KDE4.8 STILL has a useless KMail

Story: openSUSE 12.2 RC1 out nowTotal Replies: 59
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Jul 13, 2012
4:13 AM EDT
I have been waiting for this release of openSUSE12.2 for some time in the hopes that KMail in KDE4.8 would finally become a useful email client. I have just installed openSUSE 12.2 and once more been greeted by utter software garbage when I try to setup KMail and use it.....I cannot put it any other way from my experiences. This latest version of KMail is just as useless as the earlier ones in KDE4.7. You can readily send a test message, but you cannot, cannot, CANNOT receive it. You get caught in endless loops of KWallet (which you do not want anyhow), passwords which are never saved no matter how many times you tell the software that is the phrase to be stored and the results are a mess that is nothing like the simplicity of the version in KDE4.6.....which had a KMail version which actually DID work.

I am now getting so fed up with this aspect of KDE that it is time I switched over to a different email client. I cannot for the life of me understand why a piece of software that has worked well up to KDE4.6 has had to be destroyed by its developers......and I am sick of the whole boiling. There, I've said it.

Edit......incidentally, the name "Thunderbird" seems to crop up a lot in my thoughts......from what I have seen so far, it's highly similar to what KMail was and seems very easy to manage.

2nd Edit.....I have put this situation into the KMail buglist....Strictly, it's not a bug but the way the current KMail operates which is very different from previous versions.

Jul 13, 2012
5:07 AM EDT
I'm still using Evolution, and likely won't try KMail again

Jul 13, 2012
5:24 AM EDT
@tracyanne.....thanks Tracyanne, Evolution was of course, the other alternative. I need a client that "stays the same".....KMail definitely has changed its structure and it has become a heap of (insert suitable adjective/noun here). Oh well....I guess I have to learn how to use a new email client. What's your opinion ? Evolution I'd guess ?

Jul 13, 2012
6:18 AM EDT
My opinion.... whatever you are happy with.

Jul 13, 2012
7:01 AM EDT
> What's your opinion ? Evolution I'd guess ?

Evolution is the most full featured and stable email program out there, from what I've seen. That said, it's Gnome centric. If you want an email client that's not tied to a specific desktop, your best options are probably Thunderbird and Claws. Of those two, I'd say Claws is the better supported one.

Jul 13, 2012
8:36 AM EDT
@jdixon....thankyou. I originally suggested Tbird because it was sort of "generic" and out of the Mozilla stable. That said, KDE is quite amazing in openSUSE because if I want to run Evolution, I simply open up the software registry, ask it to install Evolution and all aspects of the client are installed together with any Gnome based libraries it needs. I suspect both you and ta are dead right in that Evolution is possibly the best option,but Tbird would be the best "generic" one. I have never seen, used or heard of Claws.....sorry. Will go look it up.

Edit.......and again @jdixon......I just gotta try Claws. I had a look at the site, looked at the images of the software when running and all I could see was KMail in its simpler days........Here's hoping......and thanks for the suggestion. I don't know if it held in the openSUSE respository, but it won't take long to see.

And yes, Claws is available as an openSUSE software package.....Must give it a whirl.

Jul 13, 2012
9:09 AM EDT
I have tried them all in the past. Now, me and just about every one I know, including windows users, stick with Thunderbird.

TB has a few annoyances, but they are cosmetic and not related to " Mail ".

to each his own.

Jul 13, 2012
9:21 AM EDT
> I have tried them all in the past. Now, me and just about every one I know, including windows users, stick with Thunderbird.

The problem with Thunderbird is its support, or more accurately lack of same. Like Firefox, the Linux version has always been a second class citizen, and it now appears that even the Windows version may not be supported.

Jul 13, 2012
9:23 AM EDT
Suggestion to all using KDE,... Disable nepomuk. Disable akonadi. In disabling nepomuk, also set stringi not to index anything at all, in case an update nerfs you. Remove the clock from the dock bar. Uninstall kontact (that takes care of kmail for you, BTW). Install any of a number of other email clients. If you like pop-up style docks, consider Cairo-dock (nice analog clock widgets, BTW). If using Cairo-dock, consider the following; Move KDE dock to the top and set it to auto-hide, set animations/decorations to your heart's content, install lancelot and create a custom Cairo-dock launcher with the following command line entry in the custom command field...

qdbus org.kde.lancelot /MainApplication org.kde.lancelot.App.show 0 0 

Where the 0 0 are x/y coordinates for where it will appear (Note: On my tablet, the two 0's are not showing up, and I padded an extra space after to see if it would help).

Jul 13, 2012
9:46 AM EDT
I refuse to use an email program that doesn't store the email in plain text. Too many times I've had to go to the archives, or "grep", or whatever, outside of the email program, and if the email had been stored as KMail now stores them, I'd be SOL.

Thunderbird, eh? Thanks, I'll look it up. Using Trinity (KDE3 fork) is sometimes difficult, and if I have to move on to something else I'll need a new email program.

Jul 13, 2012
10:55 AM EDT
Personally I have been using Thunderbird since its first release and simply have never required or felt the need to use anything else

Its not fancy it isn't glamorous and no one is going to say "wow look at the effects on that" It just does what it says on the tin without getting in the way, its easy to backup just "tar cfz mail.tar.gz ~/.thunderbird" on the cli or use you favourite gui archiver.

I can also easily move mail accounts between it and its windows cousin which is just as easy to backup.

It also has a similar name to one of my favourite childrens tv series when i was kid

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunderbirds_(TV_series) "

What more do you want :)

Jul 13, 2012
1:56 PM EDT
Just to stick another name out there and see what reactions are: Sylpheed (Claws). I've been using that for years on an older box to deal with one legacy mail account, and it is stable... Or maybe it's just that the version I use is too old to fail; it's not like I track it on freshmeat/freecode anymore. I know I've seen it in the repos, so it's not like it takes a config/compile.

Edit: and if I'd done more than quick-read, I'd have seen it already given mention. My apologies.

Jul 13, 2012
2:01 PM EDT

As you know, I use GMail and haven't used KMail since KDE 4.0, When I saw your post, I had to try and find out what the status of KMail. I am running Kubuntu 12.04 with KDE 4.8.4. Here is what I did

Warning Note: I had Nepomuk Semantic desktop, File Indexer, and eMail Indexing all turned off before I configured KMail. When I was done configuring, Nepomuk Semantic & eMail indexing were turned on. File Indexing remained turned off though.

I launched KMail from menu and it asked me couple simple questions, My eMail address and password on the ISP Server. KMail did the rest of the configuration for me.

I looked at the configurations. Under Identities, I found my account

I looked under Accounts and found couple, Local Folders & Google.

Be default, Receive is using IMAP and Send is using SMTP.

Local is configured, by default, to go to ~/.local/share/local-mail, that can be changed

I sent couple message to my Google account and, using a browser, I went to check and sure enough I did receive both of without any problem.

Now I should have seen them in KMail but didn't. I did do update on the inbox folder and such things but nothing changed. I existed KMail and went back in, to my surprise, all the Labels/Folder on my Google account appeared and sure enough, the latest couple test e-mails I just sent were there.

Actually, for reading my mail only, I like KMail interface better than the way Google. But for other features, I believe Google interface is much better for now. Since I haven't explored KMail fully yet and who knows, it might turn out to be a better interface than Google's after I do more digging.

No, I haven't yet tried to download messages to my local storage. In order to fetch message to my local disk I need to use POP3 interface. I will be doing that some time later this weekend and I will see how I can configure it so that messages are stored in a directory instead of a DB.

In terms of uploading message from older versions. I will try to find a very long time archive on older machine and see how that works.

The way I understand it, KMail stores messages in text files and ONLY their indexes are stored in a database. That was described by one of the KMail developers and I am sorry I no longer have the link to the article. As a matter of fact, the two test messages I sent, I can see them in the local mail folder.

ls -l ~/.local/share/local-mail/
total 24
drwxrwxr-x 5 xxx xxx 4096 Jul 13 10:44 drafts
drwxrwxr-x 5 xxx xxx 4096 Jul 13 10:44 inbox
drwxrwxr-x 5 xxx xxx 4096 May 21 15:18 outbox
drwxrwxr-x 5 xxx xxx 4096 May 21 15:18 sent-mail
drwxrwxr-x 5 xxx xxx 4096 Jul 13 10:44 templates
drwxrwxr-x 5 xxx xxx 4096 Jul 13 10:44 trash

ls -l ~/.local/share/local-mail/sent-mail/cur: total 8 -rw-rw-r-- 1 xxx xxx 426 Jul 13 10:57 1342191435.R308.xxx-nT535:2,S -rw-rw-r-- 1 xxx xxx 374 Jul 13 11:20 1342192809.R762.xxx-nT535:2,S

Now could you elaborate on the issue you are having? I can't promise anything, but I might be able to help as I go through my testing.

Quoting: Here is one of the test messages;
From: xxx@xxx-nt535
To: xxx@gmail.com
Subject: Testing KMail configuration on 2012-07-13
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 10:57:15 -0400
Message-ID: <2978469.FvJgVYAWo9@xxx-nt535>
User-Agent: KMail/4.8.4 (Linux/3.2.0-26-generic-pae; KDE/4.8.4; i686; ; )
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

This is a test trying to figure out the problem Ridcully is having.


Jul 13, 2012
3:18 PM EDT
I am a GNOME user, and I really wanted Evolution to be the mail client I used. But between grabbing mail over IMAP from a very balky server and heavy filtering, Thunderbird ran serious rings around Evolution and works so much better that I had to return to it.

My company is in the process of moving from that extremely terrible mail server to Google Apps. Gmail is a lot better in Evolution, and I'll be able to use the web client and maybe not use any stand-alone client at all.

Jul 13, 2012
6:03 PM EDT

Akonadi is a requirement of Kmail, which in turn requires neopmuk (but not stringi).

So if you want kmail... you gotta take the kitchen sink too.

Jul 13, 2012
7:03 PM EDT
Quoting:Gmail is a lot better in Evolution,

Not unless it's a local native application.

Jul 13, 2012
8:13 PM EDT
@Fettoosh.....thankyou very much for all the time and trouble you went to over that very large response. I woke up this morning (prior to reading your post above) with the memory of something you also have "fingered" in your response above, and that memory tells me that this blasted KMail's default is not POP3 as it ALWAYS was previously, but is, as you say, IMAP - so that will almost certainly be the reason the software just sat and did nothing. Now I ask you seriously, WHY change something from its previous default ? It's a trap designed to catch people who are installing and simply assume that the new version will at least have the same default settings.

I'd also mention that in my opinion, the developers have now altered that settings window so drastically that unless you really look hard for the alteration, you'd never know POP3 was available and if I recall, you have to find it by right clicking on the account itself. I recall I found this out earlier by sheer chance in the previous and muckier version and it was that alteration that finally allowed me to get the program to receive as well as send. I still do not understand why there are TWO receiving accounts created, one of which involves my ISP and the other involves where the mail is to be stored. Overcomplexity strikes again and you look at these things and wonder which one you need to work with to install your settings.

Further, KMail still operates with the incredible mess that has been made to password storage. It now forces you to use KWallet and removes the original simple password saving entry window which is present in the version running in KDE4.6. If you disable KWallet, you cannot insert a password in the account settings window; if you do enable KWallet, you seem to have to insert a password every time you want to get mail, or it tells you to reopen KWallet and insert a password and it then goes round and round ad nauseum.

What gets up my nose is that my present version of KMail on KDE4.6 remains simple. There is a single user account in the setup receiving window. KWallet is optional and can be turned off; the password is then stored in the KMail program so that once entered, KMail just runs. My present version is easily set up almost intuitively and that's a word I cannot say about KMail running in KDE4.8. My only feeling so far is sheer disgust........and that is not a reflection upon KDE4.8 in general which looks to be quite good.

However, I have almost had enough already. In my opinion, KMail has now been so dreadfully mangled by its developers that it is simply not worth the trouble of trying to get it to run. Simplicity and user comfort have been tossed out for complexity and things that the developers think that the users want. Well, perhaps some do and perhaps the developers do as well, but I certainly do not. So, when I have finished with openSUSE 11.4 and move onto version 12.2, it's goodbye to KMail and hello to one of either Evolution or Thunderbird. Claws might come in too for a test run.

Jul 13, 2012
8:54 PM EDT
Quoting:So if you want kmail... you gotta take the kitchen sink too.


I understand since Akonadi handles all PIM apps. which includes KMail.

I started working with it just today and so far I sort of like KMail again. For reading e-mail, It is much simpler interface than GMail via a browser.

Also, Nepomuk/Strigi are no longer the monsters they used to be. Right now I have them activated but file indexing is turned off. I hardly notice them and checked the CPU usage and it is not a lot different than before when I had them disabled. Besides, I don't think I have to activate file indexing if I am not going to use desktop search but I will activate Mail Indexing for mail searches.

I just explored a little and found out, while using IMAP, I can copy any message(s) into a local directory. Simply select messages, right click and select "Copy to Local" then select local directory.


Jul 13, 2012
10:04 PM EDT
They might not be the monsters they used to be, but they're still monsters. I highly dislike having to install 8Mil dependencies just to install a simple email app. KDE as a simple DE is fine,.. But KDE, the "Desktop System," has become a sprawling mess.

Jul 13, 2012
10:17 PM EDT

I certainly understand and agree with your point about the complexity, but like you said, others might be OK with that if it furnishes them with the features and capabilities they need.

I have been using Gmail for the last few years because I didn't want to bother with all the issues the new KMail brought about. But now I have configured it and it seems to work good so far, I might just keep using it since it only adds features and simplicity to what I am currently using now.

I think when one gets to know its details and how to configure it to work properly, things become clear and easy to work with. I believe the main problem was that the developers took a big bite and didn't realise how involved it was until it was too late. Add to that the problem of not having good up to date documentation, which could have simplified the complexity, instead compounded the issues and caused more problems that drove many users up the wall. By the way, there is some what good documentation you can install. I believe the package name for Debian systems is kdepim-doc and I am sure Suse might have one with similar name.

The bottom line is, there are enough other mail agent applications to checkout and I am sure one might be much more suitable and preferable for you than KMail.


Jul 13, 2012
10:39 PM EDT
@Fettoosh......Thanks again. Here's a mini-update. First of all, let's call this "unworking version" KMail 4.8, it's the version in KDE4.8 so that will do. By the same method, this version that is working in KDE4.6, I shall call KMail 4.6. Okay........I just ran KMail 4.8 in openSUSE 12.2 again and did a check. I can readily send a test message, no problems. But KMail 4.8 will not receive emails. I have confirmed the message was sent correctly by downloading it in KMail 4.6. Now....the software is set to POP3, so there was no confusion with IMAP at all.

I also turned KWallet off. Now what that does is dramatic. In KMail 4.6, you can still put your password into the setup window and it says that it's not as secure as KWallet, but is happy to take it anyway and that's all that's needed. From then on KMail 4.6 will receive emails from the POP3 server at any time without fuss and without having to reinsert a password.

However, with KWallet turned off and attempting to use KMail 4.8, you get a set up window in which the password entry box is greyed out with the message that you have turned KWallet off and the password entry box is now unavailable. In other words, KMail 4.8 literally FORCES you to use KWallet if you want to put in a password and keep it. And then you get into the round robin of put in a password, but to open KWallet you have to set up a Wallet name with a password too and then you have to put in the password again, and then when you try to receive an email it asks for the password again and round we go.....again and again and again.

Whatever, what I find is that KMail 4.8 will NOT receive messages, but will send them....Great.....and useless.

Last but not least and this I think is the basic problem that the KMail developers have left far behind and ignored: If you want people to use the software, then it has to be intuitively simple to set up and get running. The last thing you want to do is spend considerable amounts of time fighting with software that has been made so complex that it simply will not "just run". KMail versions up to KMail 4.6 adhered to that simplicity principle.....from then on, KMail has become overcomplex and incapable of being set up simply and easily.

Jul 13, 2012
11:16 PM EDT

To stop KWallet dead and not to bother you again for any application, do the following

System Settings => Accounts Detail (in Common Appearance and Behavior section) => KDE Wallet => Wallet Preferences and make sure "Enable the KDE wallet subsystem" Is Unchecked. Then click on "Access Control" Tab and make sure "Prompt When an application accesses an open wallet" is also Unchecked.

If there is any applications in the wallet, right click and delete its entry.

Click apply and exit System Settings.

KWallet shouldn't bother you any more

By the way, are you running KDE 4.8.4 or earlier release?


Jul 13, 2012
11:18 PM EDT

Will continue tomorrow. :-)


Jul 13, 2012
11:35 PM EDT
@jdixon........Subject: Claws. How to start ? Ummm......IT JUST WORKED !!!! Now, I have no idea as to whether or not I will ultimately use this client, but several things are immediately evident with only about 5 minutes in total on the software:

1. Setup is about 1 minute, less if you can type faster. Incredibly easy.

2. The layout is virtually identical to KMail before it was mucked up and its menus are extremely close.

3. It is incredibly fast and from what I can see so far, intuitively simple to use.

4. I saved my settings from the three setup input screens and the package was ready to roll. I had a test email composed, sent and received in less than half a minute.

5..........Why the heck isn't this delightful package known more widely ?

Again I stress, I am not sure if this is what I will use instead of KMail, but by heavens it's a darn good option. I haven't yet had time to fiddle about to see what it does with an html formatted transmission, what a beautiful and simple client package. I am impressed, very. And thankyou jdixon for introducing it to me.

Edit: I checked and Claws does NOT support HTML formats, however that mostly doesn't matter where I am concerned. Attachments are fine and you can always send pretty stuff via an attachment.

Jul 14, 2012
4:10 AM EDT
@Fettoosh.....I have finally managed to get KMail to send and receive. With KWallet completely turned off as you suggested, I then went through all the settings item by item and found that it had been set by default to encrypted transmissions not clear text. Again, the defaults have been altered in this latest version. Next, the round robins of passwords that were going in and out were caused by an error in the password itself and there was absolutely no way you could tell that had happened, since insertion of the password is only a single line and not the double check that occurs elsewhere. However, the point is that KMail 4.8 is now at the point where it can actually send and receive and I have memorised (believe it !!) the incredible convolutions I have gone through to get to this point. Next, I have to see if I can get my normal emails as an archive over to the new version. If that can be done, things begin to look up again.

Apparently, once you insert the password into KMail 4.8 for that first time (without KWallet running), it can remember it provided you check the box that tells it to do so. So again it is different, but ultimately "navigate-able" if you are prepared to fiddle and fiddle and fiddle.

So.....some of this is definitely my fault, but some of it is entirely due to the unbelievably more complex beast that KMail has become, coupled with alteration of the default settings.

And to all of those people who gave comments and assistance, I'd like to say thankyou very much indeed. I have learnt an enormous amount about email clients from this discussion and especially been impressed by jdixon's suggestion of Claws....that is, for me, the heck of a smooth piece of software....Thanks again everybody. One down and still more to go, but slowly KMail is being forced into a format that might actually be usable. It does look rather nice, even if my first impressions were of something I would rather sling in the waste paper basket. Be nice if the developers ever read this thread.

Edit. I have just received the following message from the KMail bug team:

No in kdepim > 4.6 we can't use store password in config file. We will not reimplement it. You can create a wallet without password if you want.

So. That's that.

Jul 14, 2012
9:38 AM EDT
Quoting:but some of it is entirely due to the unbelievably more complex beast that KMail has become, coupled with alteration of the default settings.


I can relate to that and it was my main reason why I stopped using KMail since KDE 4 was first made available.

I am glad you are making progress in taming the beast. :-)

I will continue my exploration and probably publish my experience here on this thread as much as I can.

KMail and its integration with other Personal Information applications (Notes, Multiple Mail Accounts, Personal & Shared Calendars, Personal Contacts, etc. => PIM) is complicated and certainly not for users who just want to use a simplistic Mail Agent. Add to that the Semantic Search integrated with Desktop search and other advanced features and it becomes even more complex. I believe PIM is mostly aimed at business and professionals more than for personal use.

One note about Claws, I believe it has extensions to enhance its capabilities and specifically, it has a plug-in for viewing HTML contents. Here is a list of all the related modules I found in Kubuntu deb package.

sudo aptitude search claws
[sudo] password for xxx: 
claws-mail                      - Fast, lightweight and user-friendly GTK2 based email clie
claws-mail-acpi-notifier        - Laptop's Mail LED control for Claws Mail  
claws-mail-address-keeper       - Address keeper plugin for Claws Mail      
claws-mail-archiver-plugin      - Archiver plugin for Claws Mail            
claws-mail-attach-remover       - Mail attachment remover for Claws Mail    
claws-mail-attach-warner        - Missing attachment warnings for Claws Mail
claws-mail-bogofilter           - Bogofilter plugin for Claws Mail          
claws-mail-bsfilter-plugin      - Spam filtering using bsfilter for Claws Mail             
claws-mail-clamd-plugin         - ClamAV socket-based plugin for Claws Mail 
claws-mail-dbg                  - Debug symbols for Claws Mail mailer       
claws-mail-doc                  - User documentation for Claws Mail mailer  
claws-mail-extra-plugins        - Extra plugins collection for Claws Mail   
claws-mail-extra-plugins-dbg    - Debug symbols for Claws Mail Extra Plugins packages      
claws-mail-fancy-plugin         - HTML mail viewer using GTK+ WebKit        
claws-mail-feeds-reader         - Feeds (RSS/Atom) reader plugin for Claws Mail            
claws-mail-fetchinfo-plugin     - Add X-FETCH headers plugin for Claws Mail 
claws-mail-gdata-plugin         - Access to GData (Google services) for Claws Mail         
claws-mail-html2-viewer         - HTML mail or attachment viewer for Claws Mail            
claws-mail-i18n                 - Locale data for Claws Mail (i18n support) 
claws-mail-mailmbox-plugin      - mbox format mailboxes handler for Claws Mail             
claws-mail-multi-notifier       - Various new mail notifiers for Claws Mail 
claws-mail-newmail-plugin       - New mail logger plugin for Claws Mail     
claws-mail-perl-filter          - Message filtering plugin using perl for Claws Mail       
claws-mail-pgpcore              -             
claws-mail-pgpinline            - PGP/inline plugin for Claws Mail          
claws-mail-pgpmime              - PGP/MIME plugin for Claws Mail            
claws-mail-plugins              - Installs plugins for the Claws Mail mailer
claws-mail-python-plugin        - Python plugin and console for Claws Mail  
claws-mail-smime-plugin         - S/MIME signature/encryption handling for Claws Mail      
claws-mail-spam-report          - Spam reporting plugin for Claws Mail      
claws-mail-spamassassin         - SpamAssassin plugin for Claws Mail        
claws-mail-themes               - Pixmap icon themes for the Claws Mail mailer             
claws-mail-tnef-parser          - TNEF attachment handler for Claws Mail    
claws-mail-tools                - Helper and utility scripts for Claws Mail mailer         
claws-mail-trayicon             - Notification area plugin for Claws Mail   
claws-mail-vcalendar-plugin     - vCalendar message handling plugin for Claws Mail         
clawsker                        - Configuration tweaker for Claws Mail      
libclaws-mail-dev               - Development files for Claws Mail plugins                 

Jul 14, 2012
11:02 AM EDT
I used Claws years ago and did so for many years. I loved it....even above T-bird and what I consider to be a convoluted Evolution client. Of course I haven't used Evolution in years itself so it may have improved but the calendaring was a nightmare back then. Because I am mobile and have the need to answer emails immediately at times, I too am a Gmail user. I know Gmail and Google have their detractors here but it does what I need it to do and don't know what I'd do without it. I suppose it would have to be Yahoo Mail but sheesh.....between the buzzing, blinking and seisure-inducing ads, I don't think I could stand it for more than a minute at a time.

Jul 14, 2012
11:07 AM EDT
Quoting: sudo aptitude search claws [sudo] password for xxx:
@Fettoosh (fingerslapping sent): aptitude can do search (and other things) just fine without sudo... as long as no changes are going to take place ;)

Jul 14, 2012
12:06 PM EDT
Quoting:I'd also mention that in my opinion, the developers have now altered that settings window so drastically that unless you really look hard for the alteration, you'd never know POP3 was available and if I recall, you have to find it by right clicking on the account itself.


This is in no way directed at you. It is a general rant I felt to just say as a reminder of what is being made available to all of us by hard working FOSS developers. I know you do appreciate the FOSS software & its developers in spite of all the issues you have encountered, and you always tried and persisted on resolving them. That is exactly what developers actually look for from users.

One more note about the developers. Like I said before, they took a big bite which afterwards realised they couldn't chew. I guess they didn't know better. This is something that happens everywhere, even in the best software outfits, commercial or otherwise. The main difference is, during any application design & development phase in the commercial ecosystem, the process is totally obscured and users don't get to see all of the details and changes the software goes through, but remains mostly closed until it finally goes through the QA phase. On the other hand, in the FOSS ecosystem, users get to experience and see every bit of details, good or bad, short comings and all, because it follows the release early, release often principal.

One other thing, commercial developers do get paid and follow a strict regimented plans, while FOSS developers are mostly volunteers who have other jobs or attending schools and still building their professional careers. I am not saying they shouldn't try to improve their development process to produce better quality software and show more appreciation to their user base, on the contrary, they are learning and doing just that.

Because of the excellent software we get, we all tend to forget and assume that all this software is being produced by commercial long term experienced developers. That is not really the case and we need to keep reminding ourselves of that. Besides, we are under no obligation to use what is being offered and we always have the option to find better alternatives when the software quality doesn't meet our needs or preference or when the developers, for some reason, misbehave.


Jul 14, 2012
12:13 PM EDT
Quoting:aptitude can do search (and other things) just fine without sudo

Thanks Shem.

Yes it does, I just tried it and makes sense. I always wondered why would read only commands need sudo. I really never tried it before. force of habit I guess. :-)


Jul 14, 2012
6:26 PM EDT
> And thankyou jdixon for introducing it to me.

De nada.

Jul 14, 2012
6:31 PM EDT
Quoting:Because I am mobile and have the need to answer emails immediately at times, I too am a Gmail user. I know Gmail and Google have their detractors here but it does what I need it to do and don't know what I'd do without it.

It is because gmail is realistically the only choice that I don't use a smart phone.

Jul 14, 2012
6:42 PM EDT
@Fettoosh.....no offence taken and none was intended - but thankyou for your concern. ln fact, I pretty much agree with your comments. As evidence, I point at my contrasting experiences with Claws and KMail so far; Claws can be set up in under a minute, it just works and very simply; KMail is behaving like an utter mongrel - so far a number of hour long periods over two days to get it to actually send and receive and "the fat lady hasn't sung yet". But once more, thankyou for the very generous efforts you have made and this time with the marvellous plug-in information on Claws. With KMail now actually sending and receiving, the next step is to try to get my archive in place - this may or may not be possible given the very strange way KMail now both imports and stores files. In my searches so far, I haven't seen the usual "kmail" file hidden away in the home directory in which all the usual KMail files are stored, so I don't know if I can do a direct copy across as I have always done in the past.

However, given all the above, I think it is very likely that Claws will win. Helios certainly liked it immensely before he moved to GMail for personal reasons and his comment is an "input based on experience" - like jdixon. I always come back to it: Claws just works, it's simple, it can do what I want and its menus, layout and especially operation are virtually identical to what KMail used to be. And I don't have the dreadful feeling that one day in the medium term future Claws is going to mutate into "Talons" and suddenly become unusable, just as KMail has become.

To me, this is very distressing. Not so much because of my problems but because my experiences are almost certainly going to be mirrored by many others. KMail is no longer a "turn-on" as far as I am concerned, it is a most definite "turn-off" and I suspect that KMail usage will now drop steadily - a highly complex and difficult package to set up and use and rejected by the users for precisely those reasons. Its defaults now intrigue me - previously, they were directed at the "home user", I get the feeling they are now set to those most needed at the enterprise-business level. Just an impression.

@Helios...I noted with interest your use of GMail. I have a friend here who also swears by it and has "ranted at me" over my insistence on using my own client with emails stored on my laptop rather than the "Google cloud" because his opinion is that local data files can be too easily lost from all sorts of hardware or software failures. However, as long as one backs up data, I don't ever see a problem with a personal client and locally stored data. There is a major project coming up however which may see me using my GMail account seriously for the first time.....just in case. Thanks for your comment...appreciated.

Jul 14, 2012
8:14 PM EDT
Quoting:Yes it does, I just tried it and makes sense. I always wondered why would read only commands need sudo. I really never tried it before. force of habit I guess. :-)

I suspect you already know this ;-) and better than I do, but...

" cat /etc/passwd " --> works fine -- you are going to want to pipe through less or grep or something

" cat /etc/shadow " --> "Permission denied"

I've always understood that this is handled by the permissions on the file being accessed, but that may be an oversimplification. I'm open to an informative link if I'm too far off...

Jul 14, 2012
9:43 PM EDT
Claws Mail continues to be developed and it only gets better with time. That's my recommendation.

Jul 15, 2012
5:22 AM EDT
I have been playing for the last hour or two with KMail 4.8. I have managed to get my archives over into it by directly copying them into the appropriate area and then using the location entry window in the Accounts settings area to point to the new mail location. There are traps aplenty....You cannot just use a usb stick (they are always FAT formatted by default) - unless it is formatted with a Linux file system due to the file names used in KMail.....my solution is to use a usb hard disk drive with a Linux system on it....So far, that seems to work.

Then there is getting KMail formatted into a form that we mostly recognise. I just prefer my emails sorted on simple date, but also have subfolders into which I store emails of particular interest like Amazon, Bank, etc. etc. Even just getting the whole thing running in standard Australian day/month/year made a big difference to the KMail layout.

BUT....at long last, it looks like KMail is being subdued by sheer persistence and bashing over the head. I am almost tempted to write an article detailing how to go about it, but since everyone here probably uses ANYTHING except KMail, it wouldn't be much use to anybody. Still, it's been a learning experience and a half......Something like bashing KDE4 into the format I wanted and the diatribe I wrote then.

However......the KMail I started with and the KMail I have now are two different little items......and it's been a cow of a job to get here......sheer bl..dy mindedness on my part. LOL.

Edit and update.

I have now confirmed that you can move your entire email archive from KMail 4.6 into KMail 4.8. In KMail 4.6, the email files are all stored in the directory /home/yourname/.kde4/share/apps/kmail but just to be different, in KMail 4.8, the files are stored in the directory /home/yourname/.local/share/local-mail

Confusing ? Of course, but that's KMail 4.8 all over. Now, here's what you do:

1. Copy the kmail folder onto a linux format hdd as noted above to deal with the long file names that FAT32 usb sticks cannot handle. Of course, if you have a usb stick formatted with a linux file system, you're already in front.

2. in KMail 4.8, the email files are stored by default in: /home/yourname/.local/share/local-mail So, use the hdd to transfer a copy of the kmail folder from KMail 4.6 into that share directory.

3. Open KMail and select the Settings menu item followed by Configure KMail. Then select the Local Mail option and Modify from the right hand menu options in the window.

4. Alter the email file location to read: /home/yourname/.local/share/kmail/mail/

5. Go into that /share directory and right click on the kmail folder to get the properties window. Open the permissions tab, change the Group ownership to "can view and modify content", select the "Apply changes to all subfolders" option and then "Okay". Now, do the same thing again but reverse the Group ownership to its original status. This rather "inane" process ensures that the permissions on all the archive files are now reset to your ownership in KMail 4.8 and the new OS installation. If you don't do this silly little process, you get into real problems with the email files: they don't act normally and I have even seen them disappear as soon as you select them in KMail.

And that's it. All your archive will now be fully transferred from KMail 4.6 to KMail 4.8 and it is ready to go as soon as you open KMail 4.8.

Jul 15, 2012
10:14 AM EDT
Quoting:I'm open to an informative link if I'm too far off...

Actually, My wondering was in the context of .deb package database, Sorry I didn't make that clear enough.

I am not a Linux guru, and I use Google to search for info. :-)

In regards to other files, some files might contain information that shouldn't be disclosed to non-privileged users. /etc/shadow has other additional information that should not be disclosed to everyone and one needs to be in the shadow group to be able to see them.

A good Link which answers your question and good info about both files

This Shadow link Might help to compare with Passwd


Jul 15, 2012
10:55 AM EDT

I am glad you found a good app. that meets your needs to use instead of complex KMail. I am also glad you were able to resolve the issues you experienced with KMail 4.8. And thank you for posting because if it wasn't for your post, I might not have tried to get KMail working on my system. I like Gmail and it works great for me and I don't think KMail is going to replace it. But KMail has some nice features that I like and will be using it as a supplemental tool to read e-mail. So using Gmail & Kmail will allow me to concurrently enjoy the best of two e-mail worlds, and especially when there is a "You've Got Mail" KDE desktop Widget available.

By the way, that is why KMail has multiple ISP accounts and a Local account to consolidate locally.

One more questions, :-). When you uploaded your KMail 1.x messages, did you use the "Import Messages" option under "File" menu to get them? I am wondering if it worked for you because I heard many others were not successful in doing that.


Jul 15, 2012
3:33 PM EDT

Could you just not transfer your files using a tar.gz on a FAT formatted USB as this preserves filenames and the file permissions or am i missing something here?

Jul 15, 2012
5:34 PM EDT
@Koriel.......Yes to your question....absolutely. In fact, I did this also myself but only put in the text above using a confirmed method. There was a major hiccup over the file transfer which is not important now, but as I later proved what you suggest also works. I just zipped the whole lot down and the FAT stick was happy.

@Fettoosh.....To be honest, I didn't even consider using KMail's import Messages facility. I saw so much confusion and possibly annoyance over the mess on various blogs that I simply tried a method that had worked very easily in the past and by good fortune hit on the right combination of steps.

So, in summation, the way KMail is now working, it looks great, seems to be running very nicely and here's hoping. But by heavens, I had to fight to get here and it fought back. I'd very much like to see a reversal of the defaults back to the home user's normal situation. I don't know about others, but as far as I am concerned, a simple date-time ordering of the emails is all I have ever required, plus the ability to sort on senders if necessary. The default screen as I use it has to be steadily approached via settings and it takes a while to find the right ones with all the choices you have...but it can be done.

Jul 16, 2012
12:29 PM EDT
Quoting:I had to fight to get here and it fought back. I'd very much like to see a reversal of the defaults back to the home user's normal situation...

I totally agree and I am not sure why would they change the defaults from one release to another. I like to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they must have a good enough reason, one is to avoid corruption when having multiple versions (I doubt it since users can change them). If not, it is inconsiderate and some developers tend to take it lightly thinking it is not important to the user.

Quoting: I don't know about others, but as far as I am concerned, a simple date-time ordering of the emails is all I have ever required, plus the ability to sort on senders if necessary.

I think most Mail Agents (MA) have good sorting capabilities by various key fields. But others with pretty large number of e-mails accumulated over many years have the need to search the contents more than key fields. That is why KMail 4.x has Nepomuk and Strigi to save indexing in a database to improve on search performance and results quality.

If you haven't noticed, KMail has sorting under "View => Message List => Sorting" where you have elaborate settings and by date is the default. :-)


Jul 18, 2012
6:10 AM EDT
There is one last thing I'd like all LXer people to know if they were not aware of it before. Okay, I am running openSUSE 11.4 (in my opinion, a terrific version) which in turn has KDE 4.6.00 (not bad at all) and KMail 1.13.6 and it is this latter piece of email client software which works brilliantly.

Support for openSUSE 11.4 finishes in September this year (circa 15th)......BUT........wait for it.......the Evergreen project will then keep openSUSE 11.4 running with updates until May 2014.....Fantastic.


This means that all pressure on KMail from my end stops and can proceed at a leisurely pace. I can play with Kmail, play with Claws, do all sorts of experiments and have plenty of time in which to simply "play". What a marvellous project.

It makes me also return to something I said in an earlier post somewhere on this site. OpenSUSE gets some really good release versions.......and because of this need, this incredible need to be seen to be updating and improving, dumps these really, really good versions in favour of later versions which aren't as good as the ones that have been dumped. However, the Evergreen project gives them a new lease of life.

I reckon openSUSE is one of the best distros out there.....Oh sure, I'm biased, but that's normal for a Linux user. It's nice to see openSUSE 11.4 will be kept active for an extended period, because in my humble opinion, it was a darn good release.

Jul 18, 2012
11:37 AM EDT
That is indeed good news about Evergreen. I am currently flirting with SolusOS and am extremely happy with it. It's not going to be good friends with the FSF because it comes with absolutely everything you might want or need when you first turn on your computer. It identified my Radeon HD RV670 immediately and installed the propietary driver witih one click....I think it took about 15 seconds. We are seriously looking at it to replace our current distro(s) at Reglue. While it runs what seems to be Gnome 2, you soon realize that it's actually Gnome 3 with all the extensions needed to give you the G2 experience. I can't see the difference on the surface at all. It's that nice.

I did a synaptic installation of KDE 4.8 on this machine because I have wanted to get back to KDE4 for some time. For reasons I can't figure out, not one version of OpenSuse will install on this computer but I had troubles all last weekend finding a distro that would install on this quad 4. Since I don't use any on-board mail client, I did not suffer the woes many have with Kmail so that isn't an issue with me. Sitting down and working with KDE4 was like revisiting an old friend after a long seperation....sans cashew.

I am personally glad to see the KDE team coming full circle and applaude their work.

I will find a download for 11.4 and see if it will install today....

Jul 18, 2012
5:44 PM EDT
@helios......Interesting you mention problems with Radeon. I recently bought a Toshiba laptop which seemed excellent....It has a Radeon card.......and it will NOT permit an install of graphics mode in openSUSE 11.4. However, openSUSE 12.2 RC1 will install quite happily and is stable enough to have a good play about. I'd try this RC1 version first. You can download at:


I'm using the 32bit version.

Jul 18, 2012
11:10 PM EDT
Turns out many of my woes were caused by different versions of kernel panic in the 64 bit versions. This problem is wide spread throughout several distros, at least on my machine. The 32 bit works just fine. I now just install the 32 bit release and install the PAE kernel. Aside from being able to utilize all my RAM, I am not seeing a lot of difference in performance between the 32 and 64 bit releases. In fact, I don't see any at all on my desktop.

Jul 19, 2012
1:39 AM EDT
@helios.....Again, your experiences are mirroring my own. Not with respect to the kernel panic, but from testing the 64bit versions of openSUSE. Like you, I found speed was not a significant factor. What I **did** find, was that trying to put a variety of software designed for 32bit into a 64bit system was often a "not good" factor and worse still, 64bit versions of that software were usually unavailable. I play safe now......I use 32bit for everything. I can always find the appropriate software, I have no hassles with stability and it all just works. This is NOT a criticism of 64bit software by the way, merely my personal experiences with it. I have a friend who swears by it because he says it is so much faster and he won't use 32bit stuff. How you can type faster than 32bit allows I am not sure, but I guess if he was (and I happen to know he isn't) manipulating gigantic/enormous files, it could be useful......each to his own and what works for him/her I suppose.

Jul 19, 2012
1:57 AM EDT
Quoting:However, openSUSE 12.2 RC1 will install quite happily and is stable enough to have a good play about. I'd try this RC1 version first.

I'm actually downloading the 64-bit version now. It looks like I'm going to land a contract to do some work in a SUSE shop. There is no free clone of SLES or SLED so OpenSUSE is probably the best way to refresh my memory of various and sundry SUSE-isms as well as seeing what direction the distro is going in.

Jul 19, 2012
2:51 AM EDT
Yeah Caitlyn, YAST takes some re-acquaintance right off the bat but it all comes back after a few minutes. YAST is actually a brilliant tool in both concept and reality...it simply is just too much for the "normal" computer user I think.

And so far, and by far, (Open)Suse does KDE4 better than any other distro I have tried. I don't know just how they do it....it's an intangible but the "wow factor" in KDE is much more intense in Suse than anywhere else. It's sharper, faster and seems to be extremely bling-full. (did I just say bling-full?).

I'm not sure if you are going to notice much difference between the Open and SLED versions...probably in networking most of all but if I remember right, getting the voodoo right to work with Exchange and Sharepoint are the only things you won't get in OpenSuse....at least the last time I did a side by side, and that's been a while ago.


Jul 19, 2012
3:00 AM EDT
@helios...agreed. YaST is a fantastic tool. I don't use it too much, but I find it simple and very straightforward and so far, there just isn't anything I want to do system wise, that YaST hasn't been able to take on and achieve. Also, I'd very strongly agree with you: in my opinion, openSUSE is just about the best KDE4 implementations around.

@caitlyn....that's rather nice. Be interested to know how you rate the 64bit version.

Jul 19, 2012
4:29 PM EDT
Ah, YaST... that excellent tool that worked the same in both text mode and GUI.

That rawked.

Jul 19, 2012
9:45 PM EDT
I am currently using Chakra and it's KDE implementation is really nice. They take some of the opensuse tweaks, use some of their own, and pull some from various other places, it is really slick. If you are interested in looking at KDE implementations, it is probably worth a look.

Jul 19, 2012
10:07 PM EDT
I'd have said the same about the ROSA Desktop KDE implementation but I know helios had problems installing it. Pity.

Jul 19, 2012
11:03 PM EDT
I am trying out the latest Fedora with KDE. So far I am really impressed. Those who have written off KDE in Fedora in the past should revisit it.

Jul 20, 2012
8:56 AM EDT
Any word on which of these distros trim the fat from KDE??? I'd lovemit if someone came up with a package, named something like KDE-dietsoda, that existed for the sole purpose of tweaking KDE to run leaner and meaner...

Jul 20, 2012
2:37 PM EDT
Yeah JaseP....like having Akondi and neopunk (that's what I think of it) disabled at startup. However, when I installed the Vanilla version of KDE 4.8, I really didn't see that much of a performance hit with both running. BUT....I have a quad with 4 gigs of RAM. I suppose that might make a difference.

Jul 20, 2012
3:02 PM EDT
I tried KDE in Debian Squeeze recently and liked it. I hadn't really used KDE since the 3.x days, and it looked pretty good.

Jul 20, 2012
4:12 PM EDT
Quoting:I'd lovemit if someone came up with a package, named something like KDE-dietsoda

I don't like DietSoda, it taste weird & funny. :-)

If your favourite Distro doesn't have Nepomuk & Akonadi disabled by default, No need to sacrifice it, just disable them and they won't bother you at all. I don't believe removing their code is going to gain you much other than regaining a little of disk space.

What is going to even improve performance is when Qt 5 is implemented.

Quoting:... and neopunk (that's what I think of it) ... when I installed the Vanilla version of KDE 4.8, I really didn't see that much of a performance hit with both running. ...

That is really a funny name, Ken. :-)

Nepomuk & Akonadi used to be resource monstrous hogs, but no more. They have been cleaned up and optimized quite a bit. The nice thing about them also is you can configure the indexing to just do certain list of directories and files. And the only time you see any hits is when you start a new indexing or add a new directory. Other than that, they should not be noticed any more. Also you can select to index KMail and disable any other indexing if you want to search your email.


Jul 21, 2012
1:02 AM EDT
JaseP I don't use Kubuntu but I remember they had some sort of "low fat" settings package.


Jul 21, 2012
1:43 AM EDT
JaseP I am not sure what you are looking for in lean but my system right now is using 630 MB of ram, 275 of which is firefox, I have /tmp mapped to a ram drive, as well as storing my browser profiles in ram as well. I also have several system monitor widgets running. It seems that not running many applications and not using ram drives This wouldn't be horrid on 512 MB ram, and very usable with 1GB. Not extreemly light, but not outrageous either. I also have desktop effects enabled, but I am not sure if that affects ram usage.

Jul 21, 2012
3:52 AM EDT
I am (or was) a long time user of Google Desktop search. Now you want to talk about bringing an entire machine to a screeching halt? Try to work through an indexing cycle with that process running. And while the end result was absolutely great (and fast), it was a painful process to endure. I finally got smart enough to set indexing between 3 and 7 AM (that's when I am asleep). Took about a week for it to index my drive folders, my 500 gig music collection and another 300 gig backup drive. Unfortunately, Google has discontinued support and development of Google Desktop, which is a shame.

Hopefully, with the improvements you speak of, these two services will combine to be just as good. To my experience, the traditional Kfind sucked wind. Years ago, we had a long discussion about it right on this forum and what it came down to is that Kfind worked fine IF you knew how to configure it....weird switches and non-standard path names were the norm and not the exception...whereas the Gnome Search Tool picked up everything immediately with no indexing. The argument was made that the command line search options were just as good but I argued that they were not. Sure you can find what you are looking for but you are left to enter other commands or a gui in order to access the requested files. That's why I like GST and Google Desktop so much. Immediate access to the files searched for.

At any rate, it is nice to be back in a KDE environment but I enter back into it with a backup plan this time. I no longer feel I can trust the developers with MY desktop, given how they abused that trust a few years ago. There is forthcoming good news coming via blog of helios concerning a new and exciting Distro that has completely repatched G3 to work Exactly as G2.

News at 11....stay tooned

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