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Linux Mint from an IT Manager's Perspective (Exchange Mailbox)




Accessing my Microsoft Exchange Mailbox from Linux Mint - 11th April 2014

Like most other corporate environment in the world, we use Microsoft Outlook as our mail client.
If you're familiar with Outlook, you'll know its functionality.
What I need from an Outlook replacement is -
- Sending and receiving emails
- Calendar
- ability to share calendars and view shared calendars
- global address list

After some research, the mail client I'm going to try is Evolution. By all accounts, it's the only client that properly supports access to Microsoft Exchange.
I'm on the software manager and search for Evolution. I get presented with a long list. Near the top I see two packages - Evolution and Evolution-mapi(which is what you'll need to talk to your Exchange server).
I install both.

With both installed, I click the Evolution app.
First thing it does is to ask me to configure an account.
I fill in the first page with my details, it then attempts to auto-discover my mail settings - it fails, but this is obviously because it is an Exchange account and it doesn't know anything about Microsoft's AutoDiscover feature.
So I have to configure it manually.
From the drop-down, I cannot find Exchange-Mapi?! What's going on here, it should be listed.
Back to Google for some answers!
Apparently the Exchange-Mapi portion of Evolution needs a dependency that isn't auto installed - this dependency is "python-samba".
I install python-samba and have another go at configuring Evolution.
Hooray, Exchange MAPI is now an option!
I configure everything and get a successfully configured message and after a few seconds, I'm presented with the client.
All is empty, so I click the Send/Receive button. I get a send & receive mail window open up...but not a lot is happening.

Because I've made so many changes to software, I decide to reboot the laptop.
After a reboot, I give Evolution another go.
More success this time - I can see my mailbox listed in the folder view...and it's downloading my messages and calendar.
So far, so good!
There is a problem though - as it's downloading all my calendar appointments, it is flashing up appointment alerts for all my old appointments. I'm getting alerts for appointments from 2010!
I'm a tad disappointed that Evolution isn't clever enough to only alert me for FUTURE appointments. Anyway - I dismiss all the old appointments...problem solved!







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