Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting mac mail, ical and address book to talk to Exchange 2003


Since this post still gets quite a few hits, I figured I would ask if folks are still running into this issue on newer versions of OSX?  I have been upgraded to Office365 and have a newer Macbook now so I don't need the davmail workaround like I did before.  If anyone out there still has an Exchange 2003 server, and they want me to to look into getting the newer Mac Mail app working with it, just send me an email and I will look into making an updated instruction manual.


I am adding some additional steps here to help some folks get over the downloading and configuring of DavMail.

Step 1, download Davmail:

the latest version will be under davmail (not davmail trunk or davmail beta)

As of this writing the latest is 3.8.8 and the mac version is listed last above the release notes.txt (

Step 2 Unzip (Do I need to explain this part?  Tell me if I do...)

Step 3 Put the file in the Applications folder

Step 4 Start

Here is where it gets weird, I have had this running for so long I cant remember if I had to answer any questions but I can tell you what I have for my settings....

Step 5 When I start DavMail I get a small icon in the try at the top of the screen.  Click on it (not right click for you windows prone users) and select settings. (if you do this and nothing seems to happen move all your windows and you will see the DavMail window hiding behind something 'you cant apple+tab to get to it')

Step 6 Enter entries:

OWA (Exchange) URL:    * note the trailing /  *

The rest on main are defaults... 1110, 1143, 1024, 1080, 1383.  Under delays: 30, 30, 90, <blank>

Proxy tab:  empty (for me, adjust to your specific needs)

Encryption tab: keystore type is JKS on my setup and everything else is empty (I assume this is defaults because I didnt change this)

Logging tab: log file path is empty and all types are set to warm except DavMail which is at DEBUG. (again this is default)

Advanced: server certificate has has something in it on mine but I didnt enter it.

Force ActiveSync update is checked.

Default windows domain has my domain name entered (no slashes, just the netbios short name)

IMAP auto expunge is checked....

Everything else is blank on this tab.

Again, most of this was out of the box defaults, I just had to put in the general tab and the rest was configured from within Mail, iCal and Address Book.....


OK, so if you are like me you have updated to Snow Leopard and have been having to resort to using a virtual machine (not a bad thing) to connect to your companies Exchange 2003 server. Face it, OWA is not good enough for a power user.

I have googled until my fingers have bled and could not find a solution that worked for me.... until now...

I am currently using mac mail, address book and ical to connect to an Exchange 2003 server through the help of

Their instructions are out of date as the screen shots are all based off of versions prior to 10.6 but here is where I deviated from what they had:

First get it installed. This part was easy and I just put in the full url that i use in chrome to get to OWA.

Adress Book was the kicker though. The old instructions were way off (although I did finally figure out where Directory Utility is in Snow Leopard (system preferences, accounts, login options, edit network account server, and there she is...)

But the actual fix was quite simple.

Address Book

Add new account:

next is the key because the instructions they have on their website say to put o=od which looked wrong and did not work for me. I had to put Search base to ou=people before things worked. Don't forget to change authentication to simple and put in domain\user and password...


For iCal I used CalDAV and the server path of localhost. note: just the username, not domain\user

When you hit create you will get an error, just hit create again.
The server path described on their website was slightly off from what I ended up with.
Just using /principals/users/ (where is your default email address on the host).
Don't forget to change the port to 1080 (or whatever port you put CalDAV on from within DavMail)

Mac Mail

I didn't have to do anything different from to get mail working.

Having said all this, I will let you guys know how things work over some time but for now I am just happy to have yet another Exchange email account ripped out of windows and placed in my happy Mac world :D

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Look for some major updates soon on the soon. My colleague informed me that he is doing an overhaul on the script and updating it along the way.