multiple accounts in kmail

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Tue Jun 14 15:05:46 BST 2011

Gary Roach posted on Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:10:09 -0700 as excerpted:

> I am trying to consoidate 2 email accounts onto the same machine but
> still keep them separated. I wish to use kmail. I am running kde 4.4.5
> on a Debian Linux operating system. My problem is this:

> I have two email accounts xxxxxx at and
> yyyyyy at Both send mail to and receive
> from They now reside on a Win2k box and a Debian
> linux box respecively. I wish to keep the two accounts completely
> separate but wish to put both on the linux box. In addition, I need to
> transfer my mail archives from thunderbird and iceweasel. I have read a
> lot of stuff on the net but have found most out of date and confusing.
> Can anyone lay out a road map that will allow me to set up  these 2
> accounts so they will co-exist with out being intermingled.
> My present file structure is:
> home/xxxx/.kde/share/apps/kmail/Mail

First, let me commend you for both including critical version information 
and technical detail, AND proper sanitation of irrelevant personal 
information such as the exact email addresses and the precise name of 
your user's home dir.  Few enough get the first part right; even fewer 
BOTH get that right and properly sanitize the data they do post.  Your 
post thus stands as a shining example of how to ask a question on the 
lists the /right/ way! =:^)

Beyond that... something you are likely already aware of, but the first 
thing that occurs to me is that 4.4.5 is somewhat dated.  I've been 
recommending 4.5.4 or 4.5.5 as very stable upgrades with a better overall 
kde experience than 4.4 and earlier provided.  In fact, my repeated 
position is that (the later monthly updates of) 4.5 was the first kde4 
version I felt comfortable recommending to pretty much everyone -- what 
SHOULD have been 4.0.  4.4 meanwhile was close, I've compared it to 
release candidate quality, but not yet quite there.  So overall, you're 
slighting your own experience of the best kde has to offer, by remaining 
with 4.4.  (4.6, OTOH, I'd NOT recommend yet, except for those on 
distributions which have already gotten rid of hal, and then I'd 
definitely recommend sticking with 4.6.0 or 4.6.1, as 4.6.2 and 4.6.3 
were buggy for many.  4.6.4 is just out and may be better, but I've not 
had a chance to build (as I'm on Gentoo) and test it yet, so 4.5.5 for 
those not yet migrated off of hal and 4.6.0 for those already migrated, 
remain my recommendations, probably for another week or so anyway until I 
can build and get at least a few days on 4.6.4.)

That's in the context of kde4 in general.  As you may know, kmail/kdepim, 
however, need treated separately, because they only had micro updates 
during 4.5 and early 4.6, remaining at the 4.4 minor version level, with beias you may know,ng the latest in that series.  The reason 
behind this is that the planned upgrade to the akonadi backend was not 
judged to be ready for general public usage yet, so in the meantime they 
simply micro-updated in ordered to maintain compatibility with the rest 
of the kde 4 platform as it moved to 4.5 and then 4.6.  (In this the 
kdepim folks seem to have learned from the far too early christening of 
kde 4.0 and the general declaration of 4.2 and 4.3 as ready for the 
masses when that clearly wasn't the case, costing kde dearly in lost 
reputation, and the kdepim folks chose not to repeat the same mistake, 
erring if anything on the side of caution.)

So until just this week, kdepim and with it kmail and kontact remained at 
a bug-fixed 4.4 level.  Just this week, however, the long awaited general 
release of the akonadified kmail/kontact2 occurred.  However again, I've 
not done the upgrade myself yet, so will withhold evaluation thereof, 
except to commend the kdepim folks for all their caution, with the 
comment that I'm very optimistic, expecting a much smoother experience as 
a result. =:^)

The reason that bit, particularly the last about the upgrade to kmail2 
(to go with kde 4.6.4 and later), comes up, is to point out that the 4.4 
series kmail you're running now is a stopgap.  4.4 had already migrated 
the address book to akonadi, and the integration between it and the not 
yet migrated kmail wasn't as good as it might have been.  Further, active 
development on that branch hasn't occurred for some time, as it was 
considered to be almost wasted effort, since the new version was so close.

As such, while what you have should be quite stable, keep in mind its 
status and that yet another major upgrade and database conversion is in 
the cards for whenever you upgrade to later kde 4.6 or 4.7 or whatever.  
Depending on your situation and on the Debian upgrade timetable which I 
don't know, being on Gentoo, it may be that you wish to hold off on that 
migration until you can do it to the new akonadified version, thereby 
avoiding having to do yet another conversion presumably soonish 
thereafter.  I'm not saying DON'T do the migration now.  I'm simply 
pointing out some factors you will likely wish to keep in mind.  You may 
know about them already or not, and it may affect your current decision 
or not, but it's good information to have in any case.  And you mentioned 
out of date and confusing information... this is a heads-up that it just 
got MORE so. =:^(

To the question, then... assuming you're continuing the conversion with 
kdepim 4.4.

I'm rather unclear on what you mean when you say you wish to keep the 
accounts "completely separate", but with the implication and tone of the 
question being that you intend to access them in the same kmail instance 
in the same Linux user account.  To me, that doesn't seem to be 
"completely separate" at all.  To me, "completely separate" would be 
accessed from two "completely separate" Linux user accounts, two 
different home dirs (/home/xxxx/ and /home/yyyy/ to use your sanitized 
terminology), etc.  To me, accessing them both from the same kmail 
instance isn't what I'd call completely separate, but rather, simply two 
different email accounts accessed from the same kmail, with the same 
local storage, yet that seems to be what you're implying.

It's definitely possible to have two "completely separate" accounts, but 
then I don't see the problem.  You'd have two separate users, each with 
their own login and each with their own separate local kmail config and 
storage, so what's the problem?  Thus, I can only assume you do NOT mean 
the "completely separate" you so clearly stated, but instead, want a 
combined local config, but maintaining the separate email addresses and 
possibly separate inboxes, etc.

This too is quite possible, with the degree to which the mail from the 
separate accounts is kept separate, locally, entirely up to you.  In 
fact, it's much the way I run here, with several separate public mail 
accounts, most on one domain, one on a former provider's domain, and one 
entirely local-machine account handling mail from local machine cronjobs 
and the like.  Incoming from the multiple addresses on the main domain is 
all from the one server (corresponding to your, 
with the other domain's server polled for that address separately (and 
the local machine mail appearing in a special maildir folder I have setup 
for the purpose).  Outgoing for both the main domain and the old one goes 
thru the same main domain outgoing server, with only the from address set 
to the old domain, for mail I wish to send with that address.

Incoming mail is sorted using the same common set of filters.  One filter 
for each address adds a header to the mail indicating which address it 
came in on, just in case the mail itself doesn't list that.  Rather than 
a single inbox, however, or even one per mail address, I use filters to 
sort all incoming mail by sender (family, friends, work, etc), subject, 
etc.  However, it's entirely possible to sort into inbox based on address 
the mail was sent to, if desired.

The key to it all, however, at least from my perspective, is filters.  
Get your filters properly setup for what you want to do, and you 
shouldn't have problems.  Screw that up and you'll never get the 
separation you want.  But how/what you filter on and what you do with 
those filters (adding additional headers, sorting into separate folders, 
forwarding, etc) is of course up to you.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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