In Ubuntu some applications can be set to minimize instead of exit on close. For example, Empathy minimizes to the system tray (mail icon) when the close button is pressed in the application window. How do I make Evolution do this as well?

Essentially I would like to have Evolution hidden in the system tray instead of having to re-launch it every ten minutes to check for new messages (or leave it open and clutter the taskbar).


This plugin allows "closing" or minimizing Evolution to the mail indicator (tray) in a native way.

Actually, it simply minimizes Evolution and hides it from the pager to behave as “closed”,
the same as the other programs do. (Empathy, Gwibber, ...) To install it:

  1. Download the last version of the plugin (for example, evolution-tray-0.0.8.tar.gz).
  2. Once downloaded, open it and extract its contents.
  3. Open a terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and cd to the plugin's folder.
  4. Install its dependencies by executing:

    sudo apt-get install evolution-dev
    sudo apt-get install intltool
  5. Run ./configure

  6. If the above didn't give errors, run  make
  7. Finally, install the plugin by running:

    sudo make install


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  • +1 Excellent answer! While all the other answers suggest using external programs like AllTray, you are referencing a, simple, native way to do it. Good job. – Alba Mendez Aug 1 '11 at 10:27
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    where's the Plugins directory for Evolution mail? Is it /usr/lib/evolution/plugins/ ? – Daniel Andrei Mincă Mar 19 '17 at 9:08
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    what I did is extract the file in Downloads and cd into folder created from it, and I already install evolution-dev but wen I run ./configure it shows me error ` checking Evolution version... Package evolution-plugin-3.0 was not found in the pkg-config search path. Perhaps you should add the directory containing evolution-plugin-3.0.pc to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable No package evolution-plugin-3.0 found configure: error: Unable to find plugin directory ` – Ahmad Muzakki Jul 19 '17 at 15:20

You can use AllTray or KDocker for this. Evolution doesn't currently have a built-in way to send itself to the tray. AllTray should be available via synaptic.

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I have tried AllTray, evolution-tray , Kdocker , original evolution-on (as per KostadinAtanasov repo on github) and mail-notification-evolution (which is used to send notification while evolution is closed); all of them have a problems with the new versions of evolution with me; most of them haven't been updated many of years ago.

I have found an evolution-on fork that has been updated to match the evolution 3.22 development which it seems remain valid up to my current evolution version 3.28.

plugin URL : Evolution-on

Steps to build

Ubuntu version : 18.04
Desktop Environment : Gnome (Default ubuntu)

You may find other packages names and versions on other distributions.

  1. Install development dependencies.

    sudo apt-get install -y libgconf2-dev intltool evolution-dev libecal1.2-dev libebook1.2-dev evolution-plugins autoconf
  2. Clone

    mkdir evolution_on && cd evolution_on
    git clone https://github.com/acidrain42/evolution-on.git .
  3. Configure and install

    autoreconf -sivf
    sudo make install
  4. You can remove dependencies later.

    sudo apt-get remove -y libgconf2-dev intltool evolution-dev libecal1.2-dev libebook1.2-dev
    sudo apt-get autoremove
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  • This is still working, I couldn't compile evolution-tray, but evolution-on just works. – Harlandraka Oct 7 '19 at 10:55

The accepted answer did not work for me. It throws an error on step 6 and I do not know how to fix it. AllTray seems to have stopped development as well.

However, Minimize to Tray did work for me, Ubuntu 19.04 and Evolution 3.32.1. More info can be found on the github page.

Once I added the extension, I also ran the following to have it functional:

sudo apt install xdotool
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Have a look at this plugin i tested with v3.22 it works


note : you will may be need to disable mail notification plugin as its features are included

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