Evolution – Exchange the Sand Dune Edition

Written by James McDonald

May 4, 2010

Evolution at least the Exchange integration component is so buggy you could drive it on sand dunes.

Every time I update Ubuntu I try the default mail application. For Ubuntu this is Evolution. Call me optimistic but as time progresses I would hope that basic integration problems would be resolved.

Not with Evolution. Check this bug https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=435371 1st entry 2007 and I’ve tested it against Exchange 2003 for several years and the problem still exists so 3 yrs same problem.

The work-a-round do a

evolution --force-shutdown # to shut down all the evol. components.
 rm -rf  ~/.evolution/exchange
# which will wipe out your local cache and then do a resynch. If you have a gig of mail re-synching is tedious.
# Excellent NOT

Even when the Evolution inbox is in synch with the Exchange server you still have to battle with Evolution components inexplicably dying mid process and requiring a “evolution –force-shutdown” and restart to get it talking again… Sigh.

When you aren’t sure your mail client is accurately reflecting the contents of you server inbox you tend to go elsewhere, so it’s back to the reduced functionality of Outlook Web Access via Firefox.

Hopefully in another 6 months Evolution will have progressed to include stable Exchange Integration.


  1. Brad @ BitBot Software

    Your main problem in this story is Exchange 🙂

    Have you considered using Zimbra? [http://www.zimbra.com/] I’d be interested in your thoughts given your IT experience is different to mine.

    • james

      Yes I have used the Zimbra client in the past… I think it was a little resource hungry from and of memory (but what Java based app isn’t). It also requires you turn the IMAP component on, on the Exchange server, in order to connect. Evolution uses HTTP methods via the Outlook Web Access URL.

      But my point regarding Evolution is, if you are going to code something that is supposed to integrate with an incumbent product you should code for all the quirks and make your integration product Just Work™


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