Solution to Evolution freezing.

In the last week or so, Evolution, Ubuntu’s default email client, has been freezing on me constantly. It would happen whenever I did anything the least bit complicated, like reply to an email or open the settings.

[email alert arrives – I have this program open constantly…]

This was getting really annoying, so tonight I dedicated a bit of time to finding the problem.

I was thinking through setting I had changed recently, when I thought of that I set Evolution to automatically sync my contacts with Pidgin. Now, about a week ago I added my account on my school’s Jabber server to Pidgin. This resulted in my acquired about  2,000 buddies, about 1,950 of which never get on. This isn’t a problem with Pidgin, but the syncing witht hat many contacts makes bad things happen, apparently.

To confirm the problem, I ran Evolution from the terminal. It showed that it was updating contacts with gaim (Pidgin’s former name). It just kept doing it.

Changing the setting was going to be hard, because the settings dialog wouldn’t work. So I did a bit of poking around on some forums and found that Evolution keeps some settings in gconf. This is rather obvious, now that I think of it…

To change the offending setting, do the following:

  1. Open Gconf Editor by either running gconf-editor at Alt-F2, typing gcnf-editor at the command line, or opening it from Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor.
  2. Go to apps > evolution > autocontacts.
  3. Uncheck ‘auto_sync_gaim’. [2 more emails…]
  4. Kill all processes beginning with ‘evolution’ in the System Monitor.
  5. Restart Evolution.

There you go, Evolution should be working fine again. Assuming your problem is the same as mine, of course. Messing with some setting in gconf could help though if it isn’t.

I know Evolution is kind of heavy, but the calendaring and time/task management pretty much makes up for. It’s a pretty good app in the end, even if it can’t handle 2000 contacts to synchronize. Note that this is only a problem with the synchronization, not the actual storage. That should be fine.

 That’s right. No reading my email. The blur-monster will not allow it.

One Response

  1. I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    – Sue.

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