DavMail to The Rescue
I tell my kids all the time, “Hate is a very strong word.. we don’t use it.. we can dislike something, but we should never hate it.” Of course, I turn around and profess my hate for Exchange. Hate really is a strong word, and its probably still not appropriate for me to use it.. but I will. I HATE Exchange Server.
I find Exchange repulsive on so many levels, but I think the real reason for my dislike simply boils down to not being able to easily use Desktop Linux solutions to take advantage of all the shit I’m required to use/deal with in the office. Shared Calendars, Address Books, etc. Linux has all of these things, but few OSS solutions work with the ever present Exchange server.
Forced to “find a solution” (not my words), I ran across DavMail, a handy little Java app that seems to be a brilliant solution to a very troubling problem.
Basically, DavMail talks to any Exchange server, and converts all the Exchange requests into open-standard protocols, such as CalDav, IMAP, CardDav, LDAP exchange. Configuration is minimal (I only needed to specify the URL to my Exchange server), and then configure my email/calendar client for IMAP/CalDav/etc.
I personally use Thunderbird with the Lightning plugin for Calendar. In all of the simplicity of it, the hardest part was figuring out the various URLs for calendars and address books.
To find/subscribe to a shared calendar, lookup in the address book the name of the calendar. It should have an email address associated with it. Use that email address when adding a calendar.