January 31, 2002, 12:00 AM — Evolution 1.0, Linux's answer to Microsoft Outlook, is now available.
Released by Ximian, a company founded by major players in the GNOME
desktop efforts, Evolution aims to bring an integrated email,
scheduling, task management, and address book client to Linux.
Evolution deliberately looks and feels like an enhanced version of
Outlook. Since Outlook is highly valued in business environments
(sometimes to a surprising degree, considering all its security
issues), a Linux answer has been missing. But Evolution brings this and
more to Linux.
It can import mail from other packages, such as Netscape, Eudora,
Outlook Express, and the Unix mbox format. Through what are called
vFolders, you can save email queries to create dynamic views of your
messages, which allows you to sort your messages into multiple email
folders without having to make copies of the messages. You can also
view messages by thread, something rare among email clients. Evolution
can synchronize with your Palm handhelds as well.
Evolution supports a number of standards for email, contacts, and
scheduling, including all the standard email protocols, as well as
iCalendar and vCard.
In addition to the free Evolution, Ximian also offers Ximian Connector,
a commercial product that enables Evolution to act as a client for
Microsoft Exchange. You must pay for this product, though.
See http://www.ximian.com/products/ximian_evolution for more on
Evolution or download it from
http://www.ximian.com/products/ximian_evolution/download.html. If you
have the Ximian desktop installed, you can use the Ximian Red Carpet
software to install Evolution on your system. Red Carpet is Ximian's
automatic update agent package. If you don't have Ximian desktop
installed, you can download the files from Ximian's FTP server at
As always, the latest GNOME and KDE software includes a large list of
dependent library versions. It is usually easier to let your Linux
vendor ensure that everything works together and only upgrade when the
next version of the Linux distribution you use comes out.