1. About this Guide

This guide will walk you through the installation and configuration of Mozilla Thunderbird and its associated extensions so it can be used with the SOGo solution.

The instructions are based on version 3.2.9 of SOGo.

The latest version of this guide is available at http://www.sogo.nu/downloads/documentation.html.

2. Introduction

SOGo is a free and modern scalable groupware server. It offers shared calendars, address books, and emails through your favourite Web browser and by using a native client such as Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning.

SOGo is standard-compliant. It supports CalDAV, CardDAV, GroupDAV, iMIP and iTIP and reuses existing IMAP, SMTP and database servers - making the solution easy to deploy and interoperable with many applications.

SOGo features:

  • Scalable architecture suitable for deployments from dozen to many thousand users

  • Rich Web-based interface that shares the look and feel, the features and the data of Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning

  • Improved integration with Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning by using the SOGo Connector and the SOGo Integrator extensions

  • Two-way synchronization support with any Microsoft ActiveSync-capable device, or Outlook 2013

SOGo is developed by a community of developers located mainly in North America and Europe. More information can be found on http://www.sogo.nu/.

3. Installation

This section will guide you through the installation of Thunderbird and its associated extensions.

3.1. Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is the official front end client of SOGo.

Mozilla Thunderbird versions 31, 38, 45 and above are supported and it is recommended to use the latest version of Thunderbird.

In order to download and install Mozilla Thunderbird, please visit:

3.2. Mozilla Lightning

When using Thunderbird, you can use the latest version of Mozilla Lightning. Use the Add-ons manager of Thunderbird or visit:

3.3. SOGo Connector and SOGo Integrator

The SOGo Connector and Integrator extensions are provided to perfect the integration of Mozilla Thunderbird with the SOGo groupware solution.

First of all, the SOGo Connector extension transforms Thunderbird into a full DAV client for groupware servers such as SOGo, eGroupware or Citadel. It does this by adding support for remote DAV address books and by adding features to be used along with the Lightning calendar extension.

Among supported features of the SOGo Connector extension, we have:

  • Free / Busy URL field in the address book

  • Free / Busy functionality through HTTP

  • Event organizers

  • Synchronization of the address book using GroupDAV

  • CardDAV implementation for the address book

  • Support for WebDAV ACL

On the other hand, the SOGo Integrator extension transforms Thunderbird into a pure "heavy" client for SOGo. Whereas the SOGo Connector is meant for portability (horizontal integration), the SOGo Integrator makes use of the features and layout only available from SOGo (vertical integration).

Among the supported features of the SOGo Integrator extension, we have :

  • Remote administration of folder subscriptions

  • Remote administration of folder access control lists (ACL)

  • Automatic replication of your local and subscribed folders

  • When correctly configured, it handles the propagation of updates to chosen extensions from a local update server

  • Automatic propagation of default settings

In order to download and install the SOGo Connector and Integrator extensions, please visit:

Prior to installing the SOGo Integrator extension, you should read the following chapter - SOGo Integrator Customization.

4. SOGo Integrator Customization

In this section, you’ll learn how to customize the SOGo Integrator extension so it can be used alongside your SOGo server.

4.1. Customization

The customization steps described here involves understanding of XML and of text file edition. If you do not have those skills, it is recommended that you don’t try to use this extension.

There are actually two steps in the configuration of a working environment for SOGo Integrator. First of all, the Integrator will use the same user name used to connect to the first email server configured in Thunderbird. It is a current limitation but it will fit nearly all configurations out there.

For testing purpose, it is strongly recommended to create and configure an additional user profile for Thunderbird. This is for two reasons. The first is because of the limitation mentioned above. The second is because the Integrator will synchronize your personal address book onto the SOGo server and then remove it so that only your personal address book on SOGo will be available. If you are not able to do that, you may want to make a copy of that address book beforehand.

The second part requires editing one file in the extension file sub tree to specify where the SOGo server is located. This is done by hand. In an enterprise environment, this step is only required once per release since the updates are expected to propagate automatically.

Uncompress (using a ZIP or jar tool) the SOGo Integrator XPI and locate the following file:


This file is used for locating the extension update server and the SOGo server, which we consider to be the same for the moment. There is a line starting with a "Seq" tag and with an attribute named "isi:updateURL". Replace the host part of that url with the SOGo server you want to connect to.

For example, one would replace:

<Seq about="http://inverse.ca/sogo-integrator/extensions" isi:updateURL="http://sogo-demo.inverse.ca/plugins/updates.php?plugin=%ITEM_ID%&amp;version=%ITEM_VERSION%&amp;platform=%PLATFORM%">


<Seq about="http://inverse.ca/sogo-integrator/extensions" isi:updateURL="https://sogo.acme.com/plugins/updates.php?plugin=%ITEM_ID%&amp;version=%ITEM_VERSION%&amp;platform=%PLATFORM%">

if the SOGo server is accessible from the following URL:


Note that if you changed the x-webobjects-server-url configuration setting from your HTTP server configuration file for SOGo, the value must match the one you specify in isi:updateURL - even the port number.

Moreover, you must change the value of the sogo-integrator.autocomplete.server.urlid preference from defaults/preferences/site.js to match the identifier of your SOGoUserSources. This source will be used by Thunderbird for autocompletion.

Once you’re done modifying the configuration file, save your changes and reconstruct the XPI file. 

Now start Thunderbird and install your newly modified extension.

5. SOGo Update Server

In this section, you will learn how to install and configure the SOGo Update Server.

The SOGo Update Server can be used to automatically install or uninstall Mozilla Thunderbird extensions, push user settings and more - all from a central place managed by system administrators.

5.1. Installation

Installation is relatively straightforward. You need to make the updates.php script available through your HTTP server at the URL you’ve specified from the extensions.rdf file. The updates.php script can be found in the SOGo sources, under the Scripts directory.

The updateLink section of the XML payload returned to sogo-integrator is built dynamically using the SCRIPT_URI variable, which is only available when running with mod_rewrite. It should work out of the box as long as the script is placed in the same directory as the xpi files.

If it is not the case, then the link should be adjusted to fit the actual file layout:

<em:updateLink><?php echo dirname(getenv('SCRIPT_URI')) . '/relative/path/to/' . $plugin["filename"] ?></em:updateLink>

An http request similar to the following can be used to make sure that the generated link is correct:


Please refer to your HTTP server documentation for the installation and configuration of PHP.

5.2. Configuration

To configure the SOGo update server, you need to modify the updates.php script directly.

Adding an extension to be pushed automatically by the update server require you to modify the $plugins array from updates.php and also adjust accordingly SOGo Integrator’s extensions.rdf file.

For example, to automatically install SOGo Connector, SOGo Integrator and Lightning, you would have:

= array( "sogo-connector@inverse.ca"
         => array( "application" => "thunderbird",
                   "version" => "31.0.0",
                   "filename" => "sogo-connector-31.0.0.xpi" ),
         => array( "application" => "thunderbird",
                   "version" => "31.0.0",
                   "filename" => "sogo-integrator-31.0.0-sogo-demo.xpi" ),
         => array( "application" => "thunderbird",
                   "version" => "3.3.1",
                   "filename" => "lightning.xpi" ));

The syntax is:

         "<extension ID>"
         => array( "application" => "thunderbird",
                   "version" => "<exact version found in the extension's install.rdf file>",
                   "filename" => "<exact filename on the filesystem>" )

The path of the filename, specified in the filename parameter, is relative to the location of the updates.php script. For extensions that are dependant on the architecture and operating system (Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, etc.), they can be placed in subdirectories relative again to the updates.php script (but the filename must be identical in all subdirectories). For exemple, for Mozilla Lightning, we could have:


If you eventually want to disable an extension, that is, without removing it from your users' computers, you can specify disabled as the version number.

Next is to modify the extensions.rdf file. Again, to automatically install SOGo Connector, SOGo Integrator and Lightning, you would have:

    em:name="SOGo Integrator"/>
    em:name="SOGo Connector"/>

Using SOGo Integrator, you can also push user-settings for any part of Thunderbird or its extensions. There are two kind of user-settings push:

  • Settings that are pushed during the initial configuration of Thunderbird

  • Settings that are pushed upon every restart (ie., forced) of Thunderbird

Settings that pushed are pushed during initial configuration are controlled by the ./defaults/preferences/site.js file from SOGo Integrator. Here is an example:

pref("calendar.alarms.showmissed", false);
pref("calendar.caldav.sched.enabled", true);

Preferences that are forced upon every restart of Thunderbird are controlled from the ./chrome/content/general/custom-preferences.js configuration file.

Here is an example:

force_int_pref("changequote.replyformat.format", 0);
force_bool_pref("changequote.headers.withcc", true);
force_char_pref(“foo.bar”, “zot”);

6. Additional Information

For more information, please consult the online FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) :

You can also read the mailing archives or post your questions to it. For details, see :

7. Commercial Support and Contact Information

For any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us by writing an email to :

Inverse (http://inverse.ca) offers professional services around SOGo to help organizations deploy the solution and migrate from their legacy systems.