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Setting up Evolution in Ubuntu Linux

Evolution is Ubuntu’s answer to Microsoft Outlook, which is quick to set up if you have all the information.

After I got my work machine connected to the Microsoft Network and Evolution running on it, I repeated the procedure on my machine at home, partly for fun (not like I’m going to do any work when I’m at home) and partly to test that my own instructions works twice in a row.

So, here’s how to set up Evolution on Ubuntu as your Microsoft Outlook alternative or replacement:

Launch Evolution

The first time you run Evolution, a wizard pops up that will guide you through the process.

Fill out Identity

Read what the wizard tells you and click forward until you reach the Identity box and fill out the information as you would want it to reflect on emails that you send.

Receiving Mail

Click forward until you reach Receiving Mail. Here you do the following:

  • Set the server type as Microsoft Exchange (to be able to share mail, calendars, etc. with everyone else on your network);
  • Fill in your username, which is set up at my workplace to be my network log-on username and password (might be the same or different for you);
  • OWA URL: At first I didn’t know what this was, but a quick Google revealed that it stands for Outlook Web Access, which comes with Microsoft Exchange and enables users to log into their accounts via a web browser. This makes it easy to access your stuff when you’re not in the office and are not set up otherwise. You might have to ask your IT guys about this if you’re not sure what it is. Evolution uses the OWA URL to access your Outlook account;

Receiving Options

Pressing forward brings you to Receiving Options, which is a self-explanatory set of options that you can tweak to your liking.

Once you’re done with that, just click forward until the end and Evolution will launch and present an Outlook’esque application to you and download your first batch of email and if you have, you calendar entries and whatever else you have stored on the Exchange Server.

Depending on your setup, your Outlook stuff should download into Evolution without much hassle. By default (on my machine at least), whatever email Evolution downloads, stays on the server.

I found this quite handy, because while I’m getting used to Ubuntu, I can log back into Windows and still receive my emails and stuff there, where I have filters and rules set up, which directs many specific mails into various folders – and still download the mail there as well.

As I said, I did this on my work machine and at home, and both times it worked out-of-the-box. I do believe having the OWA URL made it a lot easier though.

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