
Fire up Rainloop, login with your email account, then click the upper-right user icon and choose “Settings” from the menu. Next, choose “Contacts” from the list to the left. You should see a page similar to the following:
Make sure “Automatically add recipients to your address book” is checked, as well as “Enable remote Synchronization”. For the “Addressbook URL”, enter
Substitute your actual data you determined from the previous section, of course. Make sure not to include the “youremail%40your-domain.com@” part in the Address URL text box.
Next, enter your iCloud email and password, click the “Back” button and you should be good to go! Just click on the address book icon in the upper-left of the Rainloop main screen, then click on the menu button: