You can download pyCardDAV either from the above download link or check it out at github. Then install pyCardDAV by executing python install. If you feel more adventurous you can always the develop branch on github, which should always be in a usable state. pyCardDAV is also available on pypi and can be installed via pip install pycarddav or easy_install pycarddav.

Copy and edit the supplied pycard.conf.sample file (default location is ~/.config/pycard/pycard.conf). If you don't want to store the password in clear text in the config file, pyCardDAV will ask for it while syncing.

Make sure you have sqlite3 (normally available by default), vobject, lxml(>2), requests (>0.10), urwid (>0.9) pyxdg, installed. Users of python 2.6 will also need to install argparse.

pyCardDAV has so far been successfully tested on recent versions of FreeBSD, NetBSD, Debian and Ubuntu with python 2.6 and 2.7 and against davical - 1.0.1 (later versions should be ok, too, but and earlier don't seem to work), owncloud and sabredav.


pyCardDAV consists of three scripts, pycardsyncr which is used to sync the local database with the server, pc_query to interact with the local database and pycard-import to import email addresses from mutt.

Execute pycardsyncer to sync your addresses to the local database. You can test pc_query with:

% pc_query searchstring

By default pyCardDAV only prints the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of contacts matching the search string, to see all vCard properties use the "-A" option.

For usage with mutt etc., pyCardDAV can also print only email addresses in a mutt friendly format (with the "-m" option). Edit your mutt configuration so that query_command uses pc_query:

Example from .muttrc:

set query_command="/home/username/bin/pc_query -m '%s'"

The current version features experimental write support. If you want to test this, first make sure you have a backup of your data (but please do NOT rely on pc_query --backup for this just yet), then you can put the line:

write_support = YesPleaseIDoHaveABackupOfMyData

in your config file (needs to be put into each Account section you want to enable write support for).

You can also import, delete or backup single cards (backup also works for the whole collection, but please don't rely on it just yet). See pc_query --help for how to use these and for some more options.

pycarddav can be configured to use different CardDAV accounts, see the example config for details. An account can be specified with -a account_name with all three utilies. If no account is chosen all searching and syncing actions will use all configured accounts, while on adding cards the first configured account will be used.

Import Addresses from Mutt

You can directly add sender addresses from mutt to pyCardDAV, either adding them to existing contacts or creating a new one. If write support is enabled, they will be uploaded on the server during the next sync.

Example from .muttrc:

macro index,pager A "<pipe-message>pycard-import<enter>" "add sender address to pycardsyncer"


If you use SSL to interact with your CardDAV Server (you probably should) and you don't have a certificate signed by a CA your OS Vendor trusts (like a self-signed certificate or one signed by CAcert) you can set verify to a path to the CA's root file (must be in pem format). If you don't want any certificate checking set verify to false to disable any ssl certificate checking (this is not recommended).

Keyring support

pycarddav supports keyring, (version >=3.0). To use it, you need to add a password to the keyring via:

keyring set pycarddav:$account $username

where $account is the name of an account as configured in your configuration file and $username is the corresponding username (and then have no password configured for that account). For more details on configuring keyring have a look at its documentation.

Conflict Resolution

In case of conflicting edits (local VCard changed while remote VCard also changed), are "resolved" by pycarddav through overwriting the local VCard with the remote one (meaning local edits are lost in this case). Syncing more frequently can prevent this.

Additional Information

For now, VCard properties that have no value are not shown.

Also, you should be able to use pyCardDAV's CardDAV implementation for other projects. See the CardDAV class in pycarddav/