Moving mail to newer versions of kmail - the hard way.

John john_82 at
Thu Feb 2 22:08:51 GMT 2006

I've finally done it along with the problem that distractions lead to 80 odd 
mails in the new set up. So for those that need to know where for one reason 
or the other the newer kmail was unable to import the old mail setting.
(I don't know if this will be of any use to the faq?)

Firstly on the old set up move any sub folders up to the top level. This may 
not be required but people have had difficulties importing sub folders.

Newer users should note that the . in front of a file name means that it is 
hidden. Konqueror can be set to show these under view but hidden directories 
will still only be shown in the right pane and not in the directory 

If kmail has never run all of the contents of the old mail directory may be 
moved to the new mail folder. Both of these are
/home/ <your name> /.kde/share/apps/kmail/mail
If moved under kde the permissions of all files will then need to be changed 
to allow user r/w. Select the lot in each directory - right click - 
properties - permissions.
If kmail has run before the first run can be regained by deleting kmailrc 
which is in  /home/.kde/share/config. The problem there is that kmailrc 
contains all of the account information so given that the more long winded 
solution given later works simply copy the file into the correct place 
remembering to set the permissions as before. Fire up kmail and all should be 
well and folder structures can be re arranged etc.

The 2nd method came about because I received a lot of mails before importing 
the old ones.
Kmailrc can be imported as above.
In Kmail create appropriate folders eg OldInBox, OldSent etc. Close Kmail. 
Then copy all of the mail/ <mailbox name> /cur files into the appropriate cur 
directory created by kmail above. Then change the permissions to user r/w.
There will be a number of index files in the old mail directory. Mine had been 
copied to a cd so taking an example. The inbox index files are .inbox.index 
and .inbox.index.ids. Copy these some where and rename them to match the name 
of the new folders eg inbox.index becomes OldInBox.index. Copy these to the 
new mail directory and change the permissions and so on.  When Kmail is fired 
up click on one of the folders and it will process it etc and the new sorted 
files will appear in the mail directory.

Suse 10.0
KDE 3.4.2 B
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