On the inability to create evolution filters after migration

I recently moved my evolution setup from one machine to another, in the proces changing my username. Mostly the move was successful, but signatures got cleared and the ability to add filters broke. This post describes a workaround for the latter issue.

First a working evolution setup was backed up (File->Backup Settings …) and restored (File->Restore Backup …) on a different computer as a different user.

After adding a message filter and applying it (Message -> Apply Filters) a warning would pop up (‘asjo’ was my username on the first machine):

Filtering Error


Make sure no processes related to evolution are running. Then edit the ~/.evolution/mail/filters.xml file:

  1. Locate the rule in question (enclosed by <rule></rule> tags). It is most likely in the buttom of the file.
  2. Inside it, you will find a <folder/> tag (Assuming your filter is a move-to-folder operation). Mine says <folder uri="email://5/Inbox/tinyos"/>.
  3. Replace the 5 with local@local so that you come up with something similar to <folder uri="email://local@local/Inbox/tinyos"/>.

Then save the file.

In order to test the change, simply start up evolution and try to apply filters as before.


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