Trouble with contacts on server and contacts synchronization -- ongoing checks and pains -- vcards 2.1 not recognized on import

I very recently acquired a Fairphone2 and installed nextcloud on my desktop / server. I cannot -

  • create contacts on the server (+ New Contact just increment the counts but does not offer an entry form).
    *** This was caused by a browser problem. Firefox ist a must …
  • import vcards***.vcf uploaded from my FP2 (yes, THAT works !).
    “Import into Contacts” spins the busy wheel but does nothing else.
  • have my FP2 use synchronisation to seed contacts on nextcloud.

The redirects recommended by the service discovery instructions have been set.

Watching the internet traffic I see
GET /ocs/v2.php/apps/notifications/api/v2/notifications.HTTP /1.1…Host:…
issued by both nextcloud and FP2, with the attendant 200 OK replies.

Being a newbie in this field, I must have missed something basically stupid. Please advise, thank you for a reply.

Relevant configuration info

Debian testing/instable; “dpkg -l” gives
ii apache2 2.4.29-2 amd64 Apache HTTP Server
ii mysql-server 5.6.30-1 all MySQL database server (metapackag
ii php7.2 7.2.3-1 all server-side, HTML-embedded script
nextcloud : 13.0.1

Android 7.1.2 Lineageos 14.1-20180410…
Contacts 1.4.22
Nextcloud 3.0.3
The phone is not rooted.

Regards -rg-

Final edit: ---------------------------------------------------------------------

See :
the whole problem was - aside for my newbie-status in matters NC - that support of vcards 2.1 was dropped in NC 13.

Editing the vcf files and replacing VERSION:2.1 with VERSION:3.0 made the file palatable to the NC import, finally – EXCEPTED any cards with UTF-8 encoded entries. 3 of 179 in my case, so no big deal for me. May not do it for everyone, though.

The first point - not able to create a contact manually in nextcloud was due to my standard browser not displaying forms correctly.

Using firefox and guessing around (where IS this Save button ?) did fix the issue.

The impossibility to import vcaards remains for now, though.

The second point

  • create a user contact (now OK), download the contact, delete the contact.
  • upload the unmodified uuid.vcf file … NOTHING GETS RELOADED.
    And no error message either.

This user is not happy :wink:

Actually, the browser was fine - but PRIVATE BROWSING throws a wrench in the display of nextcloud screens.


the upload of the uuid.vcf worked without a hitch …

FOR SURE a hint in the docs would help …

I got from somewhere - sorry I forgot where and from whom - the hint that just editing the vcard file and replacing ‘VERSION;2.1’ by ‘VERSION:3.0’ on every card within would help.

It does actually allow to import cards whose entries have not been encoded in UTF-8; those are ignored.

For those (I had a half.dozen), the following script helped - I entered the contacts manually.
cat vcard-decode-UTF8


awk ‘
for (n=48; n<58; n++) { hexT[sprintf("%c",n)] = n - 48; }
for (n=65; n<71; n++) { hexT[sprintf("%c",n)] = n - 55; }
function decimalize(hexstr) {
dec = 0;
for (i=1; i <= length(hexstr); i++) {
cc = substr(hexstr,i,1);
dec = (16 * dec) + hexT[cc];
return dec;
{ gsub(";", “=20”, $0);
instr = toupper($0); str = “”;
nc = split(instr, cT , “=”);
for (j=2; j<=nc; j++) {
num = decimalize(cT[j]);
str = str sprintf("%c", num);
print instr,"=>", str;
Seen in action, for an entry like this :


Executing the script lets one enter the whole encoded parts for translation, one entry at a time (the ‘;’ is converted to an encoded space, so all the encoded strings may be input at once). Here is a run showing the :

$ bash vcard-decode-UTF8
=42=6C=C3=A9=63=68=65=72=65=74=74=65=20=41=C3=A9=72=6F=70=6F=72=74 => Blécherette Aéroport
<could enter a next entry right here; CTRL-C or CTRL-D to quit>

I have not tested if NC can accept the contacts with decoded entries - it may be.

I found a script, not just from somewhere but with a repo, so improvements can be posted:

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