Syncing Rainloop with iCloud Contacts

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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 ( 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 */Configuration.plist | grep 'card/<'

In the text that follows, look for a line that reads something like this:


Where “” 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.

Configuring Rainloop

The following instructions assume that you’ve already configured Rainloop for your domain and to allow for CardDAV servers. If you need help with this, check the Rainloop docs.

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:

rainloop carddav settings

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 “” 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:

You may receive a “Contacts synchronization error” after a period of time. I believe this occurs if you have a lot of contacts and the synchronization takes too long (in Rainloop’s eyes). Just run the sync again (and again) until you see all your contacts. This worked for me, at any rate.
From the subsequent menu, click the “Synchronization (CardDAV)” item. The menu button should change into a status indicator (a little rotating circle). Your contacts are syncing! After a time, you should see your contacts appear to the left of the screen.

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David Rodrigues Consulting (formally MagicBrain Computing) was founded in 1997 by David Rodrigues, who worked as an Information Technology professional for 8 years in Washington DC before relocating to Wildwood, NJ. While in Washington, DC, Rodrigues worked as the lead administrator on a corporate network with over 200 workstations spread across 5 geographical locations. Rodrigues and his team of expert technicians are trained and experienced in network design, computer repair, web design, and programming.

Syncing Rainloop with iCloud Contacts
Article Name
Syncing Rainloop with iCloud Contacts
Learn how to sync your iCloud contacts with Rainloop webmail email client.

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