Home > Gnome Evolution, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at work > Using Evolution with Exchange 2007

Using Evolution with Exchange 2007

Having just upgraded to Karmic Koala Ubuntu 9.10, I tried connecting to an MS Exchange 2007 Server in the office with the default email reader, Gnome Evolution (version 2.28.1), using its MAPI plugin (version 0.28.0).

Not sure if this worked with previous versions but it certainly doesn’t now.

There are two issues I noticed, one relates to a crash when trying to view certain emails (could not detect the pattern) and another crash after waiting for Evolution to retrieve the message-ids from my Inbox.

The good news is, there is a fix available.

You will need to download and manually install an updated MAPI plugin (version 0.28.1).

Here are the steps

1. Run Applications menu-> Accessories-> terminal

2. Uninstall the existing plugin if you have it installed by typing into the terminal window…

sudo apt-get remove evolution-mapi

3. Get some pre-requisite packages

sudo apt-get install evolution-data-server-dev libedataserverui1.2-dev libebackend1.2-dev libecal1.2-dev libedata-cal1.2-dev libedata-book1.2-dev libcamel1.2-dev

sudo apt-get install evolution-dev libmapi-dev samba4-dev intltool

4. Get the latest version of that MAPI plugin and build it

(UPDATED: 21st Dec 2009 There is now an updated version 0.28.2, so just substitute the version number in the instructions below)

cd ~

wget http://download.gnome.org/sources/evolution-mapi/0.28/evolution-mapi-0.28.1.tar.bz2

tar xvjf evolution-mapi-0.28.1.tar.bz2

cd evolution-mapi-0.28.1/



sudo make install

5. Bathe in the glory of Exchange 2007 connectivity 😀

NOTE: This circumvents the Ubuntu repositories for this particular plugin.  Once the updated version is available in the repositories, it would be prudent to revert to using the Ubuntu-provided version so you continue to get updates in future.

TODO: Our setup involves an Exchange Hub Transport which is what MS Outlook email client talks to, with separate server for Global Address List (GAL) and another server for the mailbox which I am using.  I assume this arrangement is what makes the GAL inaccessible as I have configured the settings for my mailbox server.  There does not appear to be anywhere I can set which server the GAL is on.

  1. Gabor Terjeki
    November 4, 2009 at 21:03


    Thanks for the post, this is what I’m trying to achieve since some time. However I had some issues during build:

    checking for EVOLUTION_PLUGIN… configure: error: Package requirements (evolution-plugin >= 2.27.2) were not met:

    No package ‘evolution-plugin’ found

    Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
    installed software in a non-standard prefix.

    Alternatively, you may set the environment variables EVOLUTION_PLUGIN_CFLAGS
    and EVOLUTION_PLUGIN_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
    See the pkg-config man page for more details.

    Do you have an idea what might be a problem? I’m unfortunately not a guru, so I have no idea how can I overcome this.

    Also I’d like to know, how shall I make this easily reversible, so if the new plugin will be in the repository, how can I simply delete this built plugin, and use the ‘official’ instead.

    Thank you very much in advance,

    • gurrier
      November 4, 2009 at 21:40


      I think you may need to confirm that the following line was run correctly

      sudo apt-get install evolution-dev libmapi-dev samba4-dev intltool

      My understanding is that the evolution-dev is the important package to get around the error you are seeing.
      In relation to removing this once the package has been updated in the Ubuntu repositories, check back here for an update once that happens.
      I will confirm the steps first and then post it.

      Hope this will get you up and running,


  2. Gabor Terjeki
    November 5, 2009 at 00:13

    Thanks a lot, it did the trick!

    I still have some minor problems, mainly with character encoding (even though the system default in Evolution is set to UTF-8, it won’t show properly, until I manually change it at the view menu), but it seems to be useful enough, to change my primary OS to Linux on my corporate PC.

    Thanks again for the article, and the quick answer!

    Kind regards,

    • gurrier
      November 5, 2009 at 05:43

      Glad to hear that this is your final hurdle in using Karmic on your work machine.

      I’m afraid, I have no experience of character encoding within evolution.

      If you do uncover the problem, please let us know.


  3. Dj
    November 6, 2009 at 12:35

    Wow! you are the man.

    Thankyou for your post


    • gurrier
      November 6, 2009 at 21:43

      No problem, glad it helped you.

  4. RossD
    November 13, 2009 at 13:45

    Thanks. I will try your suggestion. Evolution-MAPI seem to break around the Hardy-Jaunty “upgrade”. I have noticed another problem. The times for meetings in the calendar are GMT not local time if the meeting was setup on Windows. Times for meetings set up on Evolution remain as defined, i.e. with the correct local time.


    • gurrier
      November 13, 2009 at 14:01

      It would be worth raising that as a bug in launchpad or directly with the Evolution people at the Gnome project if it is still the case in Karmic.

  5. RossD
    November 14, 2009 at 00:14

    Thanks, the latest MAPI plugin works. The message IDs retrieved OK.

    The calendar times are still GMT so I have raised the bug.

    I also notice that the email address problem I was having until a few days ago has been fixed. This would stop replying to a email as the address was not resolved properly.

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    • gurrier
      November 14, 2009 at 00:51

      It’s a shame that Ubuntu has not included this mapi plugin update to its repositories yet.
      There’s a big difference in functionality added by this minor version update.

      Good to hear it’s working well for you, Ross.

  6. November 15, 2009 at 01:09

    Following your guide has got me closer. Now Evolution doesn’t close down when I try and authenticate my account, but now it gives this error:

    Authentication failed. MapiLogonProvider:MAPI_E_NETWORK_ERROR

    Any suggestions?


    • gurrier
      November 15, 2009 at 03:32

      The immediate thing I would ask, is to try your ip address for the server rather than the actual hostname.

  7. November 15, 2009 at 03:44

    The authentication error I refer to in the comment above appears to have been due to using an incorrect server address. I went to the office and checked up which server was being used by my Outlook, and used that instead. Authentication then worked.

    Evolution now works for me on an Exchange 2007 server, though evolution-data-server seems to consume a fair amount of system resource!


  8. November 17, 2009 at 04:57

    I was able to build the mapi plugin but when I do a make install (which puts it in /usr/local), evolution can’t seem to find any plugins. Is there something else that needs to be done to get evolution to find the custom built plugin?

    • gurrier
      November 17, 2009 at 08:03

      (I presume you have restarted Evolution to pickup the existence of the new MAPI plugin?)
      Once it is built successfully, it is then possible to create a connection to a mail server using the MAPI type.

      In Evolution, go to Edit Menu, Preferences and try to Add a connection to an email account with the MAPI connector.

      If it is not there then it sounds like the “sudo make install” did not work correctly

  9. Marco
    November 19, 2009 at 23:44


    Thanks for this metod
    I’ve two issues:

    one: Evolution can retrieving messages (2400) but…do it continuously. Every time that click on a folder (with very expensive cpu usage).

    second: I can read messages but I can’t send.
    The sent message remain on “outgoing messages” end doing “Send/Receive” nothing change.

    Someone can help me?

    • gurrier
      November 19, 2009 at 23:57

      I had the continuous retrieving problem before I installed this plugin.
      I presume you’ve restarted evolution after installing the mapi plugin?

      If sending is a problem, please double-check your account settings in evolution.

      Other than those obvious things, I would suggest trying to post in the ubuntu forums or launchpad for help or alternatively file a bug for the Evolution developers.


  10. Steve
    November 26, 2009 at 04:11

    Any update on this…did the build and install but still quite buggy…I really hope this gets working soon, such a deal breaker for many folks who want to give Ubuntu a serious shot…

    • gurrier
      November 26, 2009 at 06:22


      I’m hoping to give the very latest build of Evolution a try in Karmic over the next few days.
      If you are still seeing bugs it would be worth documenting them with the Evolution developers so that they can work on them.


      For the record, the only issue I am having now is access to the Global Address list on Exchange 2007.
      The MAPI plugin in this article has otherwise been stable.



  11. Henk
    November 26, 2009 at 09:35

    Hi Gurrier,

    It worked for me as well. After the introduction from Exchange 2008 I saw the grin on the face of our M$ minded administrator when Evolution was not capable of handling it and I had to switch to Windows, but now I am back on good old Ubuntu again. Thanks for your fixing tip.

    Still one non-solved issue though, the possibility to subscribe to others calendar, but that didn’t work in older versions either,
    Anyone out there who has a clue for that?



    • gurrier
      November 26, 2009 at 18:56


      I’m going to work through the process of getting Evolution 2.29.2 working on Karmic tomorrow.
      I’ll email you the steps so you can test whether it makes any difference for you.



  12. November 26, 2009 at 18:00

    Works like a charm.. on my Ubuntu Kramic + Evolution 2.28.1 + MS Exch 2007

    Thank you.

  13. Francois
    November 27, 2009 at 04:08

    Good news thanks for the fir tip. But after i was still unable to send email to the user in the domain.
    The patch for bug id 568763 (https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=568763) was not include in the 0.28.1 release.

    Shutdown evolution
    Create the path file:
    # wget “http://bugzilla-attachments.gnome.org/attachment.cgi?id=148155” -O 568763.diff
    # patch -p1 < 568763.diff
    # make clean
    # ./configure
    # make
    # sudo make install

    relaunch evolution, send an email and it is magic.
    Hopefully they will make a new release 0.28.2 soon will all the patch include, so we can go back to the ubuntu repo.

  14. Steve
    December 1, 2009 at 03:29

    I think I was confused, I was trying to use the exchange-mapi option when setting up a mail account, not evlolution-mapi…I think something went wrong when following the instructions above, since there is no option for mapi or evolution-mapi, just exchange mapi. Is there a way to clean up a bad install attempt and start over, when I first did the install I missed some of the pre-requisite packages…

    • gurrier
      December 1, 2009 at 08:18

      Just follow the steps above and, when you restart Evolution, you should see the MAPI option for creating setting up your account in Evolution.
      I’m assuming that the “make” step failed due to missing dependencies.
      If you now make sure that you perform the step to install the dependencies then you should see that the “./configure” and “make” steps complete successfully.
      The “make install” will then do the rest to get the plugin in the right place for you.
      Hope this helps,

  15. gregg128
    December 1, 2009 at 21:40

    https://launchpad.net/~kbuel/+archive/ppa – just installed this version of evolution-mapi and most of the problems were gone!

    • gurrier
      December 1, 2009 at 23:26

      Looks like version 2.28.1 which is the same as is built in my post.
      Version 2.28.2 is on its way (due for release on 14th Dec 09).

  16. ashwin
    December 2, 2009 at 19:25

    hi Gurrier

    I have compiled and installed the plugin as mentioned above. My mails seem to work fine. However, I cannot see anything in the calendar. Is there a HOWTO for setting up the calendars?

    Address Book is setup via LDAP and it works fine. I don’t need the GAL feature. 🙂


    • gurrier
      December 3, 2009 at 08:40


      The Calendar functionality is getting better with the latest 2.29.3 release but is still not completely there.
      There are some bugs raised against it for the Evolution developers so we’ll have to see what the 2.29.4 release brings on Dec 14th.



      • ashwin
        December 3, 2009 at 13:47

        It’s 2.29.4 then. Is there a port for Ubuntu Karmic? I am guessing this will not make it into the regular repositories.

      • gurrier
        December 3, 2009 at 22:09

        I’ll post some steps to get it installed but it will be outside the “normal” apt repositories of Ubuntu.

  17. Henk
    December 9, 2009 at 01:32

    Hi Gurrier,

    For some reason I had to work in MS since the last time I wrote about evolution on exchange. Now I really started to play around with it and although I can read almost all my mail from exchange, unfortunately I have to find out, that I can’t send mail. I get an “Error while sending message” message.

    Another strange remark. Messages written with outlook (MS XML?) return a question mark “[?]” in evolution, while other – most likely – not written in outlook messages return text. One of my colleagues uses a Mac, his mail I can read, but mail from all Outlook using users give the headers with a question mark for every written paragraph. Forwarded message though show text, when that particular text was not written in Outlook, only inline forwarded.

    As I wrote on November 26th our company changed to MS server 2008, with the newest exchange server. I try to connect with Karmic Koala updated up to today. Also I am still not possible to see other’s calendar, which is necessary as well.

    I hope my story makes sense.



    • gurrier
      December 9, 2009 at 08:29

      The latest unstable version of the Evolution code does improve things with your problem of sending emails. (I’ll try to get the details posted this week)
      The calendar is not in great shape at the moment but there is another release on 21st Dec which may improve things.

  18. erico
    January 9, 2010 at 04:40

    Dear Sirs,

    Before jumping to https://gurrier.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/installing-evolution-2-29-3-with-mapi-plugin-under-ubuntu-9-10-karmic/ I would like to insist on compiling just evolution-mapi plugin. I did what you suggest and I am already using samba4. Here is the outcome:
    checking pkg-config is at least version 0.9.0… yes
    checking for EVOLUTION_DATA_SERVER… configure: error: Package requirements (evolution-data-server-1.2 >= 2.29.1) were not met:

    Requested ‘evolution-data-server-1.2 >= 2.29.1’ but version of evolution-data-server is 2.28.1

    Consider adjusting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
    installed software in a non-standard prefix.

    Alternatively, you may set the environment variables EVOLUTION_DATA_SERVER_CFLAGS
    and EVOLUTION_DATA_SERVER_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
    See the pkg-config man page for more details.

    Well, I am afraid I still have no idea how to overcome this. I can read that but I really don’t knwo where and what to change, PKG_CONFIG_PATH, EVOLUTION_DATA_SERVER_CFLAGS and EVOLUTION_DATA_SERVER_LIBS they all look very unfamiliar to me…
    ANy clue

  19. erico
    January 9, 2010 at 04:44

    One more thing:
    erico@computer:~/evolution-mapi-0.29.1$ sudo apt-get install evolution-data-server-1.2
    Lendo listas de pacotes… Pronto
    Construindo árvore de dependências
    Lendo informação de estado… Pronto
    E: Impossível achar pacote evolution-data-server-1.2
    erico@computer:~/evolution-mapi-0.29.1$ sudo apt-get install evolution-data-server
    Lendo listas de pacotes… Pronto
    Construindo árvore de dependências
    Lendo informação de estado… Pronto
    evolution-data-server já é a versão mais nova.
    0 pacotes atualizados, 0 pacotes novos instalados, 0 a serem removidos e 0 não atualizados.

    As you could learn (although in portuguese) the required package has already been installed. I think it is a PATH problem.

    • gurrier
      January 9, 2010 at 11:21


      For the 2.29.x versions (i.e. including mapi 0.29.x), it is necessary to download and compile all of the items I have shown in the blog posting.
      Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala does not have the necessary versions in its repository.

      If you want to only compile the mapi provider, then you should use the latest version of that stream i.e. 0.28.2.



  20. Rebecca
    January 20, 2010 at 09:11

    Hi there,

    I have been trying forever to get connected via exchange but whatever I do I get a greyed out forward button somewhere!

    Originally it was at the “authenticate you address” stage, but since i ran the steps in your how to guide I can’t get past the screen before this! (full name and email address screen)

    Any ideas?


    • gurrier
      January 23, 2010 at 00:12

      Ubuntu finally has 0.28.2 in the “proposed” repository.
      You could try enabling that repository in the “Software Sources” under the System menu -> Administration -> Software Sources.
      Then use Synaptic to install the evolution-mapi component.

  21. Brandon
    January 26, 2010 at 04:00

    Upon compiling and installing, the updated MAPI plugin wasn’t showing up in evolution. I had to do a “sudo ln -s /usr/local/lib/libexchange*” in /usr/lib in order for it to work.

    • gurrier
      January 26, 2010 at 12:09

      Strange, I didn’t need to do that on any of the machines I installed the latest MAPI plugin code.

  22. Henk
    February 24, 2010 at 00:09

    Hi Gurrier,

    I would like to come back on an issue I mentioned before already.

    It seams that outlook formats its messages in a way that evolution cannot read. When I try to read the messages, it shows merely only this for every chapter: [?]

    I did the following: in windows outlook I forwarded an email to my own exchange address and to my gmail address. In evolution connected with mapi to the exchange server I cant read the message, only the before mentioned question marks, from the gmail account I have no problem to read it.

    I compared the to messages in firefox and there I can see big differences in the source, but while it is not my specialty I am not able to analyze it.

    Do you have a clue? Is it only a setting, or is it worse?



    • gurrier
      February 24, 2010 at 19:04


      Sorry, I have not seen that.

      What version of Evolution are you using? What versions of Exchange and Outlook?

      Is it possible that you have encrypted emails in Exchange?
      (In Outlook, there may be an option to encrypt to email addresses where their public encryption key is known.)



      • Henk
        February 25, 2010 at 00:28

        Hi Gurrier,

        We work in a Windows 2008 environment and use Exchange 2007

        I use Evolution 2.28.1 in Ubuntu 9.10 with Linux 2.6.31-20

        I took a sample message and saved them from Evolution and made some screen shots.

        I tried to post the source of the mails and a link to the screen shots, but probably it is to much, because it is discarded.

        How can I send it to you?



      • gurrier
        February 25, 2010 at 00:54


        You should try the instructions here to see if it works any better.

        There were many fixes applied to 2.28.5




      • Henk
        February 25, 2010 at 02:44

        Hi Gurrier,

        I started with the installation of the latest build evolution-2.29.90 but I cannot find the updated equivalent of evolution-
        Now I parsed everything, only the evolution-mapi-2.29.90 module does not work, It is missing the libmapi-0.9, which I cannot find anywhere. Is this because of the missing update of evolution-

        Do you have a clue?


      • gurrier
        February 25, 2010 at 11:06


        I would suggest sticking with 2.29.5 as the version of libmapi you need is already in Ubuntu 9.10.

        You should change the versions of the files (x.29.5) depending on which version you are installing e.g. evolution-2.29.5.tar.gz

        evolution- is no longer required.



      • Henk
        February 25, 2010 at 00:35

        Another try

        You can download the files from docs.google at


  23. Henk
    February 26, 2010 at 00:30

    Hi Gurrier,

    I followed your advice and installed 2.29.5. Evolution is now up and running, but it is missing buttons like “forward” and “reply” and when I pick “Preferences” from the “edit” menu evolution just vanishes, so I can’t configure anything.

    Heard about this before?


    • gurrier
      March 2, 2010 at 22:53

      Hmmm, not seen that.
      Have you all of the latest updates for Karmic applied with Update Manager?

      Clutching at straws to be honest but it would be worth getting you to exactly the same platform.

      Maybe try following the steps again to see if anything changes?

  24. Bahman
    March 2, 2010 at 17:37

    I followed the procedure but I couldn’t find the pluging in the evolution’s pluging list. Any help?

    • gurrier
      March 2, 2010 at 22:55


      That generally means that the evolution-mapi component did not compile or install correctly.
      Try doing the ./compile, make and sudo make install steps for that component again.

      What version of Ubuntu are you running and what version of Evolution shows up in the Help Menu, About box?



  25. May 19, 2010 at 00:42

    this might be useful:

    sudo apt-get build-dep evolution-mapi

    • gurrier
      May 23, 2010 at 13:18

      Yes Tim, much neater.
      Thanks for the prod.


  26. Kelly
    June 24, 2010 at 05:53

    I’ve been trying to get this to work for most of the day. You are freakin awesome THANKS!!!

    • gurrier
      June 24, 2010 at 19:59

      Glad it worked for you. 🙂

  27. Frode Woldsund
    June 29, 2010 at 20:51

    It works perfectly!!
    btw: I used version 0.28.3

  28. Henk
    June 30, 2010 at 19:37


    Because of the problems with Evolution on MS Exchange 2008 I had to commit to Windows7. Now after using that for about half a year it became as slow as previous Vista. In the mean time I made a new install for dual boot with Lucid 10.04 and I regularly update it. Now, after more than half a year after my last attempts I made the jump to Ubuntu again, but unfortunately without the expected result.

    I tried before in this forum, but without result. I hope now somebody can give a solution

    I use Evolution with IMAP for Gmail, this is working perfect.

    I also set up an MS Exchange account. Within the LAN I only see the exchange server, if I use it’s physical IP address in staid of the server name. Evolution sows every mail, however it seams that the XML code used by certain outlook clients through the exchange server are unreadable and produce only question marks in my Evolution client. If I receive an internal cc-ed mail it is full of these question marks, but if I get the same mail replied from outside, then I can read it.

    I am unable to send mail through the MS exchange server.

    I am unable to see calendars of others

    And at the bottom of Evolution I have a lot of processes going on “Fetching feeds (0 enabled)”

    I am no guru, special installing with all kind of line commands is not really an option, because after installing the so many-th lib or other application I lose the line. I am just a user who is sick of MS and wishes to use a fast and reliable OS. But without being able to use Evolution on MS Exchange I have to suffer further from Windows7.

    Please help!!!!

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