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I tried to delete one of them, but it won't go away.

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Could you provide some more info. like the output of the command 'ls /usr/share/applications/evolution*' – aneeshep Jun 16 '11 at 22:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Because each of them has different purpose. As @aneeshep suggested, you can see the real names of .desktop files using Terminal. Or go ahead and open those files in Gedit (drag&drop on Gedit's window).

  • evolution-2.2.desktop is for backward compatibility, normally you don't see it in Applications menu/dash
  • evolution.desktop is the main launcher with Unity integration
  • evolution-mail.desktop (Evolution Mail) is to explicitly launch mail component of Evolution

You can remove them, but they'll be back at the latest with the next Evolution update, not to mention that Evolution will disappear from applications menu and you'll break desktop e-mail integration (like mailto: links support etc.).

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