Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I apologise if this is not the right place to ask, but after waiting a while in I decided to bring it here. If this is the wrong place so please point me in the right direction.

Right now I really want to setup a tiny Ubuntu (but doesn't absolutely need to be Ubuntu, I am just more familiar with it) server myself (I already have a domain name, but might not even need one because this is for personal use) so that it can replace what I rely on Google for right now: calendar, contacts, and slightly less importantly, the todo list function.

Hardware: I am intrigued by VIA's Artigo A1100 pico-itx computer ( (, because it is so small. I would love to setup the server once in a "set and forget" fashion, and also move the server easily if I relocate. Perhaps a netbook (like the Lemote Yeeloong) would be nice, too?

I am also looking for the most Free (as in freedom) solution possible without too much manual tinkering. I have experience building PCs, installing OS (plus a Mac Mini web/file server once), compiling software, tiny bit of shell scripting, but that's about it.

Once the server is setup, I would like to be able to use Thunderbird (or equivalent) to sync my contacts and calendar with it, while keeping local copies in case my client computer does not have Internet connection.

Ideally, I would also like to sync my iPhone's calendar and contacts with the server, too. Again also having a local copy on the iPhone for offline access.

So far I have stumbled upon Bedework ( for CalDAV calendaring, but it looks like overkill (or not)? As for contact management I only know of OpenLDAP but lots of manual configuration seems needed?

A more integrated solution, Zimbra, has been suggested to me, but the open source version does not support iPhone syncs (which again is not absolutely needed, but I really prefer it).

Does anyone have any suggestions/experience in this regard? I would appreciate any help on making setting up such a server as easy as possible. I am eager to get this done ASAP so I no longer need to sign away my life to Google.

Thank you very much!!

share|improve this question
The Ubuntu Stackexchange site is probably best - – Zypher Sep 13 '10 at 2:08
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You might take a look at SME server with Group Office (one of the available 3rd party add-ons) as the web-based PIM.

share|improve this answer
Great tip! I ended up finding info on SME server and Group Office on Wikipedia, and it led to a whole bunch of other possible solutions. Right now I am looking at SOGo ( and Citadel (, since they can be installed on any host OS, not necessarily SME Server (though SME seems great, too). Thanks a lot! – hpy Sep 13 '10 at 5:19
Good deal and good luck... – user48838 Sep 13 '10 at 6:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.