[sf-lug] evolution problem on ubuntu 12.04.2

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jul 24 19:07:55 PDT 2013

Quoting Jim Stockford (jim at systemateka.com):

>     Yesterday I upgraded from Ubuntu 10.04 to 
> Ubuntu 12.04.2 and have problems. 
>     Most important to me is my email. On the 
> 10.04 host I had about 7GB in a fairly complex 
> directory tree. On the 12.04 host Evolution 
> presents my email in the directories I recall, 
> but it reports an error every time I send email: 
> Failed to append to
> mbox:///home/jim/.local/share/evolution/mail/local#Sent: Invalid folder

Looked for that on the Evolution FAQ, and lo!


  Error message "Failed to append to..." after sending message

  If the error message "Your message was sent, but an error occurred
  during post-processing. The reported error was "Failed to append to
  mbox:///home/user/.local/share/evolution/mail/local#Sent: Cannot get
  folder 'Sent': folder does not exist. Appending to local 'Sent' folder
  instead."." is shown, you can fix the problem by editing your default
  folder settings:

  Edit > Preferences > Mail Accounts > Edit > Defaults > Folder for sent

  This bug is fixed in Evolution versions higher than 3.0.2 (stable
  series) and 3.1.3 (unstable development series). If this is not the
  case, please add a comment to the corresponding bug report. 

That's a bit vague, but probably means that Evolution has misremembered
the correct directory path or something like that.


At the command line, go to ~/.local/share/evolution/mail/local ahd look
around.  According to
, Evolution should have a bunch of subdirs under
~/.local/share/evolution/mail/local .  Each such subdir is parsed as an 
Evolution 'folder' of the same name.  There should be in each subdir a
number of mail-metadata files and one big ASCII file named the same as
the subdir itself.

So, for example, if there's supposed to be an Evolution 'folder' called
Sent, then there should be a ~/.local/share/evolution/mail/local/Sent/
subdir, containing:


In that example, file 'Sent' would be the mbox file.  You could check
that by looking at it using the mutt mailer (but quit Evolution first),
opened read-only, to see if it's a valid mbox:

mutt -R -f ~/.local/share/evolution/mail/local/Sent/Sent

That is often my first concern:  Making sure all the mbox data are still
there.  (That and your address box are the crown jewels.  Anything else
can be thrown away and rebuilt.)  In fact, were it I, I'd make a safety
backup of those.

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