Configuration

khal reads configuration files in the ini syntax, meaning it understands keys separated from values by a =, while section and subsection names are enclosed by single or double square brackets (like [sectionname] and [[subsectionname]]).

Help with initial configuration

If you do not have a configuration file yet, running khal configure will launch a small, interactive tool that should help you with initial configuration of khal.

Location of configuration file

khal is looking for configuration files in the following places and order: $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/khal/config (on most systems this is ~/.config/khal/config), ~/.khal/khal.conf (deprecated) and a file called khal.conf in the current directory (deprecated). Alternatively you can specify which configuration file to use with -c path/to/config at runtime.

The [calendars] section

The [calendars] section is mandatory and must contain at least one subsection. Every subsection must have a unique name (enclosed by two square brackets). Each subsection needs exactly one path setting, everything else is optional. Here is a small example:

[calendars]

  [[home]]
    path = ~/.calendars/home/
    color = dark green

  [[work]]
    path = ~/.calendars/work/
    readonly = True
color

khal will use this color for coloring this calendar’s event. The following color names are supported: black, white, brown, yellow, dark gray, dark green, dark blue, light gray, light green, light blue, dark magenta, dark cyan, dark red, light magenta, light cyan, light red. Depending on your terminal emulator’s settings, they might look different than what their name implies. In addition to the 16 named colors an index from the 256-color palette or a 24-bit color code can be used, if your terminal supports this. The 256-color palette index is simply a number between 0 and 255. The 24-bit color must be given as #RRGGBB, where RR, GG, BB is the hexadecimal value of the red, green and blue component, respectively. When using a 24-bit color, make sure to enclose the color value in ‘ or ”! If the color is set to auto (the default), khal tries to read the file color from this calendar’s vdir, if this fails the default_color (see below) is used. If color is set to ‘’, the default_color is always used.

type:color
default:auto
path

The path to an existing directory where this calendar is saved as a vdir. The directory is searched for events or birthdays (see type). The path also accepts glob expansion via * or ? when type is set to discover. This allows for paths such as ~/accounts/*/calendars/*, where the calendars directory contains vdir directories. In addition, ~/calendars/* and ~/calendars/default are valid paths if there exists a vdir in the default directory. (The previous behavior of recursively searching directories has been replaced with globbing).

type:string
default:None
readonly

setting this to True, will keep khal from making any changes to this calendar

type:boolean
default:False
type

Setting the type of this collection (default calendar).

If set to calendar (the default), this collection will be used as a standard calendar, that is, only files with the .ics extension will be considered, all other files are ignored (except for a possible color file).

If set to birthdays khal will expect a VCARD collection and extract birthdays from those VCARDS, that is only files with .ics extension will be considered, all other files will be ignored. birthdays also implies readonly=True.

If set to discover, khal will use globbing to expand this calendar’s path to (possibly) several paths and use those as individual calendars (this cannot be used with birthday collections`). See Exemplary discover usage for an example.

If an individual calendar vdir has a color file, the calendar’s color will be set to the one specified in the color file, otherwise the color from the calendars subsection will be used.

type:option, allowed values are calendar, birthdays and discover
default:calendar

The [default] section

Some default values and behaviors are set here.

default_calendar

The calendar to use if none is specified for some operation (e.g. if adding a new event). If this is not set, such operations require an explicit value.

type:string
default:None
highlight_event_days

If true, khal will highlight days with events. Options for highlighting are in [highlight_days] section.

type:boolean
default:False
print_new

After adding a new event, what should be printed to standard out? The whole event in text form, the path to where the event is now saved or nothing?

type:option, allowed values are event, path and False
default:False
show_all_days

By default, khal displays only dates with events in list or calendar view. Setting this to True will show all days, even when there is no event scheduled on that day.

type:boolean
default:False
timedelta

Controls for how many days into the future we show events (for example, in khal list) by default.

type:timedelta
default:2d

The [highlight_days] section

When highlight_event_days is enabled, this section specifies how the highlighting/coloring of days is handled.

color

What color to use when highlighting – explicit color or use calendar color when set to ‘’

type:color
default:
default_color

Default color for calendars without color – when set to ‘’ it actually disables highlighting for events that should use the default color.

type:color
default:
method

Highlighting method to use – foreground or background

type:option, allowed values are foreground, fg, background and bg
default:fg
multiple

How to color days with events from multiple calendars – either explicit color or use calendars’ colors when set to ‘’

type:color
default:

The [keybindings] section

Keybindings for ikhal are set here. You can bind more then one key (combination) to a command by supplying a comma-separated list of keys. For binding key combinations concatenate them keys (with a space in between), e.g. ctrl n.

delete

delete the currently selected event

type:list
default:d
down

move the cursor down (in the calendar browser)

type:list
default:down, j
duplicate

duplicate the currently selected event

type:list
default:p
export

export event as a .ics file

type:list
default:e
external_edit

edit the currently selected events’ raw .ics file with $EDITOR Only use this, if you know what you are doing, the icalendar library we use doesn’t do a lot of validation, it silently disregards most invalid data.

type:list
default:meta E
left

move the cursor left (in the calendar browser)

type:list
default:left, h, backspace
mark

go into highlight (visual) mode to choose a date range

type:list
default:v
new

create a new event on the selected date

type:list
default:n
other

in highlight mode go to the other end of the highlighted date range

type:list
default:o
quit

quit

type:list
default:q, Q
right

move the cursor right (in the calendar browser)

type:list
default:right, l, space
save

save the currently edited event and leave the event editor

type:list
default:meta enter
search

open a text field to start a search for events

type:list
default:/
today

focus the calendar browser on today

type:list
default:t
up

move the cursor up (in the calendar browser)

type:list
default:up, k
view

show details or edit (if details are already shown) the currently selected event

type:list
default:enter

The [locale] section

It is mandatory to set (long)date-, time-, and datetimeformat options, all others options in the [locale] section are optional and have (sensible) defaults.

dateformat

khal will display and understand all dates in this format, see timeformat for the format

type:string
default:%x
datetimeformat

khal will display and understand all datetimes in this format, see timeformat for the format.

type:string
default:%c
default_timezone

this timezone will be used for new events (when no timezone is specified) and when khal does not understand the timezone specified in the icalendar file. If no timezone is set, the timezone your computer is set to will be used.

type:timezone
default:None
firstweekday

the first day of the week, were Monday is 0 and Sunday is 6

type:integer, allowed values are between 0 and 6
default:0
local_timezone

khal will show all times in this timezone If no timezone is set, the timezone your computer is set to will be used.

type:timezone
default:None
longdateformat

khal will display and understand all dates in this format, it should contain a year (e.g. %Y) see timeformat for the format.

type:string
default:%x
longdatetimeformat

khal will display and understand all datetimes in this format, it should contain a year (e.g. %Y) see timeformat for the format.

type:string
default:%c
timeformat

khal will display and understand all times in this format.

The formatting string is interpreted as defined by Python’s strftime, which is similar to the format specified in man strftime.

type:string
default:%X
unicode_symbols

by default khal uses some unicode symbols (as in ‘non-ascii’) as indicators for things like repeating events, if your font, encoding etc. does not support those symbols, set this to False (this will enable ascii based replacements).

type:boolean
default:True
weeknumbers

Enable weeknumbers in calendar and interactive (ikhal) mode. As those are iso weeknumbers, they only work properly if firstweekday is set to 0

type:weeknumbers
default:off

The [sqlite] section

path

khal stores its internal caching database here, by default this will be in the $XDG_DATA_HOME/khal/khal.db (this will most likely be ~/.local/share/khal/khal.db).

type:string
default:None

The [view] section

The view section contains configuration options that effect the visual appearance when using khal and ikhal.

agenda_day_format

Specifies how each day header is formatted.

type:string
default:{bold}{name}, {date-long}{reset}
agenda_event_format

Default formatting for events used when the user asks for all events in a given time range, used for list, calendar and in interactive (ikhal). Please note, that any color styling will be ignored in ikhal, where events will always be shown in the color of the calendar they belong to. The syntax is the same as for --format.

type:string
default:{calendar-color}{cancelled}{start-end-time-style} {title}{repeat-symbol}{description-separator}{description}{reset}
bold_for_light_color

Whether to use bold text for light colors or not. Non-bold light colors may not work on all terminals but allow using light background colors.

type:boolean
default:True
dynamic_days

Defines the behaviour of ikhal’s right column. If True, the right column will show events for as many days as fit, moving the cursor through the list will also select the appropriate day in the calendar column on the left. If False, only a fixed ([default] timedelta) amount of days’ events will be shown, moving through events will not change the focus in the left column.

type:boolean
default:True
event_format

Default formatting for events used when the start- and end-date are not clear through context, e.g. for search, used almost everywhere but list and calendar. It is therefore probably a sensible choice to include the start- and end-date. The syntax is the same as for --format.

type:string
default:{calendar-color}{cancelled}{start}-{end} {title}{repeat-symbol}{description-separator}{description}{reset}
event_view_always_visible

Set to true to always show the event view window when looking at the event list

type:boolean
default:False
event_view_weighting

weighting that is applied to the event view window

type:integer
default:1
frame

Whether to show a visible frame (with box drawing characters) around some (groups of) elements or not. There are currently several different frame options available, that should visually differentiate whether an element is in focus or not. Some of them will probably be removed in future releases of khal, so please try them out and give feedback on which style you prefer (the color of all variants can be defined in the color themes).

type:option, allowed values are False, width, color and top
default:False
theme

Choose a color theme for khal.

This is very much work in progress. Help is really welcome! The two currently available color schemes (dark and light) are defined in khal/ui/colors.py, you can either help improve those or create a new one (see below). As ikhal uses urwid, have a look at urwid’s documentation for how to set colors and/or at the existing schemes. If you cannot change the color of an element (or have any other problems) please open an issue on github.

If you want to create your own color scheme, copy the structure of the existing ones, give it a new and unique name and also add it as an option in khal/settings/khal.spec in the section [default] of the property theme.

type:option, allowed values are dark and light
default:dark

A minimal sample configuration could look like this:

Example

[calendars]
[[home]]
path = ~/.calendars/home/

[[work]]
path = ~/.calendars/work/

[locale]
local_timezone= Europe/Berlin
default_timezone= Europe/Berlin
timeformat= %H:%M
dateformat= %d.%m.
longdateformat= %d.%m.%Y
datetimeformat= %d.%m. %H:%M
longdatetimeformat= %d.%m.%Y %H:%M

Exemplary discover usage

If you have the following directory layout:

~/calendars
├- work/
├- home/
└─ family/

where work, home and family are all different vdirs, each containing one calendar, a matching calendar section could look like this:

[[calendars]]
path = ~/calendars/*
type = discover
color = dark green

Syncing

To get khal working with CalDAV you will first need to setup vdirsyncer. After each start khal will automatically check if anything has changed and automatically update its caching db (this may take some time after the initial sync, especially for large calendar collections). Therefore, you might want to execute khal automatically after syncing with vdirsyncer (e.g. via cron).