Kmail future?

Kmail has some very nice features and I’ve been using it for at least 15 years, but the Kmail/PIM package seems to have become cumbersome and buggy.

A major problem is that indexing (I think) can suddenly consume so many system resources that all other work effectively stops. The only way out is to hit the processor power button, restart the system, then login and kill Kmail before it begins indexing again. (Both the baloo indexer and the akonadi indexing agent have priority “very low”.)

This and other problems have been around for years but KDE shows no apparent interest in fixing them.

Possible replacements included in the Leap 15.1 distribution include:

  • Thunderbird, a possibility but far from perfect, and it supports ‘maildir’ storage.

  • Trojitá is now a KDE Qt product, which may or may not be a recommendation given Kmail. It’s described as an IMAP client but apparently supports POP3 & SNMP. Storage format?

  • Evolution - supports maildir storage, but I read somewhere lines are hard-coded to wrap at 72 characters so paragraphs don’t display properly.

GNUMail sounds good, but isn’t in the Leap distribution and doesn’t seem to be actively maintained.

Does anybody have a recommendation?

David L.


I don’t have the issues you describe and I use full indexing by baloo. But I have seen some reports here, mostly fixed by stopping baloo

balooctl stop


rm -rf ~/.local/share/baloo

to remove the current baloo database and then

balooctl start

to create a new one. This ( when I tested it ) does take some resources in the beginning, but IIRC users reported that fixed it.

FWIW I’ve been a heavy user of Kontact for both work and private stuff, the only non default I have is that I’m using a postgresql database instead of a mysql/mariadb one. Talking about 12 accounts, ~200.000 emails, lots of filters.

+1 for Thunderbird. It is actually quite near to perfect, at least for me :slight_smile: With addons it is really powerful and I use it 10+ years on linux&windows. Shame, that mozilla does everything possible to annoy users lately, but it is still a good thing. I don’t want to get into the long list of annoyances, but mostly I mind dropped support for old extensions. What function exactly are you expecting? TB can really use maildir storage, but I don’t use it.

In the 15 years I have been using it, Kmail has had its ups and downs but there have been a lot of improvements recently - so it is currently being improved. For a while I moved to Evolution but then came back to Kmail because Evolution did not have the other features of Kontact which I value. I use Thunderbird on my laptops because I am less interested in the other features of Kontact on those.

I installed KDE on a laptop used by an elderly gentleman who never deletes anything and Kmail manages the thousands of old emails he has without any problems.

Many thanks Knurpht, john_hudson, and pruda for your comments.

The PIM address-book is certainly good. But another Kmail problem is that filtering doesn’t always start reliably; the solution described by someone elsewhere here is to start & stop the filter-configuration utility.

I’ve never been clear on the status of ‘baloo’. According to
**"**Baloo is a framework for searching and managing metadata. There is no official package available for openSUSE Leap 15.1"
However Yast lists it as required by Dolphin, Gwenview, Kinfocentre, Plasma5-desktop, and Plasma5-workspace, all of which sounds fairly official to me.

I’ll remember your suggestion to recreate the database, but the resources issue I mentioned does seem to be associated with Kmail.

As an experiment, I migrated 1.3Gb of emails, with many folders, to Thunderbird in ‘maildir’ mode (and writing BASH scripts is not one of my core skills). The Leap 15.1 distribution of Thunderbird seems to work well, and the ‘Enigmail’ & ‘ImportExportTools’ plugins also work. T’bird supports PEP email privacy, which is interesting. However the Vcard format used by PIM isn’t entirely compatible with T’bird’s default Vcard support.

I believe Thunderbird isn’t part of the Mozilla empire now, and is maintained independently.

Kmail/PIM has so many good features, if only it worked well… I wonder whether the whole PIM suite would be better if it were split up in a more modular fashion?

I also wonder about Trojitá, which is now a KDE Qt product, and where it fits into the KDE strategy.

Regards, DL