Mail with Evolution

Using Evolution as a Mail Client

Tutorial Level: Beginner

Mail clients are a great tool for just about everyone. They are much more convenient than repeatedly logging into webmail servers such as Yahoo or Gmail. A Mail client is simply a program you install on your system that takes your mail from your email address and places them directly on your computer. One of the most popular client is Mozilla Thunderbird. Fortunately, if you are using Gnome as your desktop environment, there is no need to download a mail client because Gnome has a program called Evolution built in. Because there is no program to download and install, the first step is connecting the mail server to obtain your emails.

Starting the Program

First we must open the program. There are two ways to do this: the first though your terminal and the other through the Application Browser. There is no real distinct difference between either method, but in a terminal window, you can monitor the output of Evolution. To open Evolution in the terminal, open a new terminal window and enter su and enter the root password. Now that we have root permissions, enter…


The second method, through the application browser can be open through two methods in itself. For the first, click the Computer button on the bottom left of the screen and Evolution will be the first program (in the left column) under Favorite Applications. The other way to open the application is by hitting Alt+F2 and when a search field appears, enter Evolution. All three methods will bring up a window entitled Evolution Setup Assistant, since this is the first we are using the program.

Setting up an Account

The first page will be a welcome screen: feel free to read it, and when you are done, click the Forward button. The next window is your information page. In the first field, enter your name as you want it to be seen. in the second field, enter your email address. Under Additional Information, you can add an organization and reply-to (like a call-back number on a phone), but check to see if the checkbox is selected for Make this my default account. After you complete this, hit the Forward button again.

For the next few steps, I will use Optimum Online’s server information as an example. The next page you will have a dropdown prompting you for a server type. Since Optonline uses a POP (Post Office Protocol), I will select the option for POP. Once we enter a server type, more fields will appear. Most mail servers have the website URL with the prefix mail. in front of it. For example: Optimum Online’s mail server is…

Since I currently use Optonline, I would enter this server into the server field. The next field requests your username. This is the name you would use to login if you were on your email provider’s website. Commonly, this is the first part of your email address ( Evolution will already enter this value into the field for you when you enter your email on the username/email page. Next, set the encryption type. I do not use an encryption, so I would leave it as is. Then enter the authentication type. Most servers use a password and this will be the default value. If you want your password to be remembered on your computer so you don’t have to enter it each time you open Evolution, check the Remember password checkbox.

The next page is the configuration for Evolution. The first option will check automatically for mail once in the amount of time you provide. I would suggest you check this box so you don’t have to repeatedly hit the Get Mail button. Ten minutes is a good amount of time, so you can keep the default. The next options are for deleting mail off the server. I personally check the second box because this will remove the message off the mail server after a certain amount of days, rather than having hundreds of messages left on the mail server and possibly reaching my size limit. I set the number of days to 2, but you can set it however you see fit.

The following page is for setting up the outgoing mail server information. The first field leave as SMTP, unless you are sure that you do not use a SMTP server. For the server, enter the outgoing server for your mail provider. Many times, this is the same as your incoming server name that you entered before. If your provider requires you to login to access your email, keep the Server requires authentication box checked. If you are using a secure connection, set it in the dropdown menu. Lastly, enter your username (again, most likely the first part of your email address) and you can check the Remember password box if you don’t want to enter your password each time you send an email.

The next page will prompt you for the name of your account. You can enter any name you want: only you will see this, as it only appears under the account column in Evolution. Hit Forward and then set your timezone. Instead of search the long list of timezone locations, you can click on one of the red dots on the map closest to your own location in the world to quickly set your timezone. Once you have your proper timezone, continue to the next page.

This is the final page. If you are not sure about one of your settings or want to change a setting, feel free to hit the Back button. If you are satisfied by the settings you entered, hit the Apply button. Congratulations, you have now finished creating an Evolution account!

Using Evolution for Mail

Evolution is not just a mail client, but a personal organizer. It have the capability to store Tasks, Memos, Appointments and tuns of other information. For now, we are concerned with is the mail section. To get new mail, simply click on the Get Mail button in the top left of the window. To create a new message, click the New button (not the down arrow). The keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl+N. The last part of the mail client is the Contacts tab. To view you contacts, click the Contacts button on the button left of the window. Once in the contacts tab, click the New button to create a new contact.

One option that you can change pertaining to emails is when images are shown. Some people would rather not have images loaded in HTML emails, but for others that want images loaded, Evolution has an option for this. Go to the Edit tab on the top of the window and click Preferences. In Preferences window, click Mail Preferences in the left column (third option down). Once there, click the HTML Mail tab at the top and the second section on this page, under Loading Images, will be the image loading preferences. There are also countless number of other options in Evolution, but these are the basics for creating an account and getting started with Gnome’s Mail Client: Evolution.


~ by unseenghost on 1 Jun 2008.

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