EteSync is dead. Long live…?

Unless what I said here: Restore EteSync (Calendar/Contacts Sync) - #31 by julian changes (it might, see the dev’s response: Can't install from pip or compile binaries · Issue #296 · etesync/etesync-dav · GitHub), I can no longer use EteSync, and need to find a replacement.

Unfortunately, none seem to be good. Here’s a list of my options, including EteSync for comparison:

  • EteSync
    • Pros:
      • Encrypted
      • Everything synced to devices
    • Cons:
      • Every client is outdated
      • It doesn’t work anymore
  • Local
    • Pros:
      • No service required
      • Can backup to files
    • Cons:
      • Importing the files probably duplicates things
      • No tasks support
  • Proton
    • Pros:
      • Encrypted
      • Calendar app for mobile
    • Cons:
      • Contacts can’t sync to devices
      • Calendar can’t sync to devices/no calendar app for desktop
      • No tasks support
  • Tutanota
    • Pros:
      • Encrypted
      • Calendar app for mobile
    • Cons:
      • Contacts can’t sync to devices
      • Calendar can’t sync to devices/no calendar app for desktop
      • No tasks support
  • CalDAV/CardDAV
    • Pros:
      • Everything syncs to devices
    • Cons:
      • Unencrypted
      • Probably requires self-hosting

Am I missing something, or is there just no good replacement?

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It’s a good sum up of the situation.
I returned to a dav server from etesync long ago because of similar issues and instability. I desperately hope Proton will launch a contact app.

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Everything is brittle now. I couldnt self host because of certain issues in my domicile.

I had contacts synced up but I moved locally for some reason. Now my contacts are all over the place and unsynced. I think I even forgot to greet a certain family member of their birthday because of this.

One more con for Proton Calendar, somehow it does not copy certain information like birthdays when imported from a contact list export.

I think I also had a lot of notes within my contacts with nextcloud/etesync.

Im so disappointed with Etesync. Insert you were supposed to be the one Anakin meme

So far, this is my solution:

For calendar, I am going to use Proton Calendar. This means using the web interface on my laptop. However, I realise now that it supports email notifications, so I can still get notifications on my laptop. On my Android phone I’m using the app, although it’s disappointing that it’s not open source at the moment. Hopefully it will be soon.

For contacts, I have my contacts on Proton Mail, and I have them imported to GNOME Contacts and Android. When I update them, I will do this on GNOME Contacts or Android, and then I should be able to import them to Proton Mail without creating a duplicate. For deletion, I will have to delete the contact three times. For new contacts, I can export those separately and import them on GNOME Contacts and Android. Hopefully in the future Proton Mail will support syncing the contacts to Android.

For tasks, I am using Proton Calendar for tasks that have a date, and my notes solution for tasks without a date.


This is not the best solution, but in some respects, namely the fact that Proton Calendar and Proton Mail are maintained, it is a better solution than EteSync.

In others, namely syncing contacts to devices, syncing calendar to GNOME Calendar, and proper tasks support, this solution is inferior.

The main issue with not using etesync now is in how to solve the contacts issue, because there are options with notes (standard notes, notesnook, joplin, etc), calendars (proton, tutanota, etc), tasks (now notesnook). But for contacts what I do is have local contacs on android and every so often export them to a syncthing folder. is not encrypted on my pc nor my phone but at least they are on transit. Then every onece in a while again I buck them up from my pc to within my main backup solution

It should not be an issue if the information is stored in an encrypted drive. I plan to sync my contacts via CardDAV and calendar via CalDAV.

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yeah thats wher eI stored them the only issue is that I have to put it on the android phone on a folder that many apps could have access, but is not much of a problem actually.

Etesync made a blog post in December23 saying they’re still active:

Is anyone here using Etesync and can report how reliable the sync across different platforms (mobile, desktop, web) is nowadays?

It’s reliable for my usage on Android and desktop, have been a paying customer for over a year now. I dislike the CPU and RAM consumption of etesync-dav and wish that the web app was more functional, but if you just want reliable E2EE sync then it works fine.

Thank you! What’s the shortcomings of the web app? And did you have any problems syncing with Thunderbird at all or smooth sailing?

I think Etesync was removed as a PG recommendation a while ago with people saying that it only worked well on Android but not on other platforms. Maybe that’s been improved now and if so, a re-listing could be considered in the future.

It’s alpha quality in terms of performance, featureset and development.

etesync-dav syncs with Thunderbird but there’s up to 10s latency when updating events which can be annoying.

It looks like there have been zero updates to the desktop bridge and iOS apps since I stopped using the service, which means the issues I identified here are still present.

It’s not reliable. Android is the only platform where it works as advertised. After losing important changes/additions to my calendar multiple times (and almost missing an event because of it) I moved on.

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This was a great service. Sad to see the current state, but a good reminder of the importance of being able to migrate away from a service provider smoothly. Might be worth emphasizing this concept and ways to plan for it at the outset in the Recommendations.

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I would like to add another con to the list:

  • Calendar on Android doesn’t have tablet UI. It’s tiny in the landscape mode.
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Can I bump this for any updates? Has the community found anything yet that isnt Nextcloud or EteSync?

Is Proton Calendar our only alternative for a private and secure sync right now?
It is available on desktop now but only as an electron app. I was hoping for better OS integration for GNOME at least but I’m sure the electron app doesnt allow for that.

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Hi,
Just chiming in to see what’s up on this topic. I am currently using Nextcloud for file sync and calendars. Since I am not making any use of the rest of the functionalities and am always having sync issues with the nextcloud clients, I would really like to move. For files, that’s a work in progress, but I have options. For calendars, however, I am a little lost (contacts are not needed because I just have them locally). A temp plan is to revert back to iCloud, since it is now E2EE (which it wasn’t when I moved to Nextcloud), but that’s not a long-term solution, as I also want to move away from the Apple ecosystem altogether and ditch my Apple ID when I move to Linux. Sooooo… what are my options?
PS: Proton calendar is out there, but since I do not use the rest of their products (and don’t particular fancy Proton anyway) that’s not really an option.

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Not for calendar, contacts and email though :slight_smile:

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Ah f*ck! Must have gotten confused with reminders and notes or something.

Well, there goes my temp plan.

Just want to mention that I’m currently using the 14-days trial and synchronisation between a Debian laptop and a LOS smartphone works without any flaws.

To me the service does not seem to be dead at all!

Android was always the one platform where EteSync seemed to mostly work as advertised. But give it time and you’ll probably encounter the same reliability issues that have been around for years.

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