I would like to use my Evolution package on a laptop. To do this I used Evolution to make a backup copy to a memory stick and attempted to use that memory stick from the laptop, in Evolution to do a restore.

The laptop (Ubuntu 11.10) version of Evolution doe not recognize the file. The error message is

Invalid Evolution back up file

I checked further and the evolution backup file has zero bites?


Looks like the backup file was not saved correctly on the USB pen.

Try to make a new one and check the size of it or if possible use another USB pen, when broken they have a tendency to corrupt files. Make sure to eject the drive before removing it from the computer.


If backup doesn't work, as a last resort you could just copy the data folders to the laptop (provided you want to do a fresh setup there with the data from the other machine). To do so:


  1. make sure Evolution is closed, and it's server processes are shut down
  2. make an archive of the following folders:
    • ~/.local/share/evolution
    • ~/.gconf/apps/evolution
    • ~/.config/evolution
  3. copy the archive to the laptop


  1. make sure Evolution is closed, and it's server processes are shut down
  2. remove/empty/move above mentioned directories if they exist
  3. unpack your archive to bring the folders in position
  4. startup Evolution again

Example syntax to create the archive:

cd ~
tar czf my-evo-backup.tar.gz ~/.local/share/evolution ~/.gconf/apps/evolution ~/.config/evolution

Example to unpack -- provided the archive resides in your home directory:

cd ~
tar xzf my-evo-backup.tar.gz

Remark: This way it is even possible to "revive" your evolution data from a crashed machine (while the disk is readable) to your new installation, though you may be unable to fire up Evolution on the old installation to create a backup. That's what I had to do recently...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.