Customize Email Subject Prefix in Evolution Email Client

This blog post will walk you through the process of how you can customize email subject prefixes in the Gnome email client Evolution, so that they work accross languages.

Why is This Required?

By default, Evolution only recognizes prefixes in English, such as “RE:". This can cause complications when correspondence involves non-English speaking clients or systems. For instance, the German language uses an “AW" prefix, and Swedish systems utilize “SV” as the prefix for email replies.

If these localized prefixes are not recognized, your email subjects can become bloated and confusing. The likely result is an email thread with a multi-prefix subject, such as:

Re: AW: Re: SV: Re: My Email Subject

Example of bloated subject

Solution: Recognize Localized Prefixes

The key is to tweak your email client’s settings to identify and accept different, localized prefixes. Unfortunately, within the Evolution GUI, this option is not directly available. Fortunately, we have a workaround: the composer-localized-re parameter.

Customizing with Native Package

Run this command from the terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.evolution.mail composer-localized-re 'AW,SV'

Then, check if your instruction has been implemented:

gsettings get org.gnome.evolution.mail composer-localized-re

Upon command execution, you should obtain 'AW,SV' as the output.

Customizing with Flatpak

If you prefer to use Evolution with Flatpak, the command needs to be passed to flatpak run, with the option[…], and argument[…] specifics as follow:

flatpak run --command=gsettings org.gnome.Evolution set org.gnome.evolution.mail composer-localized-re 'AW,SV'

You can quickly verify your settings as shown below:

> $ flatpak run --command=gsettings org.gnome.Evolution get org.gnome.evolution.mail composer-localized-re                         

Integrating with Ansible

If you employ Infrastructure as Code (IaC) principles and maintain your workstation configuration on an Ansible playbook, use the following code snippet:

      - name: Configure Evolution to work with localized reply prefixes
          cmd: flatpak run --command=gsettings org.gnome.Evolution set org.gnome.evolution.mail composer-localized-re 'AW,SV'
          executable: /bin/bash
          warn: false

Keep in mind, using may not be a best practice protocol. As of writing, there’s no support for commands like ansible run in Ansible modules.

I hope you found this post helpful and now have a tidier inbox!