Renew KDE-user after 14 years

14 years ago I created my KDE account “Keks Dose”. I transfered it to any new machine I used. Right now, I’m on a laptop, openSuse 13.2, KDE 4.14.

I have the suspicion that the history of data in the config files lead to confusion, especially regarding kmail. So I thought about deleting ~/home/KeksDose (after a backup) and deleting the user “Keks Dose” and than create that user again, to get a clean account. Into this clean account I’d like to copy my data (Mails, other content).

But there are some things I have to keep: the firefox config, kwallet.

Any ideas, which files I have to keep to avoid the loss of passwords and other useful information?

I had a problem with KDE some time ago; so I renamed the old user and created a new one. I then copied over the relevant config files such as kwallet. I cannot remember all the details but, by doing everything in steps and renaming files .old rather than deleting them until I was sure everything worked, I ended up with a clean running setup using the original user name.

It depends

~/.mozzila has Firefox data
~/.thunderbird has TB data
the KDE stuff is not so easy to pin point since they keep moving stuff around

You did not say from what version the data came from. Are we talking real old like KDE3 or just data that has been brought along and moved to newer versions starting 14 years ago.

Should be possible.

Inventory the apps you want to restore. Note that for the scenario you describe it’s like restoring to a brand new machine because even if you keep the same Username the machine will likely create new random number security identifiers. So for instance your current specified apps



See section 1.1


I started in the year 2000 with Suse 8.x and KDE 3.x and ever since used this user. After each new installation I told Yast to create a new user with the old name and Yast happily accepted the old ~/ as home of the user.

Thank you, the idea did not occure to me that it simply may be seen a case for a backup file.

I did not really care where you started need to know the immediate previous version that worked. Still running KD3 or had you moved to KDE4 etc.

Ok, I switched to KDE 4 years ago and kmail2 never was in a good state.

kmail used to always be problematic That is why I switched to Thunderbird.

I abandoned the plan, too much effort necessary. There are so many different customisations, grown in years: shortcuts, services, behaviour, passwords, profiles…

Deleting it felt like burning down the house.

But I did something else, which was difficult enough: I deleted (after a backup) every single file in my home folder I could track down, which belonged to kmail or akonadi. To this end, I stopped akonadi, killed kmail and deleted everything. Then I started akonadi again and after a minute kmail from scratch. I obviously missed one file, because after creating the new “identities”, kmail came up with the smtp-server data…

However, I created in kmail all the folders I had before, but in a more logical way. After that, I terminated kmail, stopped akonadi again and copied from the backup all the mails into the new folders. Well, eventually around 11 GB.

I restarted akonadi, gave it some time and started kmail. After two days it seems to run much more stable than ever before. I should have done this much earlier. To be clear: After upgrading from KDE 3.5 to 4.x, there was a kind of migration done by kmail, not by me.

On 2015-01-03 17:06, cookie170 wrote:

> So I thought about deleting
> ~/home/KeksDose (after a backup)

Just rename the folder, don’t delete it. You have to be logged as
another user, then work as root to do it.

> and deleting the user “Keks Dose” and
> than create that user again, to get a clean account.

Make sure it gets the same UID number.

> But there are some things I have to keep: the firefox config, kwallet.

You probably can copy over everything, except directories that start
with “.kde” in their names. Maybe you have to skip .config, or at least
parts of it. Those related to kde — assuming that you want to fully
reset kde and not the rest.

How to keep parts of kde and others not, I don’t know.

I also have a kde directory going back many years. 2007 at least.
Although I seldom use the kde desktop, and when I do, I don’t use kmail.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)