r54 - 18 Aug 2010 - 03:21:03 - GrahamPerrinYou are here: OSAF >  Projects Web  >  FAQ > TroubleshootChandler

Troubleshoot Chandler

If you have a problem that is not solved by the advice below, you can ask for help by sending mail to chandler-users@osafoundation.org.

Chandler Desktop

Installation issues

Ubuntu 8 (Hardy Heron): libicu36 dependency error

Advice: Use the .tar.gz download or install libicu3.6*

Ubuntu 7 (Gutsy Gibbon) and Ubuntu 8 (Hardy Heron) ship with different icu libraries: libicu36 and libicu38 respectively. We currently support libicu 36 in the Chandler .deb install.

To remedy this situation, you can either:

  1. Use the .tar.gz download instead of installing a .deb; or
  2. Download and install libicu36
    • Opening the resulting file should launch GDebi package installer
    • Then install the Chandler .deb

See more detailed build notes here.

Ubuntu: Chandler in not in the applications menu

See original instructions from Matt Schafer.

  1. Go to System>>Preferences>>Main Menu
  2. In the Menus box on the left, choose the menu you want to add it to. Probably makes the most sense to put it in Applications -> Office.
  3. Click the [New Item] button on the right.
  4. In the Create Launcher dialog that pops up, fill in the following:
    • Type: Application
    • Name: Chandler
    • Command: chandler (All lowercase.)
    • Comment: Manage notes, tasks and events (Or put whatever you like here.)
    • Note: If the Chandler icon does not automatically appear in the button on the left (and you want one), click that button. Then enter the following in the address bar at the top: /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps/chandler.svg and click [OK].
  5. Click [OK].

To add a launcher to the top panel, next to the System menu. After you add to the menu, this one is easy.

  1. Right-click an empty part of the top panel. Choose Add to Panel.
  2. Select Application Launcher (not Custom Application Launcher).
  3. Click [Forward].
  4. Choose Office>>Chandler.
  5. Click [Add].
  6. Right-click the Chandler icon and choose Move to put it where you want it.

Start-up issues

Another Chandler is already running off the same data repository


ProfileDirectory explains how to locate the profile directory that Chandler uses for:
  • your repository (database and related files)
  • a Chandler Export file, normally written at quit time.

Make yourself familiar with the location of your profile directory.

Preparation: set aside a copy of the backup

  1. In your profile directory, select the file backup.chex
  2. copy that file
  3. paste to your Documents area, or any other convenient location.
(A copy of a backup is rarely required, but it's reassuring to have the copy set aside in a troubleshooting situation.)

Steps to resolve the issue

  1. Be certain that no other Chandler Desktop is running. If in doubt, restart the computer (and do not allow the application to launch automatically)
  2. in your profile directory, browse to__repository__= then __open
  3. set aside the directory named __open (to your Documents area, or any other convenient location)
  4. launch Chandler Desktop.

If the application runs without error, then you can safely discard the temporary things that you set aside.


Following a crash (maybe, of your operating system whilst Chandler Desktop is starting, running or quitting) some __open debris may be left in the __repository__

Chandler quits on launch or won't start

Advice: whilst launching Chandler Desktop, press and hold a modifier key

Screen shots

On Linux and Microsoft Windows: use the control (ctrl) key to modify.

On Mac OS X: use the alt (option) key to modify.

  1. Start Chandler, immediately press and hold the modifier key
  2. A Start-up Options dialog will appear, giving you a list of choices:
    • Option one Continue with normal startup simply starts Chandler as usual. If Chandler was failing to launch properly, this is unlikely to help.
    • The four options that follow provide you with various clean-up options. As you work your way down the list, the risk of data loss increases.
      • Do internal clean-up, but save my data and preferences
      • Discard recent changes until data integrity tests pass
      • Discard recent changes until application no longer fails to start
      • Discard my full-text index and reindex all my data
All of the above clean-up options will result in some data loss. In all likelihood, you will not notice what's missing (e.g. internal application logic, old versions of an item).

If none of the above options work...

  1. Locate your backup.chex file in your Chandler directory and make a copy of it to your desktop. Assuming the last time you quit Chandler, you did so without any problems and you haven't opted out of backing up your data every time you quit, you should be able to reload your data into Chandler without any noticeable data loss.
    • On Mac, your Chandler Directory is in: Home (your user name)>>Library>>Application Support>>Open Source Applications Foundation>>Chandler
    • On Windows, your Chandler Directory is in: C:Users(your user name)AppDataRoamingOpen Source Applications FoundationChandler
  2. Hold down the modifier key when launching Chandler and choose the sixth option Discard all my data and start with a fresh repository. (If Chandler still fails to launch, uninstall Chandler and download a new version.)
  3. In Chandler, go to File>>Import>>Reload Chandler Data from .chex File and select the backup.chex file you copied to your desktop.
  4. Chandler should reload with your data.

Before choosing any of the above options... take a look at how you can help us figure out what went wrong.

Sync issues

An exclamation mark ! alongside a shared collection

Advice: a sync was not successful.

Repeat the sync

Something as simple as disruption to your network connection may cause an an alert in Chandler. Sharing errors are usually temporary.
  1. With a good network/Internet connection, sync again.

If an alert persists, or reappears, you should learn more about the alert.

Detail of an alert

  1. hover over exclamation mark
  2. note the detail in the tooltip.

Observing progress during a sync

  1. click Sync
  2. observe the messages in the status bar at the foot of the Chandler window.

Minor corruption, of a single item

A single corrupt item may prevent a collection from syncing. The tooltip for an alert may offer a clue to which item is troublesome item. Identifying then removing a single item may allow the rest of the collection to be synced.

If a sharing error is not easily resolved, send mail to to chandler-users@osafoundation.org. You may be asked to provide a transcript of your Sharing Log. You can access your sharing log by going to Share>>Manage... and clicking [View Error Details..] at the bottom of the dialog.

Images or formatted text in an e-mail are not apparent in Chandler


IMAP mailboxes (mail folders) created by Chandler are not visible in all e-mail environments

Advice: Wait.

In some e-mail environments, it may be necessary to wait for up to an hour before all mailboxes appear in sync.

Google Mail Google puts IMAP mailboxes in the green Labels section of the left-hand sidebar, underneath your "Contacts" list. They will show up as:

  • INBOX/Chandler Events
  • INBOX/Chandler Mail
  • INBOX/Chandler Starred

You won't find them amongst the blue links at the top.

Mozilla Thunderbird Thunderbird does not automatically subscribe to newly created IMAP mailboxes. You need to manually subscribe by going to:

  • File>>Subscribe... (Mac)
  • Tools>>Account Settings>>Manage Folder Subscriptions>>Subscribe (Windows, Linux)

Thunderbird + Google Mail Chandler IMAP mailboxes on Gmail will show up in Thunderbird under the Inbox. More details as to why this is so.

Time out error when syncing with an IMAP server

Advice: consider the number of messages in the Inbox on the server. If there are many:
  1. reduce the number of messages
  2. purge any messages that are marked as deleted
  3. re-try the sync.

Explanation: before attending to the three Chandler-oriented mailboxes, Chandler scans your Inbox. If your Inbox is massive, commication with your mail service may be excessively slow.

Messages that I place in mailboxes for Chandler do not appear in Chandler

Advice: reasons for messages not appearing in Chandler are varied. Some possibilities:

  1. The messages may not be syncing from your email app. Are the messages showing up on the server? Log into via webmail and check and see if the messages have been synced up to your mail server.
  2. The messages were already copied to Chandler Desktop. Chandler ignores messages that have been previously downloaded. Perform a search to make sure the messages you're waiting for haven't already been downloaded, "read" and "cleaned up" out of the NOW section.
  3. Sync Errors Go to File>>Sync>>Mail and watch the status bar at the bottom of the Chandler window for any error messages that might provide a valuable clue as to what's going wrong.

Also, go back to File>>Accounts... and try reconfiguring the IMAP mailboxes by removing them and adding them again. Don't know exactly why, but sometimes that works smile

Chandler messages aren't downloading from Gmail IMAP account

Explanation: There is a GMail-specific issue with downloading Chandler messages from the Inbox. (IMAP mailboxes work properly).

Advice: configure Chandler IMAP mailboxes and create a filter (link next to [Search the Web]*

  • for a message that Has the words: "Starred Message from Chandler", Apply the label: "INBOX/Chandler Starred" to the the message.
  • for a message that Has the words: "Event from Chandler", Apply the label: "INBOX/Chandler Events" to the the message.

Note since emailed notes (plain messages) don't have Chandler-specific text pre-pended to the message body, they won't be picked up by these rules.

I can't use Chandler behind a firewall

Advice: configure Chandler to sync through an HTTP proxy.

In Chandler Desktop, go to File>>Configure HTTP Proxy to configure your proxy server.

If you would like to sync with Chandler Hub, you must configure a new Chandler Server Sharing account instead of simply setting up the default Chandler Hub Sharing account. (The Chandler Hub Sharing account assumes an https connection.)

  1. In Chandler Desktop, go to File>>Accounts...
  2. Create a new Chandler Server Sharing account.
  3. Configure the account with the following settings and then click [Test...] to make sure the account is configured correctly.

Server: hub.chandlerproject.org
Path: /
User name:
Port: 80  [ ] Use SSL (leave unchecked)

Not quite done...

  1. In the left-hand sidebar, select the U.S. Holidays collection and go to Share>>Unsubscribe (it uses https).
  2. In fact, if you have already published or subscribed to any collections with the default Chandler Hub Sharing account type, all of those collections will use https, so you will need to unpublish or unsubscribe to them and then republish them using the custom configured Chandler Server Sharing account.

For more details, see bug 1224.

I can not sync Dashboard, In, Out or Trash

Advice: current versions of Chandler Desktop and Chandler Server are not designed to sync those special collections. However…

If you were hoping to:

  • use the Dashboard collection as a quick place to dump new items without having to worry about which collections they belong in, but
  • you also use Chandler on multiple computers and therefore need to be able to sync all of your data through Chandler Hub:

Create a new collection to dump items into, and publish that to Chandler Hub.

Provided that you:

  • publish all the collections you create, and sync them across all of your computers; and
  • keep the same collections in/out of the Dashboard across all of your computers...

the Dashboard collection should remain identical across all of your computers.

Chandler is slow

  • Quit and restart Chandler at least 1x a week.
  • Make sure Chandler is automatically backing up your data when quitting. (See checkbox on quit screen.)
  • Make sure Chandler is automatically reloading your data from backup once a week. (See preference under Debug>>Repository>>Automatically reload from last backup>>Enabled.)
  • You can also manually force a back up and reload of your data by going to File>>Export>>Chandler Data to .chex File, quitting and then re-importing the data from File>>Import>>Reload Chandler Data from .chex File.

For more comprehensive recommendations, see Graham Perrin's notes.

Note There are known performance issues with Chandler on older PowerPC? hardware.

Help the community to discover what's wrong

When an error or crash occurs, there are a few things you can do to help people figure out the nature of the problem.

1. Provide us with your Chandler.log file. You can find your log file in your Chandler Directory.

  • On Mac, your Chandler Directory is in: Home (your user name)>>Library>>Application Support>>Open Source Applications Foundation>>Chandler
  • On Windows, your Chandler Directory is in: C:Users(your user name)AppDataRoamingOpen Source Applications FoundationChandler

  • Attach the log to a bug if one has already been filed, or
  • Contact us on the Chandler-Users List and someone will tell you where to send your log.

2. Provide us with a snapshot of your repository by holding down the modifier key while launching Chandler and selecting Make a snapshot of all my data to submit with a bug report, then quit. This will save your repository without any data loss in a compressed .tgz file. You can submit your repository to our secure server by following the instructions on the repository submit page. Please follow up by filing a bug as well and be sure to include the repository ID you receive after successfully submitting your repository.

Using Chandler

Items are in the wrong Triage sections

Advice: click on the "Clean-up" button in the toolbar, or press F5.

Items stay in a triage section even after you've changed the triage status until you tell Chandler you're done with them by hitting the Clean-up button or pressing F5 (Fn-F5 on Mac laptops). This prevents items from automatically jumping around as you change their triage status and allows Chandler to gather newly created and recently edited shared items at the top of the NOW section so you can review them as a group before you file them into the appropriate Triage sections.

I can't drag multiple items to a collection

Advice: multiple selection for drag and drop is not officially supported. However…

If you make sure that you do not mouse-up after you've selected the last item you want to drag-n-drop, multi-select and drag-n-drop should work. In other words,

  • instead of: shift/ctrl/cmd - select, select, select, mouse-up and then drag-n-drop
  • do: shift/ctrl/cmd - select, select, select-and-drag-n-drop (without mousing up after you make the last selection)
  • the key combinations may vary, deepending on your operating system.

*Alternative advice: copy/paste.

Copy the items, then select the destination collection for the items, then paste.

Using Mac OS X with multiple displays, dragging something causes Chandler to crash

Advice: Consider using a more recent version of Chandler
  • unreleased Chandler_intel-osx-leopard_1.0.4.dev-r16698-checkpoint20091016 (for Leopard on Intel, and for Snow Leopard) includes the fix for OSAF bug 11696
  • the disk image for this checkpoint is currently at http://downloads.osafoundation.org/chandler/checkpoints/20091016/.

If you prefer to use a 1.0.3.x release of the application, you can minimise the risk of a crash:

  • in Chandler: use copy and paste (do not drag)
  • whenever Chandler is not in foreground: hide it (do not allow anything to be dragged over a Chandler window).

I can't see the month view

Advice: click on the "Month Label" in the top-left corner of the calendar or go to View>>Multiweek View.

(UTC) Events I imported show up in "GMT+00:00" time zone

Explanation Some calendars are stored in Temps Universel Coordonné or Coordinated Universal Time, which is a time zone-neutral way of storing event dates and times. Currently Chandler doesn't automatically translate UTC events into local time zones.

Advice: to work around this, some command line actions are required.*

  1. Download http://svn.osafoundation.org/vobject/trunk/vobject/change_tz.py
  2. Use change_tz.py to convert your UTC events to the local time zone.
  3. A new .ics calendar file will be created called: filename.ics.converted
  4. Re-import the converted calendar into Chandler.

Step #2 is slightly different depending on which platform you're on:

Mac OS X:

  1. Make sure change_tz.py and your .ics calendar file are both on the Desktop
  2. From the Finder, go to Applications/Utilities and launch the Terminal app
  3. From Terminal, type cd Desktop and hit [return]
  4. Then type /Applications/Chandler.app/Contents/Resources/release/RunPython change_tz.py filename.ics and hit [return]


  1. Find the Chandler folder in C:Program Files. (It should be labeled Chandler plus ###, where ### is the version # of the first version of Chandler you ever downloaded.
  2. Put both change_tz.py and .ics calendar file into that Chandler folder.
  3. From the Start menu, select Run...
  4. Type: C:Program FilesChandler###releaseRunPython.bat C:Program FilesChandler###change_tz.py C:Program FilesChandler###filename.ics and hit [enter]

Global search is not obvious

Advice: search and then select all the collections in the left-hand sidebar.*

An entry in the search field is not cleared automatically. So, you can begin by searching one collection, then browse other collections for things that match the same search string.

When you have finished searching, remember to clear your entry from the quick entry field.

Preferences"> In the menu: I see _Preferences, but the option is greyed out (unavailable)

Advice: preferences, options, settings are spread across a number of menus and submenus.*

Explanation: the cross-platform origins of the software mean

For some items the status is wrong, and can not be changed

Advice: for a subscription to a read-only publication, it may be impossible to change the status of events and other items.*


  1. Unsubscribe
  2. resubscribe
If the inability to edit items within a read-only collection is frustrating, consider exlcuding that collection from your Dashboard.

Example: U.S. Holidays

  1. Right-click on your U.S. Holidays collection and select Delete
  2. Go to Collection>>Empty Trash
  3. Subscribe to this instead: https://hub.chandlerproject.org/pim/collection/7febe2f4-324c-11dd-d9e4-0016cbca6aed?ticket=01q75n1sy0

Related issue

In Bugzilla for OSAF we may find a request for improvement in this area.

Chandler Hub

The set of collections shown by Chandler Hub differs from the set shown by Chandler Desktop

Advice: publish collections from Chandler Desktop, then sync subscriptions manually.*

Chandler will keep collections created by you in sync between your Chandler Hub account and Chandler Desktop. However, to get Chandler Desktop collections to show up on Chandler Hub, you must publish them individually by going to the Share>>Publish menu. (Unfortunately, the out of the box Dashboard, In and Out collections cannot be published at this time. See above for workarounds.) Chandler Desktop will automatically prompt you to sync any collections you create on Chandler Hub.

Collections you subscribe to won't be automatically kept in sync. You will need to subscribe individually from Chandler Desktop and Chandler Hub.

  • To subscribe in Chandler Desktop, go to Share>>Subscribe... and paste in the sharing URL.
  • To subscribe in Chandler Hub, click on the sharing URL and click ADD TO MY ACCOUNT under the Collection Name in the upper left-hand corner.

I have not received the e-mail message that's required to activate my account

* Advice: check Junk mailboxes.*

If necessary, request a re-send of the message.

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