Evolution doesn't open pdf files

Hello Evolution team -

Running Linux Mint 21.1, kernel 5.15.0-88-generic and Evolution 3.44.4-Oubuntu2, and am having trouble opening some pdf attachments, but not others.

Looking more closely, it appears that Evolution doesn’t “see” them as attachments but tries to open them as txt files. Trying to attach screenshot with this upload function. Don’t know if I’m using that function as intended.

Thx in advance for your patience


Well, the screenshot shows the attachment being flagged as text/plain,
so Evolution is doing the right thing.

The problem is almost certainly on the side of the sender.



I think there had been some issue with certain message structures in the past, but I do not recall when exactly. You may or may not have any related change in your 3.44.4 version (which is kinda ancient, I’m sorry, the current stable version series is 3.50.x).

I suggest, if you can, to install Evolution from Flathub.org ( Evolution | Flathub ), configure the same account in it, then check whether it can read the mail content properly.

Knowing the full message structure will also help, but it can contain private information, thus I suggest to try with the latest version first and examine the message source only if it will not work.


Hey poc -
thx for the reply.

I understand what you mean, however, if I copy the file to a USB drive, open the USB and file on that computer (described above) the file is seen as a .pdf and opened without issue.

If some PDF viewer application ignores MIME types and opens random files, then that PDF viewer application is free to do so. :slight_smile:

aHi Milan -
thx for the reply.
Don’t know if Mint supports Flatpak (never looked, honestly) but I will look. I know there’s a Mint update available and it’s possible there’s a more current Evo in that.


Looks like Flatpak is a simple choice. And when I install it into a virtual client the pdf issue seems to be resolved. One thing I wonder about Flatpak packages is this: if I remove the system-based Evo package and install from Flatpak packages will it see the existing messages that are already downloaded, or does it all need to be re-downloaded and stored in another location? Anything else you want to share about working from Flatpak package would be welcome.

It’s common for desktop apps to use an extension as an indicator of
file type, but that’s irrelevant for email. There’s a standard way of
doing this (called MIME) and email software is expected to follow it,
not least because it’s independent of the operating system.


Flatpak version runs in its own sandbox, almost completely isolated
from the system. The accounts you’ve configured in host system
Evolution are not recognized by the Flatpak version, neither their
data, and vice versa. You can File->Back up Evolution Data in one
version and restore in another, the only rule is that the version you
restore data in should be the same or newer version of Evolution. Going
“backwards” in version can cause trouble due to possible changes in the
underlying file formats.

In other words, using Flatpak has its limitations in compare to the
system-installed Evolution, but if there’s no other way to get a fix to
the users then it’s one of the easiest ways to to an up to date

Otherwise you may choose a distro version which provides latest bits,
which can be a newer version of your current distro too. It depends to

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