Thunderbird + Lightning vs kmail + kontact

I’ve been using Thunderbird & the Lightning calendar extension for years and find them great but now that I’ve move to using openSUSE from WinXP I have been wondering how well kmail and kontact compare.

Kmail and kontact would be better integrated in KDE but is that enough to drop TB for it?

How mature and stable is kmail and how well does it cope with large attachments, embedded images, etc, is the spam filter any good?

I’d like to here from those that have tried both. I’m looking for comments from those that use either as their primary mail / calendar app in a production environment.

I’ve not had any problems with large images etc. (My ISP has a 10Mb limit per attachment). Spam detection is not integral; you have to set up spamassassin or equivalent to detect spam.

I tried Kmail but went back to Thunderbird. There was nothing wrong with Kmail per se but the documentation is extremely poor and I couldn’t figure out how to do the things I knew how to do in TB. TB’s documentation is not brilliant either but you’ll usually find what you want by googling due to the much larger user base. Kmail’s user base is pretty minute by comparison.
On top of that, the KDE PIM apps do not sync with anything. That’s an issue with the Mozilla stuff too but rather defeats the superficial attraction of the close integration of the various KDE PIM apps. They’re integrated but rather autistic.

Thanks, that’s useful and pretty much goes with what I was thinking would be the case.

I find the biggest issue with running Linux and PIMs is the lack of robust syncing by physical cable with modern PDAs / smartphones.

To be fair to Linux, syncing is far from perfect even within the Windows universe. The main issue, as I see it, is flaky standards for tasks, especially recurrent ones. Calendar items are not usually a problem.

Agreed but there are still a lot more tools / apps which allow syncing of TB with PDA devices which is understandable considering the huge MS user base.

What surprised me is that even Linux based smartphones / PDAs (like Android and now Maemo / Meego) don’t offer good robust solutions for syncing calendars with Linux desktops. At least provide a solution to sync with TB and Lightning on Linux.

I know opensync is causing problems because the project made big changes to their API and now things seems to have stalled so developers are not keen to develop conduits based on opensync if there is uncertainty in it’s future.

I would have thought for corporate users that syncing calendars with mobile devices would be high on the list and so would have though the two leading corporate Linux distributions, SUSE and Redhat, would have put more effort into developing a good solution for this.

Anyway I had a bit more of a play with kontact and kmail and think I’ll stick with TB and Lightning even though Lightning still has some catching up to do.

> I’d like to here from those that have tried both. I’m looking for
> comments from those that use either as their primary mail / calendar app
> in a production environment.

I have used both, and I prefer to use Kontact. I’ve been using it now for
about 5 years in full time production. The integration with KDE is a nice
bonus. You may find more bugs in Kontact between KDE versions though.
For instance, Since the debut of KDE 4.3 I’ve had repeated crashing when
Kontact launches. It doesn’t close and exit, just gives me a dialog that a
crash has occurred, which I close and go on into Kontact. I know it has
something to do with my multiple IMAP profiles and the Kwallet password
manager since I get three error boxes and I have three IMAP profiles, also
it fails to get the passwords out of Kwallet and I have to enter them
manually. I’ve been too busy to sort it out properly. I keep hoping a patch
will appear and it will go away.

I’ve been a long time Mozilla fan and still am, and decided to try Kontact.

Lightening seems not to update as quickly as Thunderbird so, one has to use Sunbird until the Lightening extension is updated, or not update Thunderbird. Without having the calendar application in Thunderbird one also has to open another application. It’s not the end of the world, but it is nice to have all the applications in one suite as Kontact does.

Thunderbid has a great spam catcher, which you do have to set up in Kmail as illustrated before, but once it is set up, it works well. The graphics appear nicer with Thunderbird, but I haven’t changed anything around in Kontact.

Is Kontact available on windows or mac? Thunderbird is and that can be useful to the user who has to work with multiple OS and needs to sync something or add it later to your other OS later.

I still have a ways to go to decide if I would prefer Kontact over Thunderbird so these are just a few observations. But Kontact is much better than I remember.

I’m running
Version 4.3.5

mozilla thunderbird 3.0.6
mozilla sunbird .9