Re: [Evolution] tips and tricks and questions and answers.

Andre : Thanks a lot for sharing these invaluable nuggets.  You rock as
always :-).

I have added them to the project wiki at I appeal to all contributors to use
this page for consolidating their FAQ inputs  and help in making this
the de facto reference point for Evolution users regarding such queries.


On Wed, 2007-01-03 at 13:44 +0100, Andre Klapper wrote:
hi folks,

looks like i'm currently a bit disappointed by the company that still
provides the software for my open enterprise(tm) (and no, it is not a
problem of time).
time to free some of the few written bits of knowledge&work that
would otherwise rot on my harddisk.

attached you will find a file that includes a collection of evo related
questions that have been asked more often or that have been very
interesting, and of course their more or less complete answers.
no guarantee for anything included, but a "copy, paste, redistribute,
change as you like" licensee.
i sometimes used this to answer mailing lists user questions, hope it's
useful to somebody.

"welp, so long crew" here,

plain text document attachment (evolution-FAQE), "tips and tricks and
questions and answers."
= Mail =
Questions regarding the mailer and composer, for example junk mail, encryption or spell checking.
Please note that desktop integration issues (for example setting the preferred browser and launching 
evolution from a browser) are part of the interoperability section.

== General ==
=== I cannot see some emails, but they must be there. ===
Some possible reasons:
* You use filters on incoming (or outgoing) messages that move your messages automatically to another 
destination. If you have enabled junk filtering, also take a look into the junk folder.
* Check your search view in the search bar right above the message list, perhaps you have any value in it?
* Just to be sure: Click "Edit | Show Hidden Messages".
* Take a look into Evolution's Junk folder. Messages that are marked as Junk disappear from the original 
folder and are only displayed in the Junk folder.
* Check your default folder under "Edit | Preferences | Email Accounts | Edit | Defaults". Perhaps it is 
set to some other folder then the folder you thought of.
If this specially refers to an IMAP account and you upgraded Evolution to version 2.4, and you are using a 
Cyrus IMAP server, then try to change your account settings to "Show subscribed mails only". Then use 
"Folder | Subscriptions" to subscribe to your Inbox and any other folder. You might need to restart 
Evolution in between. This bug is fixed was Evolution and later.

=== How i can update/refresh Search folders (formerly called "vFolders")? ===
Refreshing a Search folder by a command is not possible (see However, you should get an updated view by going to 
another folder and then going back to your Search folder.

=== Why do my mail filters not work? ===
Generally, be aware of the fact that the order of your filters is important. If your very first filter has 
a "Stop processing" rule, all the other filters will be ignored by the emails that match to this first 
filter rule.
If you want your filters to apply automatically and you are using an IMAP account, make sure you have 
enabled "Apply filters to new messages in INBOX on this server" under "Edit | Preferences | Email Accounts 
| Edit | Receiving Options | Options".
Also, filters depend on the "new" flag which will be set only when a particular mail is fetched from server 
for the first time. If any other mail client is used to check mail before Evolution, Evolution's filters 
may not work.

=== Why do I get the message "No provider available for protocol email."? ===
This can happen if you have just installed Evolution on a new machine and have copied the file named 
filters.xml, so your filter rules are suffering from a version mismatch with Evolution. Since the filters 
refer to accounts directly, and accounts all have a unique ID number, you get the above error if it cannot 
find the account anymore, so you either have not copied the account settings or they have been changed in 
the meantime. To fix it, edit your filters and re-select the folder for each Copy/Move filter.

=== How can I get informed of new mail arriving? ===
Since Evolution 2.2, a panel notification applet via D-BUS exists.
Evolution itself is only able to play a sound file or to beep. Go to "Edit | Preferences | Mail Preferences 
| General | New Mail Notification".
Note that esound must be running to be able to hear your sound file.

=== Why does new junk mail automatically get marked as read? ===
Good question - one can easily miss new messages which have been incorrectly marked as junk. Workaround: 
Both for trash and the junk folder, one can enable displaying the number of ALL messages in the preview 
pane (in brackets after the folder name) by using the environment variable EVOLUTION_COUNT_TRASH=1.

=== Why does Evolution download duplicate emails? How can I get rid of them? Why does Evolution reload old 
mails from server when "Leave a message on the pop server" is activated? ===
There are several possible reasons when this happens:
* You have got several copies in your mailbox
* The mail server supports the UIDL extension yet changes the message UIDs each session
* The mail server does not support UIDL (which means Evolution has to generate UIDs using md5sums of the 
message headers) but the server changes the message headers after download (usually adding a Status: or 
X-Status: header - Evolution's md5sum ignores these, but Evolution may be missing other headers that this 
particular server munges)
* $HOME/.evolution/mail/pop/cache-* files are not writable
There is also a script to get rid of duplicates at and an external plugin available 
at which works with Evolution 2.2, but not Evolution 2.4.

=== Can I request a read receipt? ===
Evolution 2.4 and later only supports requesting a read receipt, just enable the option "Insert | Request 
Read Receipt" in the email composer's menu. You can also set the default in the account settings ("Edit | 
Preferences | Email Accounts | Edit | Defaults". Currently, Evolution does not support sending read 
receipts itself when receiving an email which includes a read receipt request.

=== Why do I get an error "Summary and folder mismatch, even after a sync"? ===
If you get an error popup like:
"Error while Expunging folder. Error storing `~/.evolution/mail/local/Inbox (mbox)': Summary and folder 
mismatch, even after a sync.", try removing the corresponding file with the file ending ".ev-summary", in 
this example you should remove the file "~/.evolution/mail/local/Inbox.ev-summary".
For your interest, this is filed as

=== How can I change the default location of my mail folders? ===
Evolution stores its mail data in $HOME/.evolution (except account information and passwords). So if you 
like to change the location for example to a removable USB memory stick, the best way would be to setup a 
new account type, e.g. a maildir, and point it to the USB location. You can then use filters to make all 
POP mails go there, and the Sent and Drafts folders can be overwritten to also point there. The only thing 
which cannot move is the Outbox.

=== Is "Edit As New Message" only available from the "Sent" folder? ===
Yes, it is.

=== Why does Evolution not download images in emails sent by people that are in my address book? ===
Assuming you have activated "Load images if sender is in address book" under "Edit | Preferences | Mail 
Preferences | HTML Mail | Loading Images", the address book has also to be marked as an autocompletion 
folder, otherwise it is not searched. This can be achieved under "Edit | Preferences | Autocompletion".

=== How can I change the default application email attachments are opened with? ===
=== How can I add applications email attachments should be opened with? ===
If you use Gnome 2.6 (or an earlier version), use gnome-file-types-properties to set or change the 
If you use Gnome 2.8 (or a later version), gnome-file-types-properties does not exist anymore, there is 
another solution at

=== What are the thread related headers that evolution recognises? ===
Evolution supports "References:" and "In-Reply-To:" headers.
"Thread-*" headers are Microsoft's proprietary headers.

=== Why does IMAP not work at all? ===
Make sure the file /etc/services has "imap" listed.

=== Why do my emails not get sent? ===
There can be several reasons.
Check all recipient addresses in all mails in your outbox - if the first message contains a wrong mail 
address, also all the other messages do not get send.
Also check your SMTP settings (the settings where you define which server to use to send emails) and make 
sure to have entered the correct server address and a correct authentification method that is supported by 
the server.

=== How can i access my GMail POP account?
Try to explicitly specify the port in the server settings. As pop server, use "", and as 
SMTP server, use "".

=== Why does Evolution not display exotic characters in received emails? ===
This often happens in plain text emails, words like "compaeros" or "ber" are displayed "compaeros" and 
"ber", also in the email source. This happens because the offending messages do not include information 
about the character encoding used because they are sent by broken email programs. Change the character 
encoding from "Unicode" to (for example) "Western European" by choosing "View | Character Encoding" from 
the main menu. You have to make this change every time you view the message.

=== How can I add people automatically to my contacts? ===
You can add people automatically to your contacts if one replies to them. Make sure you have enabled the 
plugin "Automatic contacts" by going to "Edit | Plugins". Then go to "Edit | Preferences | Mail Preferences 
| Automatic Contacts | Automatic Contacts" and enable "Automatically create entries in the addressbook when 
responding to email".

=== I upgraded Evolution - where are my icons gone? I only get red crosses... ===
Make sure that you have installed gnome-icon-theme and hicolor-icon-theme. Also make sure that 
gnome-settings-daemon is running. If you are using Evolution under KDE, add a line to start the 
gnome-settings-daemon before startkde in your .xsession file.

=== Why does Evolution hang each time it tries to poll my Unix Mail Spool? ===
Go to "Edit | Preferences | Mail Accounts | Edit | Receiving Email | Server Type" and change "Standard Unix 
mbox spool or directory" to "Local delivery".
Now Evolution will not hang each time it tries to poll /var/spool/mail for new emails and needs to refresh 
itself, and you will also have an empty /var/spool/mail as it will get fetched by Evolution automatically 
and transferred according to your filter rules.

== Composer ==

=== Why cannot I reset word wrap setting for outgoing mails at 72 characters? ===
Sorry, the value is hardcoded.

=== How can I set/change the default signature? ===
Go to "Edit | Preferences | Mail Accounts | Edit | Identity" and change "Signature" to something else.

=== How can I forward a message with its attachments? ===
Set "Edit | Preferences | Composer Preferences | Forward Style" to "Attachment", so the forwarded email and 
its attachments gets attached to your email.

=== Can I change/personalize the "On <date>, <person> wrote:" string when replying? ===
Currently you can only change this if you compile from source yourself.

=== Why does Spellchecking not work? ===
Make sure you have gnome-spell >= 1.0.5, aspell and aspell-XX (where XX is your locale, for example 
aspell-en for US English or aspell-en-uk for British English) installed, depending on your distribution 
package system. Evolution does not use myspell, ispell or the dictionaries.
Then go to "Edit | Preferences | Composer Preferences | Spell Checking", and enable the available languages.
Please also note that many languages need gnome-spell >= 1.0.7 to be supported by Evolution.
You can also check gnome-enabled dictionaries by using gconf-editor. The GConf key /GNOME/Spell/language 
should contain a space-separated list of the languages you have enabled (i.e. en-US es for US english and 
Also note that aspell-0.6* application is not compatible with aspell-0.5* dictionaries.  Either upgrade 
your aspell dictionaries or downgrade your aspell application, and the problem should go away.
If all these suggestions do not solve your spellchecking problems, you could also try the hard way: Shut 
Evolution down by closing Evolution and then using the command evolution --force-shutdown. After that, run 
gconftool-2 --unset /GNOME/Spell/mtime. Now restart Evolution and check the dictionaries list, it should be 
updated correctly.
If all this does not help, remove the file $HOME/.gconf/GNOME/Spell/%gconf.xml so all your spellchecking 
settings get deleted. The file gets recreated and according to some users on the Evolution mailing list, 
spellchecking should work again.

=== How can I remove words I have added to the Spelling dictionary? ===
Evolution uses the dictionaries of aspell. the words you have added to the spellchecker are stored in 
$HOME/.aspell.$LANG.pws (where $LANG is your language setting, you can find out your language setting by 
using the command echo $LANG for example).
So this should be the steps to remove words from the personal aspell dictionaries:
* Remove the offending line from $HOME/.aspell.$LANG.pws
* Decrease the counter at the end of the first line by the number of lines you just removed.

=== How can i have smaller fonts? ===
If you have for example a small monitor, you can change the font sizes by running "gnome-font-properties". 
You can run "gnome-ui-properties" and also disable the setting "Show icons in menus". 

=== Why is my font too small when composing emails in Evolution in KDE? ===
Make sure you have gnome-control-center and gconf-editor installed. Run gconf-editor and change the 
following key values:
* desktop->gnome->background->draw_background (uncheck)
* apps->gnome_settings_daemon->start_screensaver (uncheck)
* apps->nautilus->preferences->show_desktop (uncheck)
* Perhaps you also have to play around with some Gnome settings like dots per inch, mouse settings, 
keyboard repeat, etc. to prevent the gnome daemon from changing KDE settings.
Then run gnome-font-properties to set your fonts (it will start the settings daemon)
Now the final step it to ensure that the gnome-settings-daemon starts up automatically when starting up KDE 
(the KDE session manager will not do this for you) - or the fonts will be incorrect anyway.  Go to 
$HOME/.kde/Autostart and create a file called gsd.desktop and put the following lines into that file:
      [Desktop Entry]
      Exec=gnome-settings-daemon --oaf-activate-iid=OAFIID:GNOME_SettingsDaemon

=== How can I search for emails with an explicit type of attachment (e.g. a PDF document)? ===
There currently is no way to do this.

=== Is it possible to have seperate individual pop accounts? ===
This is not possible, Evolution only has one unique inbox for incoming email. Either use IMAP instead of 
POP or move incoming emails into different folders by setting up filters: set up a new folder and create 
two subfolders (for incoming and for sent mail of that account). Now set up an incoming filter ("Edit > 
Message Filters...") to move incoming mail to the incoming folder by filtering on the recipient's address 
and an outgoing filter to move outgoing mail to the sent folder by filtering on the sender's address.

== Spam/Junk ==

=== Does Evolution support spam checking? ===
Yes, since version 2.0, Evolution uses SpamAssassin for spam checking. Since version 2.4 SpamAssassin is 
optional, so make sure you have enabled the "Sa junk-plugin" under "Edit | Plugins".

=== Why does Evolution not automatically filter for spam? ===
First of all, make sure that SpamAssassin is installed and the sa-plugin enabled (see "Edit | Plugins").
Make sure you have enabled "Check incoming mail for junk". You can find this option under "Edit | 
Preferences | Mail Preferences | Junk | General". This setting only refers to POP and Local delivery.
If you use IMAP, make sure you have enabled "Check new messages for Junk contents" under "Edit | 
Preferences | Mail Accounts | Edit | Receiving options | Options".
Also, SpamAssassin's built-in Bayes filters need to be trained. The default SA rules work from the very 
first message, as do the network tests. Bayes needs to learn 200 Spam and Ham each, before
kicking in (default install). Note: "Learn", not identify. Messages are learned either by manually 
classifying them, or if a certain threshold is reached (which is more extreme than the line between Spam 
and Ham).
If you have installed SpamAssassin 3.0 or later, you will need Evolution 2.6 to successfully use it, due to

=== Can I use another program than spamassassin for spam checking? ===
You can try to pipe your incoming messages to other programs by setting up a filter. Since Evolution 2.4, 
using SpamAssassin has become optional (you can disable the SpamAssassin "Sa junk-plugin" under "Edit | 
Plugins") and could be easily replaced by other spam checking plugins.

=== Can I set up a whitelist filter on my own? ===
Just try. ;-) A Perl script has been already published for this at, use at your own risk.

== Encryption ==

=== Which encryption standards are supported by Evolution? ===
Evolution supports GPG/PGP Signing, GPG/PGP Encrypting, S/MIME Signing and S/MIME Encrypting.

=== How can I install my GPG/PGP key and have it sign emails automatically? ===
Assuming that your key already exists in (for example) $HOME/.gnupg, go to "Edit | Preferences | Mail 
Accounts | Edit | Security" and add your key ID into the text field, for example <mail example com> (also 
including the brakets!). Set the options to what you like to (hint: it makes sense to enable "Always 
encrypt to myself when sending encrypted mail" so you can reopen your sent messages again).
Now you can choose to "PGP Sign" and "PGP Encrypt" in the menu option "Security" in a new email composer 
To generally get started with GnuPG, check the documentation on or grab a book about that. 
Managing GPG/PGP is beyond the scope of Evolution.

=== Why does Evolution attach a .asc-file to my GPG signed emails? ===
When you sign emails, the GPG signature is embedded in a .asc file, this is called Outline PGP (or 
It is not embedded in the header/footer of the email because Inline PGP is currently not supported by 
Evolution, but Matt Brown is working on this currently. By the way, Outline PGP has several advantages over 
Inline PGP (the charsets are always defined, attachments are also encoded and part of the fingerprint).

=== I receive emails beginning with pgp signatures, what can I do? ===
This is Inline PGP, it is currently not supported by Evolution, but Matt Brown is working on this currently.
Evolution supports Outline PGP (or PGP/MIME) where GPG/PGP signatures are embedded in a .asc file that is 
attached to the message. Outline PGP has several advantages over Inline PGP (the charsets are always 
defined, attachments are also encoded and part of the fingerprint).

=== Why cannot i open an encrypted message sent by myself? ===
Make sure that you have enabled "Always encrypt to myself when sending encrypted mail", otherwise it will 
only be encrypted to the recipient. 
You can find this option under "Edit | Preferences | Mail Accounts | Edit | Security".

=== Can i set automatical encryption to explicit contacts? ===
No, currently you can only enable "Always sign outgoing messages when using this account" in "Edit | 
Preferences | Mail Accounts | Edit | Security".

=== How can import GPG keys automatically from within Evolution? ===
If you receive a signed GPG/PGP message from someone and you do not yet have his public key in your GPG/PGP 
keyring. You can make GPG automatically download and add unknown GPG/PGP keys of received messages by 
adding the following two lines to the file $HOME/.gnupg/gpg.conf:
      keyserver hkp://
      keyserver-options auto-key-retrieve
The actual link (URI) to the keyserver is only one example and may be different - you can also choose other 

=== How can I manage my keys? ===
Currently there are no plans to support key management within Evolution. Please do use external 
applications for this.

= Calendar =
Questions regarding the calendar.
Please note that you importing and exporting data from/to other programs is part of the interoperability 

=== Why do I get wrong alarm popups in the calendar? ===
Make sure that both in Evolution and on your system, the timezone has been set properly.

=== Can Evolution read and write to WebCal/CalDAV? ===
Since version 2.2, Evolution supports read-only access to shared calendars on the web (WebCal).
Evolution 2.6 provides full CalDAV support. The supported protocols are WebDav, SSH, FTP, secure WebDav and 
windows share.

=== How can I use the weather plugin? ===
You can add a weather calendar since Evolution version 2.2. Make sure that this plugin is enabled under 
"Edit | Plugins". Then select "File | New | Calendar" from the main menu and choose "Weather" as the type.

=== Why are there only US town available for the weather plugin? ===
It's a bug, see

=== Why are the meeting invitations i receive invalid? ===
If you get invited to meetings via Exchange, get an email containing a vCalendar/VCF file attachment, click 
on the attachment icon and get the error message saying "The item in the calendar is not valid.  The 
message does contain a calendar, but the calendar contains no events, tasks or free/busy information.", you 
should disable the "Itip Formatter" plugin by going to "Edit | Plugins". After that, meeting invitations 
should display correctly.

= General Questions =

General questions about Evolution like available releases and downloads, problems when starting evolution, 
crashes and problems with the shell.
This section also includes questions that do not fit into the other sections. :-)

=== Evolution always crashes when i start it, what can I do? ===
First, try to start Evolution with a component explicitely set, rather than picking up the last used one 
(the mailer, presumably), by running evolution -c tasks which will start Evolution with the Tasks component.
If it is the Mailer component crashing, a common cause is a particular mail that crashes while being 
rendered. To prevent rendering of the mail, you can disable the preview pane and set the message display to 
'source', which will display the raw message. One can disable the preview pane by running gconftool-2 --set 
/apps/evolution/mail/display/show_preview --type bool 0

=== Why does Evolution always crash? ===
If you want to help us finding out the reason, please take the time to submit a bug report by using Bug 
Buddy (which should automatically open up a window) or in Bugzilla at Try to 
fill in as much detail as you can regarding the circumstances that lead to your problem, so it becomes 
easier for us to find out what is going wrong and to fix it. Do not be discouraged if you do not hear from 
us right away.
If you file a bug report about a crash directly in Bugzilla at, submitting a 
stacktrace (as described in is also very helpful for 
the developers in order to reproduce the crash.

=== Evolution has frozen / has crashed, what shall I do? ===
You can kill Evolution by running the command evolution --force-shutdown (you need an X display to do this).
If possible, also submit a bug report (see above).

=== What does "Your system configuration does not match your Evolution configuration" mean? ===
This means that the system configuration is not what it should be for the application to run well.
To fix this,
1) evolution --force-shutdown
2) pkill evolution
3) export BONOBO_ACTIVATION_PATH=<your-build-prefix>/lib/bonobo/servers
4) run evolution again.

=== What is "Evolution Data Server" (EDS)? ===
Evolution Data Server is a personal data server, not a multi-user server. It is meant specifically as the 
Evolution data storage daemon, it is not a replacement for Exchange or
By releasing Evolution 2.0 (and Evolution Data Server 1.0), Evolution has been split into the frontend 
(called Evolution) the user interacts with, and a backend database (called Evolution Data Server) which 
provides interfaces and functions for other programs to interact with Evolution. For example, Gaim can 
synchronize its data with Evolution Data Server and Evolution's tasks and appointments can be displayed by 
the Gnome clock.

=== How can I change my keyboard shortcuts? ===
A system-wide xml file exists at /usr/share/evolution/2.6/ui/evolution-mail-message.xml (the exact location 
depending on your distribution), if you have permission to edit it with a text editor, you can change the 
values to your preferences by adding accel clauses of the form accel="*Control*x"
Of course it would be nice to have a graphical interface to change this (and to not have to edit the xml 
file), but at the moment this cannot be done for technical reasons (for the programmers: bonobo-ui would 
have to be replaced).

=== Is there a way to move the icons around on my toolbar? ===
You could try editing the XML files in ${prefix}/share/evolution/VER/ui/ and re-arrange them there (VER is 
the Evolution version number). There is no other way to do this, sorry.

=== How can I decide to show only text, only icons or text and icons in my toolbar? ===
This is a Gnome wide setting. Either you can edit it either by using the gnome-control-center or by editing 
the GConf key /desktop/gnome/interface/toolbar_style.

=== Why is there no "Edit | Plugins" menu? ===
It seems like you are using a distribution which provides a seperate package for the plugins, e.g. for 
Debian or Ubuntu, you have to install the package "evolution-plugins".

== Releases and Downloads ==

=== Which Evolution version should i use? ===
Even numbers after the dot (e.g. 2.8) are stable releases, odd numbers (e.g. 2.9) are unstable development 
If you just want the program to work and to be reliable, use the latest stable release.
If you want to help the developers finding bugs and like to watch the development of new features, try the 
unstable version at your own risk.

=== Does a version for Apple(R,TM,C,whatever) Mac OS(R,TM,C,whatever) exist? ===
An Evolution 2.6 installer for MacOS X 10.3 and 10.4 is available from the Novell Forge site at
The current binary is available at
Downloading and extracting the above archive will give an installer. Once you install using this installer, 
there will be a launch_evolution that will be created under /opt/gnome-2.14/bin. Use this to launch 
Once installed there will be a README that will be copied to /opt/gnome-2.14/bin directory. You are 
STRONGLY advised to read it if you want to configure an exchange account.
Please note that Novell does not provide official support or maintenance for this port.

=== Does a version for Microsoft(R,TM,C,whatever) Windows(R,TM,C,whatever) exist? ===
Binaries for the "normal" 32-bit Windows are available on the Gnome FTP site at Please note that Novell does not provide official 
support or maintenance for this port.
Mark Pinto wrote an end-user-friendly all-in-one installer which is currently available at

=== Where can i get Evolution for Sun(R,TM,C,whatever) Solaris(R,TM,C,whatever)? ===
Packages are available at

=== Where can I find help to compile Evolution from source? ===
Take a look at the Wiki page.

=== Is there an easy way to set up Evolution's configuration information on many computers? ===
In the hope of automating mass deployments of Evolution, Evolution GConf Tools were written. A tarball is 
available at, also see Evolution_2fGConfTools for more information.
The Exchange plugin will be included in this package, after has been fixed.

== Starting Evolution ==

=== Am I forced to set up an email account when i start Evolution for the first time? ===
You must set up an email account when you start Evolution for the first time, it is not possible to only 
use the calendar, tasks and/or contacts, and it is not planned to change that (see

=== How can I open up an email composer window from shell/console/terminal prompt/commandline? ===
The syntax for writing an email is for example
 evolution mailto:recipient example com?\&subject=bla\&attach=/home/joe/file.jpg
Make sure you escape & by using a \ in front of it.

=== Is it possible to open up a specific mail in the Inbox from the command line? ===
Yes, but it is a hack, and therefore not a long term supported interface. So please inform us if this does 
not work anymore... ;-)
For the local inbox, do something like
 evolution "email://local local/Inbox;uid=1.
There is no way to find the UID of the message though.
For other mail accounts you use the account ID from the accounts list. There is no supported way to find 
this either, e.g.
 evolution "email://abcdefxwy host foo/Inbox;uid=12.

=== Why can Evolution not be started from KDE, but from Gnome? ===
Evolution is a Gnome application and should normally work perfectly under KDE if you have the required 
Gnome libraries installed.
If you start Evolution under KDE from shell/console/terminal prompt/commandline and get errors about 
QPixmap and QPainter, it is very likely a theme problem. Try to not use gtk-qt, try a different theme under 

= Interoperability =

Questions regarding where Evolution stores its data and how to backup Evolution, importing and exporting 
data from/to other programs, syncing data between Evolution and handheld devices/PDAs, and also desktop 
integration (setting the preferred browser and launching evolution from a browser).

=== Where does Evolution store my data? ===
Evolution stores your data in $HOME/.evolution/, your account settings in $HOME/.gconf/apps/evolution and 
your passwords in $HOME/.gnome2_private/Evolution. The passwords are not stored encrypted, just base64 
encoded. SSL Certificates are stored in $HOME/.camel_certs, and if Evolution crashed while you were writing 
an email, there could even be a file $HOME/.evolution-composer.autosave-123456 (where 123456 is some 

=== How can I completely backup evolution? ===
First of all, shut Evolution and its background processes (Evolution Data Server, Evolution Alarm Notify) 
completly down by using evolution --force-shutdown so no information gets lost/altered when backing up.
Make sure you are not running gconf (by ps ax | grep gconf for example; you normally have to leave gnome 
for that and then run gconftool-2 --shutdown).
Then, if you are in the home directory (if not, use cd ~), you can easily create a compressed file by using 
the command tar -cvzf $HOME/evolution-backup.tar.gz $HOME/.evolution $HOME/.gconf/apps/evolution 
$HOME/.gnome2_private/Evolution $HOME/.camel_certs and can log in back to Gnome. 
$HOME/evolution-backup.tar.gz is the place and the name of the compressed backup file. This also keeps file 
Assuming that the backup file is located in your home directory and you are also in the home directory (if 
not, use cd ~), you can extract that compressed file by running the command tar -xvzf 
Make sure Evolution and Gconf were shutdown before (see above).

=== How can I transfer all my Evolution data between computers/to a new partition/to a new computer? ===
Make sure you haven't started Evolution on the new computer/new partition yet.
First of all, shut Evolution and its background processes (Evolution Data Server, Evolution Alarm Notify) 
completly down by using evolution --force-shutdown.
Then copy the contents of $HOME/.evolution/, $HOME/.gnome2_private/Evolution, $HOME/.camel_certs.
Then dump your Evolution settings stored in GConf by running gconftool-2 --dump /apps/evolution > 
some-file.xml where some-file.xml is the name of the file the information is written to.
On the new computer, make sure you are not running gconf (by ps ax | grep gconf for example; you normally 
have to leave gnome for that and then run gconftool-2 --shutdown).
Then import those settings by running gconftool-2 --load some-file.xml and log in to gnome again.

=== How can I set the default browser in Evolution? ===
The action taken when clicking a link in any Gnome application is a Gnome wide setting. Evolution will just 
do the same as every other Gnome application.
In order to change this behavior, the Gnome settings are the place to go: Open "Gnome Control Center > 
Preferred Applications > Web Browser"; or simply run gnome-default-applications-properties.
If you do not have gnome-control-center installed, for example because you are not using the entire Gnome 
environment, you can also set your default browser by using gconftool:
====Setting the default browser using gconftool (Gnome 2.0/2.2)====
You will need GConf (and the gconf daemon running) to set this. If you do '''not''' have the Gnome Control 
Center installed, there is a way to set this using GConf directly:
See which values are stored in that sub-tree. Save the output to a file, so you can revert to those 
       gconftool-2 -R /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/unknown
       command = mozilla %s
       need-terminal = false
       enabled = true
Now, enter all those values by running the following commands:
      gconftool-2 --set --type=string /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/unknown/command 'mozilla %s'
      gconftool-2 --set --type=bool /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/unknown/need-terminal false
      gconftool-2 --set --type=bool /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/unknown/enabled true
====Setting the default browser using gconftool (Gnome 2.4 or later)====
This is basically the as above, just some GConf key change: The relevant key on Gnome 2.4 has changed, but 
is pretty much similar.
Simply substitute unknown by http, especially in the commands to set the values.
Also, the "https" branch may be useful. However, this is *not* set using the "Gnome control 
center"/gnome-default-applications-properties method mentioned above.

=== How can I launch Evolution from my browser when I click on an email link? ===
Use evolution %r in your browser's preferences to start evolution. If you use mozilla, we recommend to get 
the Mozex extension at

=== To which file formats can i export my calendars and tasks? ===
Since Evolution 2.2, ICS (ICalendar format), CSV and RDF are supported. Right-click on the calendar (or the 
task list) you want to save and choose "Save to Disk" from the context menu.

=== To which file formats can i export my contacts? ===
Currently there is only one (not very intuitive) way to export the contacts: Choose "Select all" and then 
"Save as Vcard".

=== Why does evolution-addressbook-export not work? ===
This shell command has been broken (see if you are 
interested in its history). As a workaround for Evolution 1.4, start and go to "Tools/Data 
sources etc.". In the general tab, fill in <Name> with any name (e.g. 'test'), under <database type> select 
'address book' from the list, under <data source url> select 'evolution address book' from the list. Now go 
to the Tables tab, check off the tables you want to see and hit Apply/OK to close.
In an document, hit F4 to open the Data Sources window and you should see your contacts, now 
select and drag them into your document.
This workaround does not work for Evolution 2.0 and 2.2. 1.1.x is unable to read Evo 2.x 
address books, because OOo is looking in the wrong place. According to the bug report at, it should be fixed in 2.0.1.
Simply running evolution-addressbook-export does not work, you have to enter/go to the directory first 
where evolution-addressbook-export is located. You can find evolution-addressbook-export by using the 
command locate evolution-addressbook-export, if you have locate installed on your computer.

=== How can I import my emails from KMail to Evolution? ===
If your KMail folders are set to MBox, you can apparently import them one folder at a time by using 
"Import" in the "File" menu or just by copying them from the KMail location to the Evolution location. It 
seems that they were detected as deleted, so you cannot see them. You have to unhide deleted files in the 
"View" menu and continue from there.
If your KMail folders are set to Maildir, set up a mail account in Evolution (a bogus account) and select 
server type as maildir and point to the appropriate folders.
You can also find a script for exporting mail from kmail to Evolution at

=== How can I import my contacts from Mozilla to Evolution? ===
There is a script for exporting Mozilla contacts to Evolution at

=== How can I migrate my mail from Outlook to Evolution? ===
The solution from Novell's Evolution documentation:
Another solution is to use an IMAP server as a temporary repository:
- Create an IMAP account somewhere with sufficient space for all the mail that will be migrated and a 
comfortable transfer speed.
- Open that IMAP account in Outlook.
- Copy all the mail from Outlook's .pst folders to the IMAP account. The whole folder tree can move with 
just one drag and drop action.
- Close Outlook, open Evolution.
- Open the IMAP account in Evolution.
- Keep the mail in the IMAP account or do whatever you want with it within Evolution.

=== How can I import my contacts from Outlook to Evolution? ===
A Phyton scriptexists for this at
Another way to do this is to install Mozilla Thunderbird and get it to import the contacts from the Outlook 
.pst file and then to export them as LDIF to import it into Evolution.
There is also a vCard/VCF to Thunderbird LDIF conversion tool available at
You can also export to a csv file in Outlook and then use the csv2vcard utility that is shipped with 
At there is also a pretty interesting application to convert from Outlook to 
Evolution generally

=== How can I import .NK2 files?
A utility to convert NK2 files to CSV format is available at Using this tool, 
or any other tools which can convert N2K files to CSV/LDIF/VCARD formats, you can import the data into 
Evolution. CSV import is supported since Evolution 2.6.

== Syncing ==

=== Can I synchronize my Evolution contacts and Gaim? ===
Yes, it is possible since Evolution 2.2. Make sure you have enabled the plugin "Automatic contacts" by 
going to "Edit | Plugins". Then go to "Edit | Preferences | Mail Preferences | Automatic Contacts | Instant 
Messaging Contacts" and change your preferences.

=== Can I synchronize Evolution with a Kolab2 server? ===
There is a small Ruby hack available that will (two-way) sync the Evolution calendar and contacts against a 
Kolab2 server at .

= Evolution Exchange (formerly known as Connector) =
Questions regarding problems with Evolution Exchange (Connector).

== Why can't I connect to Exchange? ==
First of all, make sure the package "Evolution Exchange" is installed beside Evolution.
Make sure the "Exchange plugin" is enabled under "Edit | Plugins".
Also, Evolution Exchange only supports Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003 with OWA turned on (for WebDAV access). 
If you would like to connect to an Exchange 5.5, 2000 or 2003 server via MAPI (as would
Outlook), get the Evolution Brutus Plugin at Evolution 
Brutus supports complete access to your Exchange mail account, read access to your Exchange Calendar and 
read access to your Exchange Tasks.
If this still does not work, make sure you use "domain\user" and not "domain/user" in the "Evolution 
Account Editor > Windows Username".

== Where can i add the user name and the OWA URL in the setup dialog?
If you do not see any fields to enter your user name and the OWA URL, most likely the Exchange plugin is 
not enabled. Please enable it (go to "Edit | Plugins") and try to create the account.
You will see the username and OWA URL fields. And you will be able to proceed, once you authenticate.

== How can I access other users' Exchange calendars? ==
Evolution Exchange supports viewing other user's folders of all types.
In Evolution 2.4 or later, there should be a menu item called "Subscribe to other user's Calendar", under 
the "File" option in the Calendar component.
In Evolution 2.2, go to Exchange view and subscribe to the other user's folder ("Actions > Subscribe to 
other user's folder"), then go to the particular view to access the folder you have subscribed to.
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