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andreasummerfield 03-12-2011 01:35 PM

Evolution inbox - all messages have suddenly disappeared and aren't in other folders
Hi, last night I was moving an email from my inbox to another folder I had created, when all the other messages in my inbox suddenly disappeared. I have checked all the folders in evolution and tried showing hidden message (from the view menu) while looking in each folder in case I had managed to do something really weird by mistake, but they appear to have vanished. The message I dragged over to the new folder is however there!
The other weird thing is that the trash folder has randomly partially emptied itself at the same time, and it is not set to empty itself on exiting the program.

What have I done and how do I get them back??? I don't care about the trash but need the inbox messages back.

I am not only new to linux but am not in the least bit technically savvy so instructions written for dummys would be really helpful :)

ButterflyMelissa 03-12-2011 01:52 PM


Just out of nosyness :D but...have you set any filters by mistake? Are you in the "right" mail account? Does the key-combo Ctrl-E mean anything to you? If so, you may have expunged all the mail... :o

Evolution keeps all data in /home/<username>/.evolution the dot in front of a name means it is a hidden file, so you need to set the nautilus up in such a way that is can "see" the invisible files: hir "view" - "show hidden files"

Lemme know how it turns to help, but above all...learn too ;)


andreasummerfield 03-13-2011 01:19 AM

Hi Thor

Thanks for your reply. In answer to your questions, no I don't have any filters set; I only have the one email account linked to evolution at this point; and no, CTRL-E means nothing - but expunging does not have an overly promising sound to it! I had all hands off the keyboard at the time, and was using the mouse to drag and drop the email into a folder.
I will have a go at the nautilus thing if you could tell me where it is and how to access it. I assume I just type in details exactly as you have given them?
hir "view" - "show hidden files"


ButterflyMelissa 03-13-2011 03:43 AM

Hello Andrea,

Showing hidden files is super easy. Open the file browser (the "others" :D would call this the explorer) and select "view" from the menu, there you can check the box "show hidden files".
Opening the file browser means clicking on Applications-System Tools-File Browser...

All in all I'm happy you may NOT have expunged your mails, would have been a shame. Just in case (wishful thinking from my part) ... did you make a recent backup? Evolution does cater for this.
If you'd be interested in making a backup (in the event we get to restore your mails), I can suggest this page:

I'll be looking at this thread to follow its progress...


andreasummerfield 03-14-2011 03:02 AM

OK, I have backed up the remains of my email and now plan to make this a regular event. I used to use Thunderbird and was not aware that you could make backups of emails. Thanks for that website, it is now located on my bookmarks menu :)
However, I am beginning to feel rather dense. I cannot for the life of me find the file browser, and even gave in and asked my husband to double check for me (he couldn't find it either)
If I click on applications, the only options I get are accessories, games, graphics, internet, office, science, sound & video, and ubuntu software centre. And under none of these options is system tools or file browser.
If I open the software centre & search for system tools it tells me I have GNOME desktop utilities installed (cant figure out where, but it is marked with a green tick). If I search for file browser it seems there is something called standalone GNU info documentation browser installed (along with a couple of other things that make no mention of file browsers).
Is there some basic setting I have wrong, or more software I need to download?
Applications - system tools - file browser - view - hidden files sounds very easy to do if only I could find it!!!


ButterflyMelissa 03-14-2011 04:03 AM

No problem, in the first install, you have to dig a bit...I'll assume you're using gnome, the upper left corner should show a little footprint. Next to it, there should be the word "Applications", if so, click on it. A menu appears, one item should be "system tools", point to that, next, there should be an icon that looks like office drawers, that's the file browser.

I'll keep an eye on this thread to help you on if possible...



repo 03-14-2011 07:13 AM

The file browsers are called

Nautilus or Thunar
You can run nautilius from the terminal, open a terminal and type

Kind regards

andreasummerfield 03-15-2011 04:01 AM

Hi, thats what I thought you meant for me to do from your previous reply. There is a little circle with three dots on the outer edge in the top left hand corner, with the word applications beside it. That is what I clicked on last night, but system tools does not appear on the menu; the only ones that appear are those listed in my last reply - which is why I am really confused and assuming I am somehow missing some vital software in the system :(


ButterflyMelissa 03-15-2011 04:50 AM bad...Ubuntu's menu structure is not engraved in my manual :) I use an other distro. Okay. At any rate, by best guess would be accessories...
Look for something like this

This would be a great time to get to know the menu and find out what you may still need to install.

The Ubuntu software centre is the place to select and install software. But...I'd be very surprised if the file browser would not have been installed bu default...

There is an other way, but you'll have to open the ...console. In my system, that's hidden under the accessories.

Enter this after you've started it up:

nautilus --browser
And the file browser should appear.

At the risk of getting in troubles, this is a picture of what a console could look like this

It's a type-and-hit-enter sort of affair...

Lemme know how this thurns out...


andreasummerfield 03-15-2011 05:11 AM

Still cant find the system tools, but the emails are back!
Thanks so much to both of you!

Repo - I did as you said with the terminal and managed to find the box to check to show hidden files from the view menu that appeared. I have no idea how exactly how I did it, but I have got my emails back after - I think - importing the inbox - each email re-appearing 17 times!

And thanks to Thor, I now have a backup of the recovered items :)

However, I still cant get to system tools, as you will see from my earlier posts. I assume I will need to locate it for some other reason at a later date - do either of you have any other suggestions as to where it could be?


linuxlover.chaitanya 03-15-2011 05:35 AM

For administration menus, you should look into System > Administration.

ButterflyMelissa 03-16-2011 03:01 AM

Hi all,

I see the thread is marked as solved, phew, I'm happy it is. As said in Flanders "a difficult child bearing" (eh, sounds better in Flemmish, but hey ;) )

Glad someone could help out!

Yey team!


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