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How To Back Up Evolution Mail Settings On Linux

Evolution is an excellent mail client, with dozens of features. One of the best features it has is an easy backup feature that lets users export data, rather than needing to create a custom archive to back up for emails, settings and account info.

To create a backup of the Evolution mail settings within the Evolution app, open it up and click the “File” menu. Inside “File,” look for the “Back up evolution data” option and select it. Selecting this option opens up a file browser. This file browser will allow you to save a TarGZ backup of your email data.

After saving your email data, a window that says “Are you sure you want to close Evolution” will appear on the screen. Click the “Close and backup Evolution” button to finish creating your data backup.

Back Up Via Command-line

Though Evolution has an excellent backup system, it’s just a fancy UI that users can use to create a backup of ~/.config and ~/.local. If you dislike the backup system, or maybe find that it doesn’t work, it’s possible to create the same style of backup directly from the Linux terminal. To do it, start by using the following ls commands, and ensure that both ~/.config, and ~/.local have files inside. If not, you must sign in to Evolution.

ls -a ~/.config/evolution
ls -a ~/.local/share/evolution

If running the ls commands above is a success, the backup process can begin. Using the mkdir command, create a new folder to hold all of the Evolution data we will compress.

mkdir -p ~/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup
mkdir -p ~/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup/config
mkdir -p ~/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup/local

Make a copy of  ~/.config/evolution and place it in the new evolution-mail-backup folder on your desktop. Saving this folder will allow you to keep your mail account data intact.

cp -r ~/.config/evolution/ ~/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup/config/

Evolution account settings are in the backup directory on the desktop. Next, make a copy of your email, and everything else that Evolution stores in the ~/.local/share/ folder.

cp -r ~/.local/share/evolution/ ~/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup/local/

With all of the Evolution account data and mail data in the backup directory, it’s time to compress everything. Compressing your backup is critical, as it makes uploading it to cloud storage much faster (and safer). To create an archive, run the following command in a terminal window.

tar -czvf evolution-mail-backup.tar.gz ~/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup/

Let Tar compress your data into a TarGZ file. Keep in mind that compression may take a long time if you have a lot of mail data.

When the compression process finishes, you’ll see evolution-mail-backup.tar.gz on the desktop. Take it and put it somewhere for safekeeping, but be warned that by doing this without encryption, your mail account is vulnerable.

Encrypt Backup With GPG

Your Evolution mail settings backup, regardless of which way it is backed up, is unsafe. To safeguard your backup, install the GPG encryption tool. It’s one of the leading encryption systems for Linux. It’s reliable, and very easy to use, especially when working with single files.

To get GPG on your Linux PC, launch a terminal window and follow the instructions below to get it working on your Linux OS of choice.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install gpg

Debian

sudo apt-get install gpg

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S gnupg

Fedora

sudo dnf install gpg

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install gpg

Generic Linux

All Linux users have access to GPG. If you’re using an obscure Linux distribution, don’t worry. Open up a terminal, search your package manager for “gpg” and install it to use it!

Using GPG

Once the GPG tool is working on your Linux PC, it’s time to create the backup. Launch a terminal window and use the gpg command to create a new encrypted archive of your Evolution mail backup.

Understand that as you create a new GPG encryption of your Evolution mail backup that it is essential to use a secure, secure password.

Note: if you’re unable to come up with a secure, strong password, check out strongpasswordgenerator.com.

Encrypt Evolution Backup

Locate the backup you made with the Evolution email client on your Linux PC. Then, open up a terminal and CD to the directory. In our example, the Evolution backup is on the desktop.

cd ~/Desktop

Execute GPG and encrypt your backup.

gpg -c evolution-backup-*.tar.gz

Encrypt Command-line Backup

Launch a terminal window and CD into the home directory, where the backup archive is.

cd ~/

Using the GPG tool, encrypt your backup.

gpg -c evolution-mail-backup.tar.gz

Restore Evolution Mail Settings Backup via Evolution Backup Tool

Download the Evolution backup GPG file to your Linux PC. Then, open up a terminal and decrypt everything.

gpg evolution-backup-*.tar.gz.gpg

Open Evolution and click “File,” then “Restore Evolution Data.”

Browse for your decrypted TarGZ archive and click the “Open” button to restore your email settings fully.

Restore Backup Via Command-line

Download your Evolution GPG backup and place it in your Documents folder. Then, launch a terminal window and decrypt your backup.

gpg evolution-mail-backup.tar.gz.gpg

Extract the Tar archive.

tar xvf evolution-mail-backup.tar.gz

Move the Evolution files into place.

Note: change username in the command below to your actual username, or you will not be able to use CD.

cd home/username/Desktop/evolution-mail-backup/
cd config
mv evolution/ ~/.config/
cd ..
cd local
mv evolution/ ~/.local/share/

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