Using RUMail with Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning

RUMail is the Rutgers University Mail and Calendar System. It utilizes an Open Source software suite called Zimbra to allow users to receive, send and store emails as well as create and share calendars. The main interface for RUMail is a web-based interface located at, but it can also be accessed via desktop clients, such as Mozilla Thunderbird.

Note: Thunderbird, by itself, is an email-only solution. It does have an optional add-on called Lightning that allows users to synchronize RUMail calendars with Thunderbird. Click here for instructions on how to install the Lightning add-on to Thunderbird.

Thunderbird Set-up:

  1. If you have just installed Thunderbird and are opening it for the first time, you can skip to step 3, otherwise open the Toolsmenu and select Account Settings...

    Account Settings

  2. In the Account Settings window, select the Account Actions drop down menu in the bottom left corner. Select Add Mail Account...

    Account Actions

  3. Mail Account Setup window will open. Fill in the necessary information, including your email address, then clickContinue.

    Maoil Account Setup

    Note: The Office of Information Technology does not recommend you select Remember Password, as this will allow anyone using your computer to read your email.  You will be prompted to enter your password each time you start a new Thunderbird session.

  4. The window should change to something like the following.

    Updated Account Setup

  5. If the error Thunderbird failed to find the settings for your email account. appears, change the following values:

    Incoming:, IMAP, 993, SSL/TLS

    Outgoing:, SMTP, 25, STARTTLS

    The Mail Account Setup window should now look similar to the following image.

    Mail Account Setup

  6. Click the Re-test Configuration button and make sure both the Incoming and Outgoing lights have green circles, like the image below.

    Create Account

  7. Click the Create Account button. Thunderbird will now be configured to receive and send email via RUMail.

Note: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not permit outgoing mail to go through anything but their own SMTP servers. In such cases, you must use the ISP's SMTP server, and your ISP username and password, to send mail. Contact the technical support department of your ISP for assistance. The Rutgers Help Desks can only provide support for the Rutgers side of the connection.

Lightning add-on Installation:

To add calendar functionality to Thunderbird, the Lightning add-on must be installed.

  1. To install Lightning, open the Tools menu in Thunderbird and select Add-ons.


  2. Once the Add-ons window opens, it will generate a Recommended list. Lightning should be on the Recommended list, but if not, use the Search All Add-ons box to find Lightning. Once it shows up, select it and click the Add to Thunderbird... button.

    Add to Thunderbird

  3. Software Installation window will pop up. Click the Install button.


  4. After the installation is complete, restart Thunderbird via the the Restart Thunderbird button in the Add-ons window.

    Restart Thunderbird

  5. Once Thunderbird has restarted, there will be a new menu item added to the Thunderbird menu called Events and Tasks.

    Menu Bar

  6. To open the calendar, click on the Events and Tasks menu and select Calendar.

    Events and Tasks Menu

  7. The Lightning calendar utility will open.

    Lightning Window

  8. RUMail calendars can be added via the New Calendar... option. Right-click within the Calendar pane on the left and select New Calendar...

    New                Calendar

  9. Create New Calendar window will open. Choose On the Network and click Next.

  10. Select CalDAV and type in the following, replacing netid and domain with your RUMail account information:

    Locate Your Calendar

  11. Click Next once all information is entered.
  12. Enter a name for the calendar and select a color to represent items under that calendar. Click Next.

    Create New Calendar

  13. An Authentication window will pop up. Use the following format for the username:

    Authentication Required

    Note: The Office of Information Technology does not recommend you use the Password Manager to remember your RUMail password, as this will allow anyone using your computer to edit your calendar.  You will be prompted to enter your password each time you start a new Lightning session within Thunderbird.

  14. Click Finish to complete the calendar set up.