KMail2, Akonadi and friends

The desktop and laptop machine that I use from day to day both run Debian Sid with a KDE desktop. Leaving aside a little wobble in the early days of KDE4, I've used KDE for a long time, and in particular have grown very used to the ways of KMail. It fits my personal email setup, where I have work and personal emails all in one account, and receive and send email under various email addresses depending on context, very well.

A major (and much delayed) update from KMailv1 to KMailv2 recently hit the Debian repository. KMail2 switches from dealing directly with email servers to using the Akonadi backend. Akonadi attempts to unify all forms of Personal Information data, such as emails, calendars, to-do lists and so forth, into a single place and interface. To this end, it uses a backend database as a cache.

The backend database is, by default, MySQL. Alternate backends for SQLite and Postgres are also available, though the developers have made it pretty clear that MySQL is primary platform.

As I had a MySQL database instance running already on the desktop, I configured Akonadi to use this external database.

And there then followed much fiddling and swearing. KMail2 and Akonadi, while doing some very sexy stuff - at last I can have my Google calendar and work CalDAV calendar appear in KOrganizer - were well-nigh unusable. Mails frequently didn't get marked as read, and navigating around my mail tree took ages.

Following various advice, I deleted and recreated my Akonadi setup. No better. I tried switching to SQLite and again deleting and recreating my setup. Still no joy.

I tried archiving a lot of my larger folders (50k mails) and bringing them down to the last few years usage, around 20k messages. Still no joy.

I tried Thunderbird and Claws. Claws doesn't match my email setup at all well. Thunderbird would be OK at a push.

Finally, as a last ditch measure before very reluctantly heading to Thunderbird, I tried using the Debian package setup. This uses a MySQL database, but runs its own copy of MySQL with a customer configuration file.

And suddenly, this page, which was heading towards a bit of a sorrowful rant, can turn out happily after all. Heaven knows why, but KMail2 and Akonadi tick along quite happily. Email works much as well as it ever did.

So, if you're about to throw in the towel and abandon KMail2 forever, persist. And try the Debian default MySQL setup. You may be glad you did.

 
akonadiandkmail2.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/19 13:21 by jim
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