After using Ubuntu since 5.04 I upgraded to 12.04 5 days ago . Then the .evolution folder showed only an empty Tasks folder.

I need to save my mail folder contents (hundreds of emails) but only get errors when I try . Will Mail folders be kept if I remove evolution and re-install? The Contacts and Calender I can rebuild.

I have read many posts and tried starting evolution --offline several times after copying back folders from my .evolution backup with no success. The last attempt showed :

chas@chas-desktop:~$ evolution --offline

** (evolution:5224): CRITICAL **: categories_icon_theme_hack: assertion `filename != NULL && *filename != '\0'' failed

(evolution:5224): evolution-shell-CRITICAL **: shell_settings_pspec_for_key: assertion `schema_name != NULL' failed
Migrating cached data
Migrating config data
Migrating local user data

Now the .evolution folder has disappeared.

Thanks for your attention. Chas

  • You might check my question for some hints: Evolution data migration (on update) missed all but the first “accounts” (mail, addressbook, calendar…) -- I was also migrating from a rather old version (Ubuntu 8.04 => 12.04). Look especially for the folders involved: structures have changed here heavily.
    – Izzy
    Sep 5, 2012 at 17:45
  • Thanks @Mitch I have the old .evolution folder contents on a flash disk but am not skilled to write or use your script. I will search some more.
    – ChasI
    Sep 6, 2012 at 16:54
  • Close this question now. I found all my old emails and decided to rebuild my address books from received mail.
    – ChasI
    Oct 6, 2012 at 7:59

1 Answer 1


had similar issue, tried to backup my evoluion mail in ubuntu 12.04 via command line, anyway it looks like the folders have changed, therefore .evolution folder is no longer used as described in this post

therefore new location is: .local/share/evolution

I've created a script which currently backups my evolution mail, below are the commands to use if you wish to backup evolution mail via command line. By the way you may also run backup from Evolution itself.

$ notify-send 'Evolution backup started' 'Do not run Evolution now'

$ gconftool-2 --shutdown
$ evolution --force-shutdown
$ cd
$ tar -cvzf evolution-backup.tar.gz .local/share/evolution .gconf/apps/evolution

$ notify-send 'Evolution backup completed' 'You may run Evolution now'

hope this helps

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