Restoring your Evolution configuration from backup

I regularly reformat my laptop. I do this when the latest Ubuntu release has major changes, such as the KDE4 upgrade and moving to ext4. I also do it after a change (or failure) of hard drive. This last time was the first time since switching to Evolution as my mail client. Imagine my surprise when I learned that just copying ~/.evolution wasn’t enough.

In fact, it seemed to do nothing at all except copy my local mail folders. None of my email accounts were configured, or my settings. It turns out that all of the important settings are stored in gconf, everybody’s favourite bad-idea-from-Windows. The solution was simple:

cd /path/to/backup/directory
killall /usr/lib/libgconf2-4/gconfd-2
rsync -av --delete .evolution/ ~tyler/.evolution/
rsync -av --delete .gconf/apps/evolution/ ~/.gconf/apps/evolution/

That restored everything, including settings.

Now if only the Thunderbird people would develop a decent addressbook editor (it really is a pig of late-90’s design), I could move.



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