I just tried to set up evolution with the MAPI plugin to connect to my Exchange Server 2007, as is described in this link -> https://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/370590-connect-evolution-to-an-exchange-server.

this is did not perform very well, it kept freezing and could not send a message, although it did retrieve a lot of info from the server, it just wasn't doing the job.

I am going to try Thunderbird now, with SMPT. Maybe it will work.

What have you all had the best luck with, as far as an email client for Microsoft exchange server 2007?

Thanks a lot!!

** UPDATE **

So I set up Thunderbird. The setup wizard automatically detected my server settings and this worked well for retrieving the information from the server (like inbox and custom folders). The sending didn't work by at first. There was a problem with the SMTP authentication. I tried each authentication method until I was successful sending a message. The one that worked was NTLM.

Thanks for the good tips for this problem!

** UPDATE **

It has been a few days using Thunderbird. It seemed like it was working at first, but now I see that it is not performing very well. Every time the program runs, it hangs on "bringing inbox up to date". Also when you first open the program, it seems to retrieve the new email messages correctly, but after the program is opened, it hangs and will not get new messages that have been sent since opening the program... back to the drawing board.


3 Answers 3


A Quick Guide to Evolution Bug Hunting

Discover What Causes the Bug

Starting Evolution from your terminal with some special environment variables causes Evolution to display more information on what it is currently doing.

The following is a list of variables and what each one tells Evolution to do:

    CAMEL_DEBUG=all — for debugging email problems
    CAMEL_DEBUG=gpg — for debugging email problems with GPG encryption
    CALDAV_DEBUG=all — for debugging problems with CalDav calendars
    WEBCAL_DEBUG=1 — for debugging problems with read-only Web calendars
    ALARMS_DEBUG=1 — for debugging problems with Calendar reminders/alarms
Address books
    WEBDAV_DEBUG=1 — for debugging problems with WEBDAV address books
    LDAP_DEBUG=1 — for LDAP addressbooks (but combined with running ${install_prefix}/libexec/e-addressbook-factory on a console instead of Evolution itself)
    GOOGLE_BACKEND_DEBUG=1 — for debugging problems with Google Contacts addressbooks (but combined with running ${install_prefix}/libexec/e-addressbook-factory on a console instead of Evolution itself)
Microsoft Exchange accounts
    Exchange MAPI account type
        MAPI_DEBUG=1 — used for basic debugging of Exchange MAPI support inside of the evolution-mapi package
        LIBMAPI_DEBUG=15 — also used for debugging Exchange MAPI support but way more powerful. Debugs the raw communication by passing the variable also to underlying libmapi and samba4 libraries
    Exchange EWS account type
        EWS_DEBUG=1 — used for debugging Exchange EWS support: Prints each request and response
        EWS_DEBUG=2 — Same as #1 plus all bodies
    Microsoft Exchange account type
        E2K_DEBUG=1 — used for debugging classical Exchange support: Print each request and response
        E2K_DEBUG=2 — Same as #1 plus all request and response headers
        E2K_DEBUG=3 — Same as #2 plus bodies (except text/html)
        E2K_DEBUG=4 — Same as #3 plus global catalog debug
        E2K_DEBUG=5 — Same as #4 plus text/html bodies too
Novell GroupWise accounts
    GROUPWISE_DEBUG=1 — used for debugging GroupWise support

It's easy to start Evolution with custom variables. One would simply run something like the following:

CAMEL_DEBUG=all evolution >& evo.log

About Evolution and Microsoft Exchange Server

  1. Choosing the right connector
  2. Microsoft Exchange account settings

This Ubuntuforums thread explains one way to get an Ubuntu mail client to work with Exchange. I was using this successfully, but after some changes in my company domain I couldn't keep it working, despite several attempts. Eventually, I set up Evolution to use the SMTP and POP protocols for the servers in the company.

After a while I noticed that my messages doesn't look well-formatted on computers using Microsoft Outlook, so I changed to Thunderbird to avoid formatting problems with the rest of the Windows users.

You could also follow these instructions (blog post from 2010). It recommends using the lightning exchange plugin for Thunderbird (this link is for the current successor project ; the original x-data plugin is linked from the blog page).

The best way to go seems to be Evolution if you don't care a lot about message formatting (bold, quote and things like that).


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  • Your mail does not pass through any 3rd party servers - strictly between you and your server.
  • Uses Microsoft’s EWS protocol - works with Exchange as it should.

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