I was notified of some updates today, but when I looked at the list I saw that they were all about evolution-data-server and evolution-data-server-common. My first thought was that "I don't use evolution at all, so why is this stuff on my machine?"

I then went into Synaptic to purge all things evolution and to my dismay, removing the evolution-data-server-common has the side effect of removing all the Gnome applets, indicators, and several other useful features.

Whats up with that? Honestly...

  • Won't that be more of a Gnome issue than one related to Ubuntu? But, yes, when Ubuntu moved to Thunderbird, there was a time I had both Thunderbird and Evolution since I moved from 11.04 to 11.10 by doing an upgrade rather than a clean install. I then took out both but removing the two you mention would have consequences and so they remain. Plus, this time I did a clean install to get 12.04 and they're still there. – user25656 May 9 '12 at 15:05
  • This could be useful [How Do I Completely Remove Evolution][1] [1]: askubuntu.com/questions/315640/… – Igor Barinov Aug 31 '17 at 2:58

That is because many applications can depend on evolution. They have export to evolution, import, or use it as backend. Evolution is Gnome's default PIM data storage center. Unfortunately, for binary distro, that mean that evolution library must be present, or some of such applications will crash. Everything depending on everything is one of the main flaws of binary package distro, like Ubuntu, when compared to source-based, like Gentoo. In Gentoo the problem is addresed differently. Don't try to delete it anyways, cause if it works now, it may be will not after some updates. Are you really so confined in space? Just delete it from menu and forget. By the way, default clock widget in right corner used to depend on evolution too.


It's a little late, I know, but evolution-data-server is distinct from Evolution the mail client. I had the same wtf moment when I went to install a Gnome app when I don't use Gnome as my DE. A quick search revealed their git repo with this:

The Evolution Data Server package provides a unified backend for programs that work with contacts, tasks, and calendar information. It was originally developed for Evolution (hence the name), but is now used by other packages as well.



I agree this is annoying, and looks like it's fixed for Raring. See #8 on launchpad

This bug was fixed in the package gnome-shell - 3.6.1-3ubuntu2

gnome-shell (3.6.1-3ubuntu2) raring; urgency=low

  • Rebuild against new mutter
    -- Jeremy Bicha Thu, 08 Nov 2012 10:47:35 -0500 Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
    status: Triaged → Fix Released

(I haven't tested it though).

  • 1
    No. The package is still essential in Ubuntu 17.10, or else these packages chrome-gnome-shell evolution-data-server gdm3 gnome-session gnome-session-wayland gnome-shell gnome-shell-extensions ubuntu-session have to be removed. – funicorn Dec 25 '17 at 16:22

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