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Old 07-24-2018, 06:40 PM   #1
SimonDevine
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Evolution Data across Multiple Distros


I am retired with time on my hands so wish to experiment.

I have 6 different installations, Slackware 14.2, Kubuntu 14, Mint 17 (KDE), Debian 8.10, Kubuntu 18, Slackware 14.2 with Trinity.

Each is on its own partition, and I boot from LILO. Slack 14.2 is my main distro (1st in LILO Menu)

I would like to run Evolution on each distro while using the Data Files from my first distro.

I have tried with various Directory Pointers but still not quite there.

The Gnome website specifies where the data and configuration files reside but there are entries in some of the Config files which are specific for each install of Evolution.

https://help.gnome.org/users/evoluti...torage.html.en

Two Questions arise:-

1. Are there entries in the binary data files which cannot be modified or which need to be altered?

2. Has anyone ever been successful with such an undertaking and, if so, how did you do it?

Why not try something is my view. It might be useful for someone one day at work or at home.

Last edited by SimonDevine; 07-24-2018 at 06:45 PM.
 
Old 07-24-2018, 07:55 PM   #2
frankbell
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Sharing ~/ among different distros in a multiboot environment is generally not a good idea. There are too many changes of conflicts among the configuration files.

I did dig up an old LQ thread that might be helpful: https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...on-4175495165/
 
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:30 PM   #3
SimonDevine
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Oh yes, I know that sharing ~/ is a VERY bad idea.

Tried the Symbolic Link ploy but the 'sources' directory is within another so a SymLink can end up being circular.

What I need to know is whether Evolution should be configured on each distro first with IMAP so that a 'numeric_file@hostname' file is created for each Evolution on each distro then the next steps if possible. Each of my distros has its own hostname, 'SimonSlack, 'Simon-Debian', 'Simon-Mint' etc. which adds to this conundrum

I know I could just use IMAP elsewhere but felt like a challenge.
 
Old 07-24-2018, 08:30 PM   #4
abga
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I was also about to suggest to use symlinks or bind mounts exclusively for the directories and files described here:
https://help.gnome.org/users/evoluti...torage.html.en
and not for the whole /home/user/ directory !
However, as frankbell advised, there could be conflicts between the Evolution version/configuration/environment from the different distros. Running the same Evolution version on all distros and maybe the same user might be a prerequisite for consistency. I guess it would be safer to address the Evolution devs directly and ask if the profile is portable before you start your work on it.
You might like the idea to have a small partition dedicated for the Evolution configuration data (folders and files) and then in every distro mount it on boot time and create the symlinks/bind mounts through the system init scripts pointing to the /home/user directory. Pay attention to the user rights for the created symlinks / bind mounts. You could also do this through NFS and store the actual Evolution files&folders on an external system.
Just some references on symlinks & bind mounts:
https://unix.stackexchange.com/quest...rent-directory
https://unix.stackexchange.com/quest...s-a-bind-mount
NFS "bootstrap":
https://docs.slackware.com/howtos:ne...nd_dirty_setup
https://docs.slackware.com/howtos:ne...home_nfs_howto
 
Old 07-24-2018, 08:48 PM   #5
SimonDevine
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Yes, of course.

If I dedicate a small partition for the Evolution data, I could mount that at boot for each distro.

That makes much more sense than anything I've thought of up to now.

Thank you very much indeed for this approach idea.

There is a minor version difference in that one is 3.20.5, another is 3.10, etc. There may well be problems with that.

Also, I will think about sending an email detailing this to Gnome to see what they can suggest or if it is even possible.

Last edited by SimonDevine; 07-24-2018 at 09:08 PM.
 
Old 07-24-2018, 09:19 PM   #6
syg00
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Hope you keep good backups. I would think Evolution creates enough problems of its own without you deliberately adding to the pot. I stopped using it years ago when it lost all my mail. It still existed on disk, but Evolution couldn't be coerced to look at it. Was the last straw.
Imported the mail to claws - been using it ever since.

As to the actual problem, I exclusively reserve one system as my mail machine. May be less convenient, but it's there, and nowhere else. Works for me.
 
Old 07-24-2018, 09:32 PM   #7
SimonDevine
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I have a Backup of absolutely everything and before I do anything they are ALL updated. I also run LILO after every update just in case.

When I started with Slack in late 2016 I regularly blew everything to Kingdom Come, so 'rsync' became a very good friend of mine!
 
Old 03-27-2019, 04:18 PM   #8
SimonDevine
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Thumbs up ** SOLVED ** Evolution Data across Multiple Distros

** SOLVED ** !!

Each Installation needs the same HostName. This is not for a Networked Environment, and in any case in a network or production arena, a central Email Server is the norm.

In a personal one PC environment, it can be done.

An Evolution installation is tied to the Hostname so running the same data files across different distros requires that they all have EXACTLY the same Hostname.

My Slackware 14.2 is named 'SimonSlack' so the others, Kubuntu 14, Mint 17, Debian 8 and Kubuntu 18 must also ALL be named 'SimonSlack'.

The IP Address is not required to be the same, but only needs to be in the same Subnet.

It was as simple as this for me.

Before you do anything, run a Backup of your Evolution from within your original working Evolution


1. Copy your entire .local/share/evolution directory to a dedicated mounted partition.

2 Rename your evolution directory something like evolution-1

3. Create a Simple Link called evolution that points to where you copied your entire .local/share/evolution directory. Test to ensure your Evolution accepts this.

4. Close Evolution and Reboot into another Distro with the same Hostname on the same PC .

5. Run Evolution for the FIRST TIME on Distro- 2 so you get the Configuration Opening Dialogue.

6. Import your last Backup File (from above).

7. On restarting Evolution, provide passwords as requested.

8. Contacts may not be immediately visible, so close Evolution and REBOOT to clear caches etc.

9. Start Evolution after the Reboot and it should all be working. Close Evolution.

10 Rename your Distro-2 evolution directory something like evolution-1.

11. Create a Simple Link called evolution that points to where you copied your original entire .local/share/evolution directory. Test to ensure your Distro-2 Evolution accepts this.

12. *** JOB DONE ***


**Important**
----------------------

The SAME Hostname must be applied to each distro where Evolution Data files are shared because the dconf database seems to be a little dynamic and the ...@YourHostname trailer in the 'home/user/.config/.evolution/sources file names is not something that should be altered.

I have tried for months using different Hostnames but I always failed.

There are plenty of resources on the 'net that explain how to change a Hostname but a search through all files on a system to locate ALL instances of a Hostname that needs to change should also include BINARY and HIDDEN files.

You will most likely need ROOT access to edit some files.

It's definitely an Occam's Razor here, i.e. the simplest route was the right one!

Last edited by SimonDevine; 03-27-2019 at 06:33 PM.
 
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:21 PM   #9
SimonDevine
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Addendum

In order to access Google Accounts and many other Mail services, the lowest version of Evolution that works is 3.12.9 (Debian 8.10 Jessie). This release will initially complain about the accessing of Tasks but Evolution will continue correctly following the message.

Evolution 3.20.5 or higher is recommended.
 
  


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