Mozilla Sunbird – Standalone Calendar

Mozilla Sunbird is a lesser known product by Mozilla. Though not popular much, it is a fully-featured desktop calendar and organizer. As an organizer it lets you maintain your tasks and events with some support for interoperability with other calendars.

Sunbird is a redesign of of the Calendar component. Our goal is to produce a cross platform standalone calendar based on Mozilla’s XUL user interface language.

XUL is a markup language for creating user interfaces. It is designed to be portable and is available on all versions of Windows, Macintosh, Linux and other Unix flavors.

For all practical purposes Sunbird and Calendar functionality is the same, but their nature is different, Calendar is an extension for Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey, whereas Sunbird is a standalone application. Sunbird also has a portable version that can be used directly from removable media like USB thumb drive.

As Calendar

Sunbird allows you to create multiple calendars, e.g., business and personal. There are multiple views available for the calendar – Day View, Week View, Multiweek and Month View. It provides a combined view of all the selected calendars. You can choose to deselect any (in Calendars tab) to remove it from the view.

You can create appointments and meetings as events. Every event is created in a calendar. Different types of events are provided by default, but they can be customized. You can assign a duration for the event and can request an alarm a certain time before the event starts or ends. Events also have an option of setting recurrence of the events. Using this you can mark regular events like birthdays and anniversaries for every year automatically.

As Organizer

Sunbird also lets you create tasks. A task is very similar to an event, but is conceptually different as it is worked upon till the task is due. The task has two additional attributes:

  • to indicate the progress of the task.
  • to give priority to a task.

There is separate task list available which indicates priorites and also colour codes the tasks. You can completely customize the tasklist. Otherwise its behavior is similar to the events.


Sunbird uses a SQL-based storage mechanism based on SQLite. It can work with files based on the iCal Standard. Sunbird allows you to import, export or subscribe to the iCal files.


Sunbird lets you publish your calendar to a FTP or Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning. (WebDAV) enabled server. The published calendars can be subscribed to from other calendars. You can find detailed instructions here


Sunbird has some utilities associated with it that make it easy to use. Holiday files are available for use with Sunbird. You can either subscribe to them or simply import them to automatically see marks of different holidays in your calendar. Optionally, you can choose to create a separate calendar called “Holiday” and import all the holidays as events in that.

To enable to keep Sunbird running but not consume space on your desktop, there are some utilities available:

Sunbird Help has been built as an extension and is available here. This help is also available online. Following more resources are available to keep your updated with Sunbird:

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda

One Response to “Mozilla Sunbird – Standalone Calendar”

  1. Abhijit Nadgouda @ iface » XULRunner For Mozilla Based Development Says:

    […] Mozilla Platform is a sturdy and proven platform for application development. XULRunner is a command-line application that is used to run XUL applications. As mentioned in the Sunbird article, XUL is a markup language for creating user interfaces. It is designed to be portable and is available on all versions of Windows, Macintosh, Linux and other Unix flavors. XULRunner is a Mozilla runtime package that can be used to bootstrap XUL+XPCOM applications that are as rich as Firefox and Thunderbird. It will provide mechanisms for installing, upgrading, and uninstalling these applications. XULRunner will also provide libxul, a solution which allows the embedding of Mozilla technologies in other projects and products. […]

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