How many times have you migrated from one Linux box to another, only to say goodbye to your email and knowing you were going to have to set your email client up all over again. Oh sure you could tar up that ~/.evolution directory and hope that it worked. Most likely you would wind up with a train wreck of a folder system and you would still wind up having to re-configure all of those email accounts and calendars all over again.
It doesn't have to be that way. The Evolution groupware suite has a built in backup/restore system that will amaze you how how well (and quickly) it works. We're not talking about the time consuming back up and restore of Outlook PST files. It doesn't matter how large your Evolution folders have grown, this backup/restore is fast and painless. And in this article, I am going to show you just how easy this task is.
It should be fairly safe to assume that you will backing up and restoring from and to the same release of Evolution. I have not tested this, but you might be safe to do so only if the releases are not far apart. To be safe, however, you should make sure both source and target are of the same release. You will also have to have the means with which to copy files back and forth. If you are restoring to a new machine it would be safe to say that you have either placed these files on a backup drive. This article will also assume you have not already set up Evolution. You can restore over a currently configured Evolution, but we don't want to do that. With that said, let's begin the backup/restore.
If you open up Evolution click on File > Backup Settings. When you do this a new window will open asking you where to save the file and what name to give the file. The default filename is evolution-backup.tar.gz. If you do change the name, make sure you do not change the extension .tar.gz as that is the extension the Evolution restore system will need to see.
Believe it or not, that is all you need to do for the restore. The size of your Evolution folders will determine how long the backup process will take. I'm fairly confident you will be surprised how quickly this backs up.
Now for the fun. The restore process is just as simple. When you fire up Evolution for the first time you will see the Welcome window. After the first Welcome screen (just click Forward to get past that) you will see the only screen you need for the restore (see Figure 1).
The first step is to check the box for Restore Evolution from backup file. Once you have done that click the Folder button and then navigate to where you have your evolution-backup.tar.gz file saved. Once you have located that file click Apply and the restoration will commence.
When the restore is complete the only thing you will need to do is to enter your email password(s) in order to download the mail you've missed during the process.
If, like me, you use scripts for your signature, you will have to make sure those scripts are on the new machine (as well as in the same place).
The backup/restore of the Evolution groupware suite is one of the most painless I have come across. It's fast, reliable, and requires very little work.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.